Friday, July 30, 2010

And Here's Claire!

Or rather, Sue Robertson [g], who sings the role of Claire (and _very_ beautifully, too; she's got a lovely warm, cut-crystal voice).

Sue Robertson (Claire)

Sue started on stage at the grand old age of 16 with Dundee Operatic Society (DOS) with whom she has played many principal roles over the years such as Nancy in ‘Oliver’, Minnie-Fay in ‘Show Boat’, Adelaide. in ‘Guys & Dolls’ and Millie in ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’. Sue has also had the privilege of working alongside playwright Mike Gibb playing the part of Grace on four occasions during 2005 - 2007 in theatres across Scotland in his musical play ‘Five Pound & Twa Bairns’ and Barbara in ‘Sunday Morning on Dundee Law’ which Kevin Walsh wrote the music for. She has also been in the ‘The Steamie’ playing Doreen in 2002 and again in 2004. Sue has recently enjoyed playing the ‘mad’ role of Helen for the second time, working with the cast of ‘The Berries – Twa an’ a Half Pence a Pund’, written by her husband Dundee author, poet and playwright Gary Robertson.


  1. ahhh...nice to put a face to the voice!
    She's doing a braw job as Claire....her voice is verra lovely! :0)

  2. OK...there's no dispute that you know how to bring your characters to life...on the written page, that is. But how on earth did you conjure these two? They sure as heck look like Jamie & Claire, in the flesh, to me! I'd always thought you wrote fiction, but maybe you really do have a magical ring of standing stones somewhere? (-;

  3. Dear adventures--

    Er...curly brown hair? Maybe not quite so much. [g]

    But I had nothing to do with the casting here; Mike and Kevin chose the singers (with great skill, I might add!).

  4. Well, she obviously visited a salon upon arrival in 2010 and straightened it!

  5. Diana,
    I know this question is from left field but I was wondering last night since you are both Jaime and Black Jack do you love the smell of Lavender or hate it? Just curious.

  6. Her voice is certainly lovely. I am getting used to Allan's voice but I still think "Jamie" should have been deeper. (Lord knows I have streamed the songs enough times now to have gotten used to it lol) Having said that, I do think that Allan's voice is amazing as well.

  7. I listened to the sample tracks. Claire is speaking with a lovely Scots lilt in her accent. Whoops.

    I love the idea of an Outlander musical, and just am so disappointed with the end product. Oh, well. The books are awesome. That's what matters.

  8. Hmmm...I wouldn't say that it's a glaringly obvious Scottish accent that's coming across...not to me anyway...a wee Scottish lassie myself :0)
    I wouldn't say either that this cd IS the end product. As far as I MAY eventually be a musical but is for now a collection of songs.
    I think it should be enjoyed for what it is in's not supposed to be the entire book set to music. It's a musical reminder of the highs and lows, thoughts and feelings of the characters. I think that some folks are making too literal a comparison to the book. That's just my opinion :0)

  9. as with any story cycle we as the reader all have our own vision of what the characters look and sound like. I'm sure my vision of Jamie (who looks amazingly like a 6'4" red-headed viking I dated for a short time, to our mutual .. um.. satisfaction?) is very different from anyone elses. That being said, I hesitate to see ANY "live-action" version of books I love, or plays I've read or performed in, because I always walk away feeling slightly deflated and bewildered. I can't seem to help saying to myself "Well, I certainly wouldn't have done such and such or cast so and so." and honestly, some adaptations are just tragic. (Alexandra Ripley's "Scarlett"? **shudder**)

  10. As a side note, I've listen to the tracks as well. they're ok. but fall flat for me. The vocalists and the musicians seem uninvolved, as if they're singing/playing music they have little or no emotional investment in. Was this project rushed through too quickly? Did they take the time to study the characters or just play off easy stereotypes? Brave hero, damsel-in-distress, dark villain? Have they read the books? Did they like them? hate them? Have they spoken with Diana? I don't know, I was dissappointed. I'll be interested to see how it develops, but at this point, I wouldn't go see it.

