If you haven’t booked your seat for this year’s Hawick Amateur Operatic Society’s “Summer Holiday”, then rush out and book now.
What a fantastic evening from start to finish – everyone was foot tapping, clapping to the music or remembering, with a smile on their faces, those popular songs from the Cliff Richard era.
The show opens in a dingy London café, where three mechanics, Edwin (Stuart Mitchell), Cyril (Billy Rooney) and Steve (Richard Millan) are dreaming of their forthcoming holidays, when another lad, Don (Merijn Schepens) arrives to tell then that he has found a red London bus that they can convert and use to drive to the South of France.
If they are successful in getting there, the company will fund them to use the bus and start a holiday touring business. On the way they meet three girls, Angie (Natalie Paterson, Mimsie (Amanda Blacklock) and Alma (Ashley Wolf). The girls are singers making their way to Athens to appear in a gig, but their car has broken down and they are stranded. The boys kindly change their plans and decide to take the girls to Athens.
Meanwhile, Barbara (Rachel Inglis), a young American singer is rehearsing in Paris, but her domineering mother Stella (Janie Mallin) interferes with her performance, they argue, resulting in Barbara leaving and managing to stow away on the bus disguised as a boy.
She is discovered by the gang on their return from a Paris nightclub. Having heard they are travelling to Athens, she tells them that she is looking for her family there and they agree to help her and she joins them on the bus. The gang discover Barbara’s disguise as it slips during a hectic musical number.
Stella hears Barbara is travelling on the London bus and plots with her agent, Jerry (Steve Law) how to get her back. There follows various attempts by Stella to stop the bus to get her daughter back, but the gang manage to thwart her each time, using their talents to entertain and persuade various officials on the borders of Switzerland and Italy to allow them to continue their journey. It all ends in Athens, but you have to come along yourself to discover the outcome!
The four boys and girls are all brilliant in their individual roles and in the musical numbers together – they have all blended together as a wonderful team of young hopefuls for the company in the future.
Janie Mallin and Steve Law give wonderful comedy performances that steal the show on many an occasion. All the other minor parts combine to make Summer Holiday a totally upbeat show for all to enjoy. Each scene and adventure includes nostalgic songs from the 60s along with lively, energetic and colourful dance routines, not a step out of place and wonderfully choreographed by Anne Anderson.
The musical numbers by the excellent band of talented capable musicians with obviously high standards, are all executed with excitement and the energy of the era. And musical director Derek C alder ha s his principals and chorus in full brilliant voice in all the memorable songs.
Producer Brian McGlasson and his company are to be congratulated on their inspired castings. The whole hard-working cast, production team, backstage teams, sound and lighting and all who have contributed to the production, have a show they should be rightly proud of and their hard work and dedication clearly showed.
The warm applause at the end of the show confirmed that the quality of this performance and choice of musical was not lost on the audience.
It is so nice to have a musical that the audience, or most of them, can relate to.
After a long damp winter, this production brought a smile to everyone’s face, just what was needed to lift anyone’s spirit and think of sunshine and holidays to come.