Raising a glass to toast this production by Falkirk Operatic Society should not be a problem.
Falkirk Town Hall is literally awash with uisge beatha (the water of life) in this production of Whisky Galore a Musical!
I’m sure it is cold tea being used but the talented cast make it look convincing that it really is a wee dram or two they are swigging.
Based on the popular book by Compton McKenzie which was later made into a film, it concerns the inhabitants of the remote Hebridean islands of Little Todday and Greater Todday. Set in 1943, the islanders are struggling to come to terms with rationing, particularly the lack of whisky.
When the cargo ship, the SS Cabinet Minister, runs aground with 50,000 cases of whisky aboard the islanders rush to take advantage of the unexpected bounty.
Cue the inevitable fun and games as they try to hide it from the officious Home Guard commander and the excise man.
Of course, no musical would be complete without love interest and in this show you get double for your money.
Shopkeeper’s daughter Peggy Macroon (Suzanne Garner) falls for Sergeant-Major Odd (Ronnie Honey), while school teacher George Campbell (Darren Tasker) is the shy suitor of Catriona McLeod (Lauren Nimmo).
However, the course of true love never runs smooth and while Peggy has to cope with her soldier being English and a different religion, George has to deal with his domineering mother, Mrs Campbell (Sheila Rodgers) who doesn’t approve of his love choice.
Although none of the songs were instantly recognisable there is more than a few toe-tappers performed, in particular, Crock of Gold, Marching in Rhythm and Pouring Away the Whisky.
There was also some very clever dance routines involving almost the entire cast on stage – no mean feat. Credit must go to producer and choreographer Judy Brown, along with musical director Bryan McCaffrey for pulling all this together.
This is a production where the men tend to steal the spotlight and there are some fabulous performances with Father Macalister (Eric Brown), Joseph Macroon (James Cassidy) and Captain Waggett (Bob Clark) standing out.
But that doesn’t take away from the leading ladies, including Dolly Waggett (Carol Sutherland).
But for me the star of the show was certainly Darren Tasker as the hapless George, a role which so easily could have been overplayed but hit the right balance of comic and tragedy.
Whisky Galore the Musical! runs at Falkirk Town Hall until Saturday.
Sergeant Major Odd – Ronnie Honey; Peggy Macroon – Suzanne Garner; George Campbell – Darren Tasker; Catriona MacLeod – Lauren Nimmo; Mrs Campbell – Sheila Rodgers; Captain Wagget – Bob Clark; Joseph Macroon – James Cassidy; Father Macalister – Eric Brown; Roderick MacRurie – Jim Porter; Duncan Macroon – Chrisk Brooks; Jockey Stewart – Ally Brown; Willie Munro – Malcolm McNulty; Dolly Waggett – Carol Sutherland; Tweed Merchant – Kevin Byrne; Bean Stewart – Susan McFarlane; Mrs Odd – Elizabeth Donald; Reverened Morrison – Kevin Byrne; Tom Ferguson – Stephen Waugh; Robbie Baird – Stephen Waugh; Captain MacKechnie – Graeme Scott; Corporal Ruskin – Robert Wardrop; Captain MacPhee – Niall Sutherland.
Chorus – Diane Brisbane, Hazel Brooks, Rachel Carter, Rionna Caskie, Elaine Dawson, Marion Dixon, Elizabeth Donald, Carolyn Fraser, Jennifer Hughes, Ashleigh Maitland, Robin Marshall, Susan McFarlane, Shirley McNulty, Carmen McPhail, Siobhan Murray, Larry Phillips, Graeme Scott, Amy Sutherland, Lorna Wallace, Robert Wardrop, Stephen Waugh, Adele Williamson, Elizabeth Woodward.