Carnoustie Musical Society’s Comrie Cabaret V has succeeded where many fail and put together cohesive but varied tasting dish of a show.
Mixing song, dance and even a little comedy here and there. The fifth of the increasingly popular Comrie Cabaret series ticks all the boxes as far as this reviewer is concerned.
At just over an hour and a half the programme rattles on at breakneck pace, the company fluidly transitioning from ball gowns to Highland dress to 1920s flapper outfits.
Although a musical company and not specialist dancers we were struck by the quality and ingenuity of the dance segments. Kathy MacCallum and Kerry Mitchell’s mashup of music and styles was most energetic and full of attitude. We were particularly impressed with ‘The Great Gatsby’ which used sepia lighting creatively and innovatively mixed a little Beyonce with ‘The Charleston.
The singing, particularly in the choral sections was first class. We would not have guessed that ‘Queen’ suited it so well until we heard it, kudos to soloists Chris Jukes and Kerry Mitchell for their roles.
We had good fun trying to identify all of the songs played in ‘Four Chord Song’ by Mike Burns, Kevin Smith and Richard Waghorn, and their version easily rivals those we have seen on YouTube.
The Showstoppers sequence is always a favourite, and the rendition of ‘Circle Of Life’, opened with jaw-dropping purity by Claire Ralston was a highlight. And never have we wished to wear grey sweatpants more than when Claire Smith belted out a tremendous ‘Fame’.
Another absolute gem was the junior’s Cats segment, complex choreography was coupled with some wonderful singing and we applaud each of them: Amy Burns, Cameron Campbell, Cerys Fitzgerald, Teagan Mitchell, Sophia Prendiville, Ona Robb, Aimee Stanton and Ailsa Thom.
Kevin Smith flexed his vocal muscles with a moving ‘Caledonia’ accompanied by Richard Waghorn and Joanna Fitzgerald and Pam Wallace’s duet of ‘I Know Him So Well’ put a few lumps in throats around the audience.
The Bond segment was a fun rip-roaring adventure through some of our favourite 007 themes, and Pam Wallace, Claire Ralston, Jim Robertson and Mike Burns excelled in their chosen solos, but the scene stealer was the company making ‘Skyfall’ their very own.
It was all rounded off with a very topical, but we are assured not political, Scottