Mama Said is near Old Playhouse Close, named after Edinburgh’s first permanent public theatre which opened there in 1747.

Protestant Edinburgh had long been railing against the devilry of the Playhouse but things were heightened when John Home’s play Douglas opened in 1756.

It was written by a Church of Scotland Minister and rallied the enthusiastic crowd to start yelling “Whaur’s yer Wullie Shakespeare noo?”



Whaur’s yer Wullie Shakespeare noo?

– Cries of appreciation from a 1756 theatre audience



Edinburgh’s passion for new and exciting performance has echoed down the ages, since the days of Home’s rabble-rousing.

He is now commemorated on the Scott Monument on Princes Street, along with 15 other Scottish writers including Robert Burns and Tobias Smollett.