Bromance isn’t dead in this glorious reinvention of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic historical romp, brought to life by the creative team behind the similarly audacious take on Jane Austen in the award winning Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of).

Director Isobel McArthur and composer Michael John McCarthy’s new creation is subtitled A Swashbuckling Rom-Com Adventure.

This is a considerably more concise pointer of things to come than Stevenson’s own sixty-nine word spoiler that accompanied his nineteenth century rites of passage saga concerning young Davie Balfour as he goes on the run with Jacobite rebel Alan Breck Stewart.

Given ambitious main stage legs in this National Theatre of Scotland production, it stays true to Stevenson’s original, even as it moves way beyond the story’s Boys’ Own style adventure to make something much more of the moment.

For starters, the show is introduced by Frances, a tough talking Country singer who also happens to be Stevenson’s wife.

With Frances only too willing to give the great man a kick up the bahookie when sickly, slacking or both, without her, it seems, Stevenson simply wouldn’t have got those pesky books written at all.

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Kim Ismay plays Frances with spurs of steel, driving the action with Grand Ole Opry style renditions of 1980s pop classics, accompanied on Anna Orton’s multi-layered set by the rest of the show’s playful ten-strong ensemble.

If the shape-throwing pirates in the wilfully silly first half at times recall Horrible Histories by way of Crackerjack, the story’s political background gives things a depth that has us rooting for Davie and Alan.

Played respectively by Ryan J MacKay and Malcolm Cumming, the duo’s mix of gallusness and emotional honesty en route to enlightenment sees them become a kind of Caledonian Butch and Sundance.

The result in McArthur’s production, co directed with Gareth Nicholls, is part history lesson, part ripping yarn and part rom-com.

Frances’ presence suggests that behind every old school literary himbo is a rootin’ tootin’ chantoosie, and yeehaw to that.

It is Davie’s getting of wisdom, however, that suggests Scotland is a bigger country than you think.

Kidnapped, Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Four stars ****