Blue Toon Brithers, Sooth Bay Sisters is the third show I’ve seen by the Willowbank Show Group, the previous ones being ‘The Sound Of Morven Crescent’ and ‘Waterside Story’ ...and was well up to the high standard of entertainment they’ve set in their past presentations.
Firmly set in Peterhead, both actors and audience had great fun with this story of goodies struggling against hard times when the baddie starts stealing all the takings earned by the hard work of Miss Penny Place (Morag Skene) and her Morven Crescent School of Music and Dance.
Hearing that his musical home is facing closure, B’Wood (David Ritchie) escapes from prison and goes to the rescue...only to discover that the other Blue Toon Brithers have moved away and the new pupils are musically challenged.
Planning a fund-raising concert to help pay the rent, B’Wood discovers that, worse still, the great Sooth Bay Sisters (Heather Middleton, Nicola Anderson and Mhari Leiper) have been kidnapped and are now prisoners in Sooth Bay Mansions - formerly Peterheid Prison - where evil Miss Alexandra Parade (Lorraine Proctor) is now running a ‘Ladette to Lady’ school.
Audience reactions to the hilarious shenanigans onstage, especially when the Brithers, Ladettes and auld wifies got together to drink and disco and later to perform and save the school, was hearty laughter and warm applause with frequent shouts from adults and children alike of ‘Behind you, behind you’ when the thief (Phillip Summers) appeared.
We met some interesting characters along the way – Mama Midden and Gertie (Gail Geddes), Maisie (Jill Latimer), Mr Dickie Drive (Trickie Dickie, Warren Thom), Rodney (Phillip Summers), George Garden (Andrew Duthie), Albert Street (Michael Smith), French Officer Crabtree (Stephen Morrice), Mckenzie Court (Simon Spiers) – who all brought their individual, and at times, hilarious talents to the stage adding hugely to the production.
However, special mention must go to Gail Geddes for her renditions of ‘Good To Mama’ and the very funny ‘I Just Want To Make Broth For You’ plus Morag Skene’s spine-tingling performance of Queen’s ‘Somebody To Love’.
There were so many highlights in this wonderfully entertaining production but my own favourite scene?
When, as part of their plan to break the Sooth Bay Sisters out of Sooth Bay Mansions, the Brithers dressed in white ballerina costumes and wigs, joined the Sisters in a unique dance routine...and one of the Brithers proceeded to hoik up his tu-tu ....then adjusted his bra...to howls of laughter from the audience.
Needless to say the fundraiser was a great success, the Baddie was caught, the rent was paid and the school didn’t need to close after all.
The obvious joy and sincerity of the those onstage spread to the audience who couldn’t help but clap and cheer along with their good fortune.
Having run drama groups for many years myself, I know the high standard of these shows is not possible without the support of excellent backstage crew and technicians and I applaud those involved for their sterling work in this production.
There was a huge buzz as we left the theatre with all agreeing that the Show group’s talents and Morag Skene’s writing, acting and directing combine to produce a wonderful evening’s entertainment. I look forward with anticipation to the next show.