Art Guild en­joy sky high suc­cess with lat­est show

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Ticket - Re­view by David Black

Air­drie Art Guild Drama Group soared to great heights as they wowed au­di­ences at the Sir John Wil­son Town Hall with their lat­est pro­duc­tion – ’Paras Over the Bar­ras, The Sec­ond Wave’.

The play by James Bar­clay, set in the East End of Glas­gow near the fa­mous Bar­ras dur­ing the Sec­ond World War, pro­vided a heart­warm­ing, hi­lar­i­ous and nos­tal­gic look back at the wit and spirit of city life dur­ing the dark days of the for­ties when the grit and hu­mour of Glaswe­gians over­came ad­ver­si­ties dur­ing war time short­ages and ra­tioning.

For the McSor­leys and their neigh­bours in the East End ten­e­ments, their pri­mary fo­cus was mak­ing the best of what life had to of­fer as the New Year ap­proached; ex­tra booze was re­quired and a wed­ding was in the off­ing.

Ed­die Gouther cap­tured the true essence of the un­at­tached Wul­lie McSor­ley, de­liv­er­ing hi­lar­i­ous one lin­ers – of­ten at the ex­pense of the amorous Ina McLatchie, ably played by May Wakely.

Morag Don­ald pro­vided a suit­ably calm­ing in­flu­ence in hold­ing fam­ily and lo­cal friend­ships to­gether as An­nie while help­ing her daugh­ter Rita, cheek­ily played by Wendy Gal­lacher, plan and pre­pare her wed­ding to the rather “off the wall” Rasputin Plun­kett (Peter Pater­son) and try­ing not to for­get her hus­band Sammy (Grant John­ston), a pris­oner of war in for­eign lands.

Bill McLoy was back in the sad­dle as the spe­cial con­sta­ble adding to the com­edy as Erchie McPher­son with Pa­trick Raf­ferty in su­perb form as Hans the Ger­man para­trooper.

Great per­for­mances were also pro­vided by Alis­tair Don­ald (Curdy McVey), Cat Gem­mell (Mrs Comin­sky), Bill Malone (Fingers McGeachie), Colin Archibald ( Jimmy Smith), Pa­trick Raf­ferty (Fa­ther McGil­licuddy) and Gio­vanna Tweedie (Plooky Boyle and Mrs O’Toole), with Anne Greechan and Netta Logue bring­ing pin-point ac­cu­racy to gos­sip­ing neigh­bours.

This was a most en­ter­tain­ing and thor­oughly en­joy­able pro­duc­tion which closed with the en­tire cast pre­sent­ing a se­lec­tion of well known Scot­tish songs, ably ac­com­pa­nied by Kenny Fin­nie on the ac­cor­dion, mir­ror­ing what we once knew as a tra­di­tional Hog­manay party for fam­ily and friends.

The cast then re­ceived a wel­learned stand­ing ova­tion and sent ev­ery­one home with huge smiles on their faces.

Stage stars The cast are in full flow dur­ing the hit pro­duc­tion

Team-up Pete (left) worked with Youth to com­pile ‘Crest­fallen’

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