Media Release: David McKay to play ‘M’ in Phillip Glass’ 1,000 Airplanes on the Roof

THE Lammermuir Festival is delighted to announce David McKay will play the mysterious ‘M’ in Phillip Glass’ highly-anticipated science fiction music drama, ‘1,000 Airplanes on the Roof’ at Concorde Hangar on Sunday 18th September.

Glasgow-born actor and director, David McKay, has just finished a successful run at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe in David Greig’s award-winning ‘The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart’ with the National Theatre of Scotland.

He has work with some of the most challenging international film directors – including Mel Gibson in ‘Braveheart’, Ken Loach in ‘My Name Is Joe’ and ‘Ae Fond Kiss’, Bille August in ‘Les Miserables’, John Mackenzie in ‘Looking After JoJo’, Peter Mullan in ‘NEDS’ and Shane Meadows in ‘Once Upon A Time In The Midlands’.

‘1,000 Airplanes on the Roof’ will be performed by one of the country’s most inimitable contemporary music ensembles Red Note, with James Brining directing and Jessica Cottis conducting.

The-one act melodrama, which is supported by the National Theatre of Scotland, features text by David Henry Hwang and first premiered in 1988 in Vienna Airport’s Hangar No 3. Set in New York, the 90-minute piece charts the tale of a man’s psychological collapse following an alien abduction.

David will play the mysterious ‘M’ who recalls his encounters with extraterrestrial life-forms and their message to him: “It is better to forget, it is pointless to remember. No-one will believe you”.

Did he really meet them?  Was it a drug-induced nightmare – or the beginning of a mental breakdown?

David says: “Playing ‘M’ is the most challenging, exciting, terrifying project I’ve done to date. As the only actor surrounded by some of the best talent in the country, I have to learn the script and get my head around such a fantastic character. I will be working with so many people I respect who are playing, singing and conducting such incredible music.”

The Lammermuir Festival, from 16 – 25 September 2011, brings ten days of beautiful music in beautiful places performed in the most stunning venues across East Lothian, Scotland. The venues are as diverse as the programming and include the aircraft hangar housing Concorde, a medieval church and Lennoxlove House, the 14th Century home of the Duke of Hamilton.

The festival features the highest calibre of artists, conductors and orchestras including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Dunedin Consort and showcases a selection of today’s finest young talent, including the Navarra Quartet who return for another musical journey.  

Artistic directors, Hugh Macdonald and James Waters, say: “We are thrilled to welcome David McKay to Lammermuir 2011 and are delighted to be working with Red Note Ensemble.

“To have a star from NTS’s smash hit of the Edinburgh Festival, ‘The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart’, is more than we could have hoped for. What was always a really exciting show has just become unmissable!”

The Lammermuir Festival is produced by The Lamp of Lothian Trust, supported by East Lothian Council, Creative Scotland, EventScotland, The Lamp of Lothian Trust, The Stevenson Trust, The Bacher Trust, The Artemis Trust, The Binks Trust, Artifax Software Ltd, McInroy & Wood Ltd and generous individuals.



DAVID MCKAY hails from Castlemilk, Glasgow and trained as an actor at the Glasgow Arts Centre in the early 80’s. He has been an actor for over 28 years working in film, television, theatre and radio and has acted with some of the most challenging international film directors – including Mel Gibson in ‘Braveheart’, Ken Loach in ‘My Name Is Joe’ and ‘Ae Fond Kiss’, Bille August in ‘Les Miserables’, John Mackenzie in ‘Looking After JoJo’, Peter Mullan in ‘NEDS’ and Shane Meadows in ‘Once Upon A Time In The Midlands’.

David started writing and directing films in 1997 after studying directing at the BBC film school in London.

Winning the ‘First Reels’ competition at Scottish Screen he wrote and directed his first film ‘Caesar’, which was well received in the festival circuit and was subsequently bought by Channel 4. He went on to write and direct his second film ‘To A Mouse’, part of the New Found Land series for SMG and Scottish Screen.

RED NOTE ENSEMBLE are a Scotland-based professional music ensemble, dedicated to developing and performing contemporary music to the highest standards, and taking the music out to audiences around and beyond Scotland.

Founded in 2008 by Scottish cellist, Robert Irvine (artistic director) and co-directed by John Harris (chief executive) they perform the established classics of contemporary music; commission new music; develop the work of new and emerging composers from around the world; and work hard in new spaces to find new audiences. Their performing ensemble is drawn from the deep talent pool of Scottish new music expertise, and count amongst the players some of the very finest performers working in the UK today.

HUGH MACDONALD, artistic director, was born and brought up in Haddington. He studied music at the universities of Edinburgh and Amsterdam and at the Royal College of Music in London. After teaching music at universities in Hong Kong and Scotland he joined the BBC as a radio music producer and was head of Music at BBC Scotland and Director of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra from 1991 until his retirement from the BBC in 2006. He is now a freelance music consultant, writer and lecturer.

JAMES WATERS, artistic director, was concerts director of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra from 1986 to 1992 and associate director of the Edinburgh International Festival from 1992 to 2006. In 2007, he founded Festivals and Events International with Nick Dodds and works extensively advising local authorities such as Birmingham and Durham on developing festivals and events. He is creative director, Classical Music of Perth Concert Hall. He lectures at Queen Margaret University and has lived in East Lothian since 1988.



8.00pm, St Mary’s Parish Church, Haddington
Scottish Chamber Orchestra


3.00pm, St Michael’s Kirk, Inveresk, Musselburgh
NYCoS National Girls Choir


8.00pm,  Yester Parish Church, Gifford
Emily Hoile clarsach


3.00pm, Stenton Parish Church

Hebrides Ensemble

8.00pm, Concorde Hangar, National Museum of Flight, East Fortune
1000 Airplanes on the Roof Phillip Glass


7.30pm, St Mary’s Parish Church, Haddington
Stile Antico


7.30pm, The Great Hall, Lennoxlove House, Haddington

Jennifer Koh violin


7.30pm, Dunbar Parish Church
The Stevenson Winds of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland


7.00pm, Poldrate Granary, Haddington

Discovering Menotti

7.30pm, St Mary’s Parish Church, Haddington

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra


7.30pm, St Michael’s Kirk, Inversek, Musselburgh

The Scottish Ensemble


A Musical Journey I, II & III

Part I

12.00 noon, Dirleton Parish Church

Navarra String Quartet

Louise Alder soprano

Emily Hoile harp

Part II

3.30pm, Whitekirk Parish Church
Navarra String Quartet

Part III

7.30pm, St Andrew Blackadder Church, North Berwick
Navarra String Quartet

Louise Alder soprano


2.30pm, Winton House, Pencaitland
Louise Alder soprano

Sam Hutchings piano

Emily Hoile harp


8.00pm, St Mary’s Parish Church, Haddington
The Dunedin Consort

Prices vary per concert: £20, £15, £12, £10
Special offer: Buy all 3 Navarra Quartet (24 Sept) for £30
Concessions for under 18s or students in full-time education
Concession prices vary per concert: £15 (all three Navarra Quartet concerts); £8 & £6


Visit  or call 0131 473 2000
In person The Hub, Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NE
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For additional press information please contact:

Vicky Pitchers 07973 304 286

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Contact: Vicky Pitchers
Phone: 07973 304 286