Ambitious challenge for Kirkcaldy Amateur Operatic Society

Clark Graham learns to walk on stilts for his part as the Giant in KAOS's production of Big Fish.
Clark Graham learns to walk on stilts for his part as the Giant in KAOS's production of Big Fish.

Kirkcaldy Amateur Operatic Society is taking on one of its most ambitious productions yet – a musical adaptation of the book and film Big Fish.

Former travelling salesman Edward Bloom looks back over his life via a series of fantastical tales accompanied by a new musical score.

Believed to be the first showing of the musical anywhere in Scotland the rehearsals threw up a unique challenge for one of the cast members – learning to stilt walk.

Clark Graham plays Karl the Giant, one of the characters Edward claims to have met on his travels, and says that being 5” 7’ it has been “quite a challenge!”

“When I was asked to play that part I understood it because I have a low singing register,” he says, “but I thought physically I’m challenged and there’s only so much you can do in a pair of platforms, so then they said I was going to be on stilts.

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“I think the last time I was on stilts I was six and I even fell off then! So to be faced with learning to walk on what are called plasterer’s stilts, I wasn’t sure I could do it.”

Clark says that with practice he started to get the hang of it.

“When I was presented with the challenge I thought I’d be taken into a room all by myself and gently shown how to do it. Unfortunately it was in a room with lots of other people who were doing different things!

“Some were singing, some were acting and the chap who came to support me gave me some techniques to follow and he also trained other people from the company to support me properly to get on the stilts.

“So I thought, right, I’ve just got to get on and try it. And standing up was actually much easier than I had anticipated as long as you follow the instructor.

“Once you get your balance it’s OK.”

Though now confident on stilts, Clark says that the actual show will throw up further challenges.

“The difficult part comes when you’re trying to remember your lines and trying not to fall over at the same time!

“That’s taking longer to get used to.

“The next thing will be wearing a costume and being on the stage because backstage at the Adam Smith there are undulations and things like that, but I’m sure it will be fine.”

He added: “So that’s another skill I have I can now take it into my own home when I’m decorating and plastering!”

Big Fish will run at the Adam Smith Theatre from November 19-23 at 7.15pm with a matinee on the 23rd at 2.30pm.