Back stage at Adam Smith Theatre re-opening sparks many memories – : John Murray
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Some 65 years after I took the stage at the ‘halls’ with my co-star Judith Murray, and after several years of promoting concerts, interviewing stars and hosting wedding fayres, I was back on stage with the full ensemble to close the Lights On opening gala performance with the most appropriate song possible from Annie Get Your Gun.
It was good to catch up with host Grant Stott in dressing room one where, on years gone by, I met everyone from Cilla Black to Rick Wakeman. Our theatre group was next door, and our young cast, aged 12-13, was thrilled to hear showbiz stories from Grant with his days on Radio Forth, acclaimed pantomimes for Capital Theatres and his new contract for River City.
He knew our local theatre well too though having hosted Raith Rovers Hall Of Fame in 2018 and taking his own solo show Tales From Behind The Mic here as well as his touring show Canned Laughter with Allan Stewart and the late Andy Gray. His experience helped make both shows go very smoothly with his wit and ad libs as the artistes assembled on stage and this in front of two fully sold-out shows.
The level of artistry was superb throughout and fully appreciated by the assembled audiences and the triumph of achievement was evident at the end of a long but productive day. Our own musical theatre show called Queen Of The New Year (as Kingdom Theatre Company) was several years in the making and concerned getting permission to perform the copyrighted songs which alternated with our original songs in a 50-minute production which premiered at Edinburgh Fringe in August.
For the Adam Smith show we had to condense drama and music to ten minutes while still trying to preserve the context and continuity of the original production. My role was ensuring logistics went to plan along with getting costumes and props to the right place. In our slot we had three costume changes and a table, hat stand and sofa to shift plus several sound cues and three songs. As I now look to our next production our youngsters are already rehearsing for further shows in Fife including Les Misérables for Limelight Carnegie Youth and Oliver for Why Not? Musical Theatre Company.