Theatre (new writing, music)

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  • Assembly Checkpoint - Assembly Checkpoint
  • 14:45
  • Aug 26
  • 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Suitability: 12+ (Guideline)
  • Country: United Kingdom - Scotland
  • Group: David Colvin
  • Warnings and additional info: Age Category: 12 and above (12+)(Audience Participation, Strong Language/Swearing)
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 18 months


Written and performed by David Colvin. The tragic and comic tale of the greatest bagpiper who ever lived. Fresh from sell-out previews at Celtic Connections and Piping Live!, a one-man emotional rollercoaster exploring how the traditions of bagpipe music were rocked by Perthshire bin man Gordon Duncan, and how he changed the life of one young piper from Fife forever. Includes swearing and a four-piece rock band. Take whatever romantic notions you have of bagpipes and leave them at the door. 'Had no idea what to expect from Thunderstruck... but it was immense' (Gary West, BBC).

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General venue access

  • Accessible entry: Large flight of stone steps up to the performance venue, which is on the first floor.
  • Wheelchair access type: Not fully wheelchair accessible

  • Stairs: 20+
    Number of stairs is provided as guidance and is not in addition to any wheelchair access type (lift/ramp etc) stated above.

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Lynn Burnett 82 days ago

Absolutely brilliant performance and show written by David. Having been Lochgelly High School pupils just made it all the more emotional. A must see show. Lynn and Paula Burnett

Mark Wilson 84 days ago

Wonderful theatre -- not just storytelling -- worth the price of entry. Then amazing piping included too!
A great show for everyone, not just piping enthusiasts!

Heather Wheatley 87 days ago

Turning the idea of the traditional bagpiper on its head. Very funny, inciteful and then after more than an hour long monologue , was blown away by David Colvins mastery of the pipes. A wonderful show.

NL 90 days ago

Great story and great delivery. Well worth going along to.

susan H 90 days ago

Outstanding show! This man has amazing talent and is utterly engaging.
I've been attending the fringe for decades and have a tendancy to gravitate toward the comedy section and stay away from most plays, as I like to leave a performance feeling lighter. David Colvins show has everything, comedy, music and a hearfelt story, exited the show smiling and swelling with Scottish pride. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

ross mccolm 90 days ago

Absolutely superb. Honest, funny, emotional piece delivered with such skill. A personal piece that managed to stay well clear of being self indulgent and literally gave me goosebumps the more engrossed in david's story i became. The music was an added bonus. Go see this. A very talented man who we will hopefully see much more of in the future.

Donna McGlynn 99 days ago

This show gave me goosebumps and made me cry (several times). It had comedy and an enormous amount of pathos (a sure-fire winner for me in any play) and I *will* be going to see it again before the end of the festival. You don't need to be a fan of the bagpipes to enjoy the show, in fact you could positively hate the bagpipes and still love the show. I see one reviewer complained about the use of swearing in the show, but this is theatre based on real life and real life language, which sometimes isn't pretty! Besides, the swearing was mostly in the first few opening lines, so if a bit of language does have you clutching your pearls, don't worry about it because it's not prolonged. The finale will have you bursting with emotion. Go and see it.

Anne 101 days ago

This has to be considered, in my opinion, one of the hottest fringe tickets to be had!!
I knew nothing going into it but it was such a powerful piece of theatre. I laughed, I cried and my heart soared at the sound of the pipes. The finale is stunning and worth the price of the ticket alone!
A beautiful piece of theatre, performed brilliantly by all involved and completely blew me away. You’d be mad to miss it!!
Already have it pencilled in on my next trip and can’t recommend this highly enough! ☺️

Helen MacKinnon 101 days ago

If you see just one thing at this year's Fringe, see Thunderstruck. It's clever, funny, powerful, fast-paced and brilliantly written and performed. Music and storytelling interweave in a raw and emotional tale that touches the soul. This will be the EdFringe show that I'll still be thinking about in a year's time.

Steve Dron 101 days ago

An excellent production. Down to earth, gritty and true to life. It's about heroes, villains, the bagpipes and music. A journey from Fife to the World Championship within the shadow of an almost mythical Piper who can make the pipes produce notes beyond its capabilities, something no-one else can surely do...can they? My father played the pipes for the Black Watch and won a piping medal for the Regiment after WW2, the first such triumph for over 100 years. He played pibroch, so was a traditionalist but I'm sure he would have appreciated this for its sheer musicality and truth.

Tracey MENZIES 101 days ago

This was The Fringe at its absolute best - one guy, a brilliant emotional yet laugh out loud funny script, some talented support musicians all packaged up into an hour of pure joy. I wanted to love this show and I absolutely did. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Greig Duncan 101 days ago

Get yourself to Thunderstruck - absolutely fitting and emotional tribute to arguably Scotland's greatest ever bagpiper.

Do it - nae excuses - don't pay the buskers... invest in this show

Graeme Shield 101 days ago


Not knowing what to expect - other than the story of the world's greatest bagpiper - what we were treated to was a brief introduction to Fife vernacular followed by an engaging, self-deprecating and beautiful, brutally honest account of growing up a musical genius in Scotland. Skilfully presented by all involved, the script sang with humour & pathos in abundance. I laughed, I shed a tear and - like the best theatre - it left me thinking and talking about it.

Thoroughly, thoroughly recommended. Deserves to represent Scotland on the worldwide stage.

Kathleen Noonan 105 days ago

I picked this show because my father was a piper and suspect most of the audience had a similar reason for being there. My hope was to spend time remembering him while getting a better understanding about his love for, and skill of, playing the pipes.
I was disappointed.
Although David’s story was delivered with passion most of the amusement seemed to be expected to come from the extreme use of bad language.
I am not amiss to swearing myself but would not have chosen to use it so extensively when speaking to anyone who was sitting around me in the audience.


Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

The Scotsman (4/5 stars) 84 days ago

There is a line in David Colvin’s solo monologue (with band) about bagpiping which makes a joking aside towards “bad buskers”; which draws a line in the earth between the kind of tourist attractors who congregate on Edinburgh’s streets and the playing of the pipes as a true art, a...

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Musical Theatre Review (4/5 stars) 92 days ago

I was delighted to witness the magnificent powerhouse energy of David Colvin offering us his story from a small boy in Fife to musical mastery, by witnessing the magical music making of Gordon Duncan – one of the world’s greatest pipers.

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All Edinburgh Theatre (3/5 stars) 92 days ago

Thunderstruck by David Colvin at Assembly Checkpoint is a deeply felt and human tale, whose relationship with its source and inspiration nevertheless makes for some uncertain moments. Much of the show’s publicity – and the title – makes mention of its evocation of modern piping innovator Gordon Duncan. Duncan can...

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Scottish Field (5/5 stars) 97 days ago

If you think this is a play for the bagpipe playing community you would be wrong. David provides a history of bagpipe playing in a concise and amusing way so the audience is left in no doubt as to the genius of Gordon Duncan.

Thunderstruck is a story of humanity full of pathos and the personal effect one man had on another.

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Ed Fringe Review (4/5 stars) 98 days ago

Thunderstruck is everything a one-man Fringe show should be...

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Ed Fringe Review (3/5 stars) 98 days ago

"This is a show that probably won’t be on your radar but should be"...

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The Wee Review (4/5 stars) 102 days ago

Gordon Duncan was a renegade. A trailblazer in his field, he created a new sound with the most traditional of instruments: the bagpipes. At a special concert held at the National Piping Centre in Glasgow Duncan, created quite a stir when he played his own brand of bagpipe tunes, notably...

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.