  11. Its hard to think of Jamie and Claire as these two people, I dont think I need to say more.

  12. F that, she so does not look like Claire

  13. *rolls eyes* Does she have to look like Claire? As I said's not a literal interpretation of the book. We're supposed to be LISTENING to them....not looking AT them. It's about the songs and music...not about hair/eye colour, height or anything else. Can't please everyone when there are so many folks who have their own ideas as to what they're supposed to look like.

    *Lisa*...I think it's already been ascertained that the books have been read, liked, loved etc and that Diana has spoken with the writers...or I dare say we wouldn't be reading about it all on Diana's Blog. Also as I said before....go to see what exactly?? There is no yet.

  14. I love the books, but do not like the idea of a musical. Jamie's voice is way too high, and she doesn't look like Claire. Personally, I don't like it.....

  15. I'm just back from the live performance in Aberdeen and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Sue and Allan looked great in costume and the vocal and music was of a verra high standard indeed :0)
    Upset with myself that I left my camera sitting on my dining table as I rushed out the door today, so no pics :0(
    I am however, the proud owner of the new CD!

  16. Well, you know...there are people who don't like the _books_, either. [g] There is not one piece of art--of any kind--that will appeal to everyone in the world. Not one. Nohow, noway.

    (And I will note parenthetically that by and large, the art that turns out to be most important and enduring over time is also the art that caused the greatest controversy and dislike when it was first introduced. Not putting any of my work, or any projects related to it, in that class, necessarily [g]--just a fwiw.]

    OK. Look, guys. I know I've said this before, but do please look at what this _is_. It's a collection of songs. Period. It's not a movie. What the people look like is Not Relevant to what they sound like--it's just _nice_ that Allan's physically in the Jamie league. Beyond that, I showed you Sue's picture because she's a wonderful singer, and I thought y'all might be interested to see her and know a bit about her--not that I think you should be visualizing her as Claire. (On the other hand, I can't tell you how many Odd People are convinced that Claire looks like _me_--which she doesn't, At All--just because my picture is on the back of the book and they feel that they must latch onto any visual image available. People are so strange....[g].)

    Anyway. It's perfectly OK for you not to like Jamie's voice or Claire's face, or the whole idea. It might grow on you, when you have a chance to hear more or discuss it with other folk who have--you might hate it forever. Totally fine. (And if you think _this_ discussion displays a certain amount of negativity, all I can say is--Just Wait until a movie/mini-series or whatever comes out! Blood in the streets, I tell you....)

    But I _will_ tell you that I've been in close communication with the people who did this project for some time. I told you, Mike came to me in the first place because he fell in love with OUTLANDER, just like many of you did. Do some of you feel impelled to create things because of your love of the books, the story, the characters? Yeah, you do. Many of you send me or show me fabulous things that you've made due to that inspiration. I think this is wonderful.

    So I'd just like to assure you that this music was conceived, composed, and executed with great love and respect by all concerned--and received by me with, I hope, something equal to the joy with which it was made.

    On a side note--

    I do _not_ Twitter (had we but world, and time...). [g] But I did pick up a tweet from Allan in Aberdeen this morning:

    "First performance a bit ropey (due to lack of rehearsal time) but 2nd had em weeping in the aisles!! One more to go...! #outlanderthemusical"

  17. Dear Cairine--

    Wonderful! I'm deeply envious. [g] Do tell us/me how you like the CD, once you've had a chance to listen to the whole thing.


  18. The Outlander cd is excellent :0)
    "Say The Words" O.M.G!!
    I'd have said the bloody words LOL!
    I really enjoyed all the songs...the music and vocal invoked wonderful memories of the highs and lows that Jamie and Claire weathered in the book. Thumbs up here!

