Borders alive with the sound of music

They have been entertaining the Borders public for more than 100 years, but 2011 promises to be a year to remember for Borders Amateur Operatic Societies (AOS).

Over six weeks, eight full scale musical productions will grace the stages of town halls and community venues across the region.

The action kicks off this week as Selkirk’s Victoria Hall resounds to the Cockney fun of Me and My Girl, successfully revived in 1989 by Gary Wilmot, which includes the show stopper, “The Lambeth Walk” (Victoria Hall, until March 5).

Next Galashiels AOS is the first Borders Society to present Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar. The opera includes many memorable musical numbers. (Volunteer Hall, March 7-12).

Eyemouth Variety Group will be performing their version of Me and My Girl. This show was revised in the 1980s by Stephen Fry. (Old High School, March 10-12).

Hawick AOS will present Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, March 15-19 in the Town Hall. One of Disney’s most magical creations, this “tale as old as time” has recently been released for amateurs for a limited period.

Kelso AOS will pay a visit to Damon Runyon’s New York when it stages Guys and Dolls in the Tait Hall, March 15-19. It includes Broadway hits such as Luck Be a Lady and Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat.

Innerleithen and District AOS has its turn next, staging My Fair Lady (Memorial Hall, Mrch 28-April 2). This story of the flower girl turned society debutante features many memorable tunes.

In Melrose, the local group is putting on Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Sorcerer (Corn Exchange, 28 March-2 April). Their third collaboration, this is classic G&S presented by the Borders’ experts in the field.

Closing the Border-opera-go-round is Duns and District AOS with American musical, Sweet Charity. (Berwickshire High School, April 6-9l). This is the tale of Charity Hope Valentine a dancer-for-hire in Times Square and features the show stopper, Big Spender, made famous in the 1969 film.