On the one hand, Kidnapped's 18th-century orphan Davie Balfour's on-the-run rites of passage over land and sea en route to reclaiming his stolen birthright is a heroic yarn of discovery and derring-do. On the other, it's a state-of-the-nation dot-to-dot through history that throws Davie together with real-life figures in the ferment of some of the most crucial moments that followed the Jacobite Rising.
Cumbernauld Theatre's Ed Robson takes advantage of this in his pocket-sized three-person touring production which utilises live and recorded back-projections, puppets and story-telling techniques in a quick-fire romp through the landscape.
If the TV news report is an idea pioneered in Peter Watkins's seminal film Culloden, the projections of puppet gladiators on the battlefield looks straight off YouTube. Meanwhile, some of the more scenic projections that accompany Scott Hoatson's Davie galloping through the glens with Peter Callaghan's Alan Breck Stewart to Bal Cooke's rollicking score look like airbrushed offcuts from a Visit Scotland ad. At times it resembles something akin to the sort of TV drama that marks a political epoch with a telly blaring out real-life news footage at the edge of the centre-stage human narrative.
Beyond all this, and with Alan Steele doubling up as assorted wicked uncles, sea captains and redcoats, Cumbernauld's Kidnapped cuts to the heart of what matters to both accidental wanderers in very different ways. While Davie is learning to be a man, like his comrade and adversary Alan, exile has taught him to believe in something beyond home.