  19. Saw the showcase in Aberdeen and Clair HAD curly hair!!!!!!!.... I thought it was brilliant CD is amazing. Want more!!

  20. See, toldya that was Claire!

    (JUST KIDDING, JUST HAVING FUN for the more, ahem, serious commenters here!!!)

  21. cairine,
    I don't think condecension is called for. I simply offered my opinion, as did you.

  22. *Lisa*
    You misunderstand me if you feel that I was being condescending. It is not always easy to put across your tone in the written word as it is in face to face conversation. If you were offended by anything i've said to you...then I apologise.
    It had been mentioned in previous blog entries that there was open communication between the writers and Diana and that they were indeed fans of the book.
    It just appears (to me anyway) that the project is not being understood for what it is in itself and that it's being "compared" too literally to the written word. We're all here, enjoying these blogs because we are fans of the book series. The very nature of the story has us all painting very different pictures in our heads about what these characters should/would/could be like in reality. These are all personal thoughts/preferences that will never be universally agreed on. That's why getting bogged down in the "detail" is really not terribly relevant with regard to listening to music and song. I am enjoying the music for music's sake...not because of the singers physical characteristics. Again...I apologise...but stand by what I say.

  23. I had the pleasure & privilege to be in the audience for the 3rd Outlander performance on Saturday. Both Jamie & Claire were engaging, & communicated their roles with feeling, passion & emotion. So what if the looks are not exactly 100% as described in the books. Ever heard of curling tongs & hair dye? Or poetic licence? Looks can be altered, but the visual impact & vocal purity of these talented performers carried the story to all present. As a seasoned performer myself, I would challenge anyone who criticises to put their money where their mouth is – try to better it. If you can’t, then there is only one alternative – to remain quiet, sit back, and enjoy the music and the performers with undiluted respect. They were chosen for a reason – above many others. And for that we should all feel lucky they were the two. I can't wait to see where this goes!

  24. I was in to see the performance too i thought it was no more than bloody brilliant!!! It had everything there. I had a tear in my eye. Now having heard the CD in full I can only say WOW!! Well done to all!! and can I just ask...What does Claire look like????? I think Sue is stunning and she can be what you want her to be.... she is an actress/singer after all, will play many different parts and who will adapt to what is expected of her. Hair dye is only if its needed I love her hair as it is. She is a claire for me!!

  25. I'm really thrilled to hear that those of you lucky enough to see the performances enjoyed them! Ditto, the CD. [g] _That_ one, I've heard, and I think it's terrific. (With you on the Words, Cairine!)

    What does Claire look like? She looks just like I said she did in the book. [g] Though as noted, this is not any kind of literal translation of character from page to stage here--it's a musical evocation of the story.

    (Fwiw, the graphic novel--THE EXILE, it's called--will be out Sept. 21, with all _kinds_ of images of Jamie and Claire. And if you think the pictures of Allan and Sue caused controversy....just wait, that's all I can say. [g])

  26. I wish I could see the performances! starts back up soon and that means uninterrupted listening to the Outlander audiobooks! It's the only good thing about an hour long drive!

  27. Lovely voice but...WHY IS CLAIRE BLONDE!?!?

  28. Dear Scarlett--

    I imagine Ms. Roberts likes being blonde [g], and probably didn't think it worthwhile dyeing her hair brown for a one-day showcase. In terms of the CD, the color of her hair certainly wouldn't affect her voice, I don't think. [g]

  29. Perhaps Claire really should have worn her kertch that day, as I'm sure Mrs. Fitz would have thought proper, then the controversy would have been dampened.
    When you look at any stage production, from plays to book adaptations, actors must portray to the best of their abilities. The director chooses the best actor and the audience perceives using their imagination. All this, I'm sure, deviates somewhat from what the author originally intended.
    Diana created characters beyond our imaginations. So lifelike and rounded. Of course anything else would pale in comparison.
    We must accept this amazing story in altered form, and enjoy it for what it is: an interpretation.