This year marked the 53rd annual charity show of the Angus Minstrels and once again it was a riot of colour, sound and entertainment.
The show opened with a Neil Diamond and Neil Sedaka section which the ‘boys’ launched into with gusto, belting out some fantastic renditions of hits such as ‘Sweet Caroline’ and ‘Standing on the inside’.
This was followed by the first of several interludes featuring soprano Maggie Findlay, this time as a solo of ‘Going Nowhere’ but later in partnership with Eileen Craig, Kirsten Hammond and Tracey Fleming for such delights as ‘Time To Say Goodbye’ and a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald.
Not to be outdone, The Eagles section with Josh Wright and the Michael Buble medley featuring Garry Mitchell, James Hutcheson and Jamie Watson, were highly polished and foot tapping.
The dancers from producer and choreographer Edwina Barraclough put in a very enthusiastic and gracefully aesthetic performance both in their own individual showpieces and in supporting the ensemble throughout the show, in particular their pre-finale piece ‘Dixie Biscuits’ was most impressive.
In a seasonal twist there was a highly entertaining Hallowe’en section which featured some personal favourites in the shape of ‘Thriller’ and ‘Monster Mash’.
Another fine themed section took the form of a Glam Rock special, and fantastically outrageous costumes aside, the singing was again top notch and featured some often overlooked classics, such as ‘Ballroom Blitz’ and ‘Bang A Gong’.
The two comedy sketches, one by Mo Morrison and the other by Fiona Gibb and Jim Ramsay were as always, a hoot.
The second half was really lit up with the opening cabaret section which again featured some strong solos, coupled with well choreographed dancing and tight ensemble singing.
Some fine voices and a few interesting song choices really helped to separate the ‘songs from the show’ section from the many similar themed sections that have gone before them.
Of course, the grand Dixieland finale was for much of the audience the highlight of the night and it really helps to give the whole show a strong identity.
All of the performers should be commended for their efforts which once again were top notch. The ladies were: Jill Bridges; Heidi Cathro; Eileen Craig; Stephanie Donachie; Maggie Findlay; Tracey Fleming; Evelyn Fordyce; Gwen Geddes; Fiona Gibb; Kirsten Hammond; Chloe Leuchars; Rachel McCullough; Marie McDonald; Sarah-Jane McDonald; Barbara-Ann MacKay; Eileen Masson; Jennifer Moore; Mo Morrison; Louise Murray; Claire Rioch; and Audrey Shepherd.
The men were: Brian Boardman; Ian Cargill; John Hayes; James Hutcheson; Shaun McQuade; Gary Mitchell; Jim Ramsay; Scott Ramsay; Jamie Watson; Malcolm Watson; Ron Watson and Josh Wright.
Dancers were: Devon Adam; Remy Beattie; Jaymie Bray; Lisa Croall; Kathleen Esslemont; beth Milne; Ellice Parsley and Danielle Phillips.
Musical director Paul Clancy and his team were on fine tuneful form to provide the necessary backing for the performers.
The wardrobe department and the stage designers have done their part wonderfully to help create a stylish and eye-catching show.
The Angus Minstrels’ committee and their many members can rest assured that this year’s offering has been well appreciated and we look forward to hearing how much money they have raised this year for local causes.