Shang A Lang rolls into Glenrothes

Shang A Lang comes to Rothes Halls, Glenrothes
Shang A Lang comes to Rothes Halls, Glenrothes

Fresh from its sell-out 2013 tour, Shang A Lang returns to venues across Scotland and it comes to the Kingdom this weekend.

Brought to the stage by Rapture Theatre, in association with Paisley Town Hall, Shang A Lang is a feel good show that takes audiences back in time to the days of the Bay City Rollers.

Loud fashions and laugh-out-loud adult humour are abound in this production.

Stewart Porter takes on the role of Vince in the production and he is looking forward to coming back to Fife.

He said: “We were in Kirkcaldy last time.

“It was great, really good reception and it was because of receptions like that we decided to take it on the road again.

“Sometimes it can be a bit of an anti-climax when you revisit a production, but that’s not the case with this one.”

Shang A Lang comes to Rothes Halls in Glenrothes on Saturday night, and returning to Fife for Stewart is in a way returning home.

He told The Press: “I’m from Fife. I was born and brought up in Newport on Tay and I went to school in St Andrews.

“We had family, my uncle and his family moved to Glenrothes in the 60s.

“We used to go down quite a lot to visit.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been there.”

Set in 1990s Scotland, Shang A Lang follows three flighty, 40-something Scottish women on their way to a 70s revival weekend at Butlins, where they eagerly await to see their heroes, the Rollers, perform once again.

They were all Rollerettes back in the day and decide it is time to recapture their youth, chase their unfulfilled dreams and have a ball while they do it.

The three heroines are sex mad and gallus Lauren (played by River City star Julie Duncanson), dissatisfied and scunnered Jackie (played by TV and film actress Val Gogan (Hamish MacBeth)) and sad-sack and slightly desperate Pauline (played by Rapture’s own Lyn McAndrew).

Vince and Carl, the two ‘rockers’ the heroines encounter on their journey, are played by the star of new series Shetland and Rapture’s acclaimed production of The Sash, Stewart Porter who appears alongside BAFTA winning actor and star of Sea of Souls and Rab C Nesbitt Iain Robertson.

Lauren tries to stay sober, Jackie tries to stay married and Pauline continues to search for her Woody.

“It’s more like a rock and roll gig than a play, the audience get so caught up in the music,” explains Stewart.

“It’s a play with incidental music in it, it’s not a jukebox musical of Bay City Rollers tracks.

“The music of different bands from that era is included.

“The audiences have been going absolutely wild.

“The feedback when I bump into folk after the show is that they have had such a good time.”

Written by Catherine Johnson (writer of the smash hit Mamma Mia) and directed by Rapture’s artistic director Michael Emans, this production is an all-round great night out experience.

As part of the production’s comedic style, the show contains very strong language, scenes of a sexual nature and nudity and is strictly for those aged 18 and over.

He continued: “It’s quite adult in many of the issues that it deals with.

“It’s not for a young audience or the faint hearted or the easily offended.

“It’s certainly not a sister of Mamma Mia despite the fact that Catherine Johnson wrote them both.

“Catherine had been writing both of them at the same time and she’s said that it was quite a relief for her to live through the characters in Mamma Mia and then to switch and live through the characters in Shang A Lang.”

This is not Stewart’s first performance with Rapture Theatre, having previously appeared in their productions of ‘The Collection’, ‘Broken Glass’ and ‘The Sash’, which ran at the Adam Smith Theatre in Kirkcaldy last year.

So what’s Vince like as a character to play?

“Really interesting actually,” he said, “because he’s a tired old rocker who has been round the circuit lots of times and seen it all.

“He’s split up from his wife and he’s going no where in a dead end job he’s been doing for years and years.

“This is for him, his one last chance.

“He’s a very human character, one that many people can relate to.

“People know the character, or see a part of him in themselves or someone they know.

“He’s been tweaked so he’s slightly larger than life.

“He’s great to play.

“For all the characters this is about reaching a point and things changing for them.

“It’s a smashing story and great fun.

“The costumes and the set - it’s colourful and full of life.”

Stewart added: “A lot of jobs on the road can become a bit of a drudge, although you always go out and do your best,but with this you look forward to going out every night and the great responses that we’ve been getting from the audiences.”

Shang A Lang comes to Rothes Halls in Glenrothes on Saturday.