North-east students are no strangers to study and for their annual fund-raising stage show they were keen to learn from the best – with a masterclass in the Doric from the legendary Robbie Shepherd.
And michty me the loons and quines in the cast of Spital Shop of Horrors proved they weren’t gowks or glaikit, and quickly picked up fit’s fit in the native tongue.
Among those attending the masterclass were Vikki Davidson from Peterhead (who plays Elsie one of the leads), Steve Haner from Sandhaven and two Fraserburgh students Holly Bruce (who plays another of the leads, Millie Timber) and Shane Strachan.
They spent a morning with the BBC Radio Scotland presenter, Take the Floor host and author of the Press & Journal’s weekly Doric column in between rehearsals for their upcoming production, to be staged at His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen, from Wednesday to Saturday, April 17 to 20.
They were taught the finer nuances of the Mither Tongue, such as coonter louper (a grocer’s assistant - which might finds its way into the script as in loupin the coonter at the Spital Shop) and Robbie shared some stories with the cast which kept them chortling throughout his lesson, including the Doric pun, fit fit fits fit fit?
American student Sarah Lang admitted Robbie’s session helped her finally to understand certain jokes in the show script and the Kentucky-born lass added: “It was so Scottish I think my blood turned plaid for a second!”
And show assistant administrator Shane Strachan – an Aberdeen University PhD student in Creative Writing – said: “As someone who has spoken Doric all my life up in Fraserburgh and now writes stories in the Mither Tongue, it was great to learn some Advanced Doric phrases I had never heard before!”
“My wife and I go to the student show every year” said Robbie. “We love the exuberance and the talent of the young people – we thought the choreography last year was particularly good.
“It was fine to be asked along – they all had very fine accents from different parts of Aberdeenshire and beyond.”