Auchtermuchty Theatre Group has produced another winner with their excellent production of Whisky Galore, a play by James Scotland, based on the novel by Compton Mackenzie.
Co-directors, Barbara & Drew McCanney, put the audience in the right mood before the play even began as Lindsay Stark was outside playing his bagpipes as we arrived.
The set was simple & most effective with minimum change necessary to adapt it to different scenes.
Lindsay Petrie, as Duncan Ban, in kilt & Aran sweater, was the Narrator & poet who set the scene & led us through the play in a gentle, lilting, Hebridean accent which never faltered.
The play is set in 1942 when WWII has brought rationing to the Hebridean Isles of Protestant Great Toddy & Catholic Little Toddy. The drama opens with Biffer (Peter Thomson), Jockey (Steven Robertson) & Joseph Macroon (Donald Lothian) in the Bar, bemoaning the fact that the islands have run out of whisky. Drew McCanney, as Roderick McRurie, is the dejected man behind the bar. All four are totally despondent & despairing but also very funny!
We then are taken to the home of Captain & Mrs Waggett, ably played by Chris Perry & Fiona Hunter. Captain Waggett, of the English Home Guard, feels thwarted by the islanders at every turn ( bearing a passing resemblance to Arthur Lowe in Dad's Army!).
To add to the mix are 2 couples who want to be married but are meeting parental opposition. Susan Smith is a feisty Peggy, a strong young woman who is determined to make her hapless partner gain her father's permission - no easy task for Shaun Donley as Sgt.Major Odd.
The other couple have an even greater problem in the form of Liz Rowley, playing George Campbell's God fearing, righteous & wrath-filled mother. Lewis Snowden, as George, has an unenviable task trying to persuade her.
Then word of the shipwreck of SS Cabinet Minister, carrying 50000 cases of whisky, reaches the islands & everything changes as the islanders row out & bring back cases of whisky. Now there is Whisky Galore!
Thanks to the intervention of Brian Imrie, as Father MacAlister, Peggy's fatherJoseph gives permission for the wedding.
Lieutenant Boggust (Peter Jellicoe), a spy sent to find those who are stealing the whisky, is outwitted & everyone enjoys the wedding party where an inordinate amount of whisky is consumed & there is dancing to the music of Jim McLaren.
Young George goes home in an inebriated state, giving him the courage to confront his mother. She capitulates & another wedding can be arranged!
The acting throughout the play was of a very high standard & there was a great deal of laughter from the audience who thoroughly enjoyed all the humour & fun.
Mention must also be made of the crew - lighting, sound, set design, set construction & scene changes were all faultless. Props, wardrobe, hair & makeup were true to the times. The prompt was seldom heard.
As usual, in Auchtermuchty productions, the front of house team, managed by Sheila Smith, did a first class job - taking money, tickets, selling the comprehensive & informative programmes, selling raffle tickets, which were drawn at the interval, & serving delicious ice creams.
Well done Auchtermuchty Theatre Group!
We look forward to future productions.
Submitted by Diann Bennett