Brigadoon looms out the mist again

February 24, 2014 | By | Reply More

SLO return to mystical village for romantic production

 Eddie McDowell and Kat Angus

Eddie McDowell and Kat Angus. Photo © SLO

By Thom Dibdin

Edinburgh’s oldest amateur musical theatre company take over the King’s this week with a new production of Brigadoon, the musical about a Highland village which appears only one day every century.

It will be the fourth time that Southern Light Opera have performed the romantic – and romanticised – tale of two American hunters who stumble through the Highland mist and happen upon the village of Brigadoon.

The company itself was formed in 1897 and more than a hundred people will be involved in the production, both on stage and off.

But it is Kat Angus and Eddie McDowell who take centre stage, as young villager Fiona and Tommy Albright the American who falls for her. Peter Tomassi plays Tommy’s pal Jeff.

Billed as one of the most romantic musicals ever composed, Brigadoon features songs that have become standards including Waiting’ for My Dearie, Almost Like Being In Love and Heather on The Hill.

Retaining the innocence of a show which was first performed in 1947 while freshening it up for a 2014 audience has been the major challenge for director Laura Jordan Reed, who helmed SLO’s four star hit Oklahoma last year and was artistic director of Smycms for 14 years up until 2010.

“Having directed many varied musicals over the years, Brigadoon presented me with somewhat of a challenge,” she says.

“Written by Lerner and Loewe, performed on the Broadway stage in 1947 and made into a movie in 1954, Brigadoon (in my opinion) remains a wonderful piece of theatre with some of the most beautiful music and lyrics ever written, but it was written nearly seventy years ago!

“Innocence preserved…”

“The challenge for me was to refresh the piece without losing any of its innocence. From the casting auditions in October 2013, to the performance in February 2014, this has been a remarkable journey for the production team, cast and crew alike. The Brigadoon going into the King’s Theatre retains all the original charm from 1947 and 1954, but has been refreshed and its innocence preserved, as intended.”

Publicity for hte 1961 production

Publicity for the 1961 production

It is 13 years since SLO last performed Brigadoon – in 2001 – with previous productions in 1979 and 1961. The 1954 movie starred Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse as the lovers Tommy and Fiona with Van Johnson as Jeff.

The Southern Light Opera Company production of
Brigadoon plays the
Edinburgh King’s Theatre, 2 Leven Street EH3 9LQ
Wednesday 26 February – Saturday 1 March 2014.
Daily 7.30pm (Sat mat: 2.30pm).
Tickets from: www.edtheatres.com/brigadoon
Southern Light Opera website: www.southernlightopera.co.uk

Cast list:
Fiona – Kat Angus
Meg Brockie – Judith Barron
Jean – Donna Ewing
Maggie Abernethy- Kelly Tait
Tommy – Eddie McDowell
Jeff – Peter Tomassi

Charlie – Colin Povey
Harry Ritchie – Scott Walker
Mr. Murdoch – David McBain
Andrew MacKeith – Mark Adams
Donald Ritchie – David Mitchinson
Jane Ashton – Lorna Frier
Frank – Jamie Morrison
Solo Tenor – John Whelan

The London cast recording of the 1988 production and the 1954 film are available to buy on Amazon. Click on the images below to purchase.

ENDS

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