Re­view Peter Cargill Sum­mer Hol­i­day a big suc­cess at Pit­lochry Fes­ti­val The­atre

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS -

Con­fes­sion time. Fol­low­ing last year’s record-break­ing pro­duc­tion of Chicago, the news that Pit­lochry The­atre’s mu­si­cal for 2019 was to be Sum­mer Hol­i­day left this scribe with a high de­gree of low ex­pec­ta­tions.

But I hold my hands up in sur­ren­der – not easy while eat­ing a gen­er­ous por­tion of hum­ble pie – for the pro­duc­tion from new in-house di­rec­tor El­iz­a­beth New­man with Ben Oc­chip­inti is full of breath­tak­ing colour, move­ment and ex­cite­ment.

Even the young­sters were up bop­ping at cur­tain call – young­sters who weren’t even born when Cliff Richard got on his bus. In fact, some of their par­ents prob­a­bly hadn’t yet set foot on this planet.

It is not with­out its prob­lems – the stage adap­ta­tion from the 1963

film is, like the bus, much in need of an MoT. How­ever, the script has been edited, with the group of ad­ven­tur­ers now leav­ing on their Euro­pean trip from Pit­lochry.

With the en­er­getic cast traips­ing round the au­di­to­rium “aboard” their sym­bolic bus, pur­sued by a bad­die, it has a feel of pan­tomime.

The orig­i­nal film score has been augmented with mu­sic from ear­lier Cliff film The Young Ones, so fans of ’60s mu­sic will be in rap­tures. Noth­ing sells like nos­tal­gia.

Be­tween the 20 high-oc­tane num­bers, there is a story. A group of me­chan­ics, want­ing to es­cape the Scot­tish rain, con­vert a bus and set off for the south of France.

En route, they pick up a stranded cabaret trio and an Amer­i­can pop star dis­guised as a boy.

In the film, the lead­ing lady’s songs were dubbed. No need here, with Lyn­wen Haf Roberts as run­away Bar­bara in ex­cel­lent voice, with great sup­port from David Rank­ine as love in­ter­est Don.

De­spite the ma­te­rial’s weak­ness, this tal­ented 12-strong team cer­tainly know how to put it over.

It is a fu­sion of foot-tap­ping, frol­ic­some, friv­o­lous fun for the teeny-bop­pers of the ’60s, who get fair fare on this trip. Bus passes not ac­cepted.

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