Cumnock Tryst 2019 Artist Q & A - Martin Docherty

The Cumnock Tryst is just 2 weeks away! As the excitement builds, we speak to Scottish actor Martin Docherty about his career and his involvement in the Flow Gently? project at this year’s festival.


Hi Martin, we’re so excited to have you involved in this year’s Cumnock Tryst. Could you tell us about your role at the festival?

At the festival I will be playing the part of Robert Burns, our greatest poet. As you well know he is Ayrshire's most famous man. Martin Travers is writing the script so you can be sure of some very funny and very poignant moments. It will be great playing the Bard in his own back yard.


Can you tell us a little bit about your career in acting? How did you get started and what have been some highlights?

I first started acting at the age of 10 in an amateur production of 'Oliver' in which I played ' The Artful Dodger', which was a sign of things to come and kind of fell in love with acting. I graduated from  the RSAMD in 1997 with the Silver medal. I then lived in London for six years before coming home in 2003. My experience is mostly in Theatre though over the last ten years been a lot more film and TV. I have in fact played every genre, feature film, short film, theatre, panto, radio, music video, green screen and even Opera! Last year Martin Travers and I wrote a one man show called 'Mcluckies Line' which toured round Scotland, in which I played 32 characters! There are two things that stand out which are related. Firstly, I played Tom Hanks’ Irish brother in a film called ' Cloud Atlas', a £72 million film also starring Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant and Hugo Weaving, directed by the Wachowski siblings (The Matrix) and Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run). It was an incredible experience working with tremendous people. Secondly my friends came up with idea of making a documentary raising money for me to go to the premier of Cloud Atlas in LA. We raised five thousand pounds, went to LA and the documentary subsequently won a new talent bafta in 2015 - something I'm very proud of.


Why do you think the work of Robert Burns continues to resonate? Do you have a favourite work of his?

I think the work of Robert Burns still resonates today because Burns understood people, how they lived and worked etc. He was incredibly intelligent and perceptive, and in his writing people could see the world through his eyes. It wasn’t just people, as one of his most famous poems is 'To A Mouse'. He seemed to be in touch with nature and women were often his inspiration for some beautiful and romantic works. I also think he was ahead of his time – a great example of that is 'A Man's A Man', an extraordinary poem which I think is his masterpiece and my personal favourite.