Shows find the fundraising must go on…

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THE president of a local amateur operatic society has stressed the importance of patrons and fundraising events as his company faces up to a £17,000 bill for staging its annual production.

Alastair Pattullo of Selkirk Opera, which will present Carousel in the Victoria Halls from February 28 until March 3, raising the curtain on the spring show season in our region, told us: “Like so many other companies in the Borders, Selkirk is struggling with the expense of putting on a spectacular musical show each year.

“With costs running at about £17,000 per show, it has been necessary in recent years to dip into company funds, but obviously there’s a limit to how often this can be done and Selkirk is reaching the stage – no pun intended – where this will no longer be feasible.

“Ticket sales and advertising account for a considerable part of our income, but it’s just not enough to pay for a show.

“With this in mind we’ve had a successful big push this year to recruit more patrons who are a great asset to the company.”

Patrons will receive a voucher for free drinks on show nights, and got their first chance to buy tickets at a coffee morning on Saturday.

Another fundraiser for the society – a Grease sing-along night in the County Hotel – will take place on Saturday, February 4.

The doors open at 7pm and the cult film, starring John Travolta as Danny Zuko and Oliva Newtown John as Sandy Olsen, will be shown – on a 12ft by 10ft screen courtesy of Selkirk Film Club – at 8pm.

There will be a special American diner-style menu in the bar and prizes for the best Grease costume.

Tickets (£6, £5 concs) are on sale at the County Hotel (01750 21233) and further information about all aspects of Selkirk Opera’s big push towards showtime is available from Alistair on 21697.

Meanwhile, Alistair reported that rehearsals are going well for Carousel: the classic Rogers and Hammerstein musical which includes hit numbers You’ll Never Walk Alone and When The Children Are Asleep.

He told us: “The cast and first-time director Karen McKenna have been working tirelessly during the past few months to prepare for the opening night and she is delighted with the progress made so far.

“Musical director Nancy Muir has once again been putting the singers through their paces and Michelle Douglas from Kelso is choreographing. This is Michelle’s first time with Selkirk Opera and her routines have chimed perfectly with the dancers in the society.”

Spring productions

Selkirk Amateur Operatic SocietyCarousel, Victoria Halls, February 28-March 3, 7.30pm (Saturday matinee 2pm), 01750 21719, www.selkirkopera.com

Galashiels Amateur Operatic SocietySeven Brides for Seven Brothers, Volunteer Hall, March 5-10, 7.30pm, 07754 588 688, www.galaopera.co.uk

Hawick Amateur Operatic Society42nd Street, Town Hall, March 12-17, 7.30pm (Saturday matinee 2.15pm), 01450 377031/377905, www.hawickaos.co.uk

Kelso Amateur Operatic SocietyFiddler on the Roof, Tait Hall, March 20-24, 7.30pm (Saturday matinee 2.30pm), email: kelso.opera@hotmail.co.uk, www.kelsoopera.org

Innerleithen and District Amateur Operatic SocietyThe Sound of Music, Memorial Hall, March 26-31, 7.30pm (Saturday matinee 2.30pm), 0845 224 1908, www.idaos.org.uk

Melrose Amateur Operatic SocietyHMS Pinafore, Corn Exchange, March 26-31, 7.30pm, 01835 822425, www.melroseopera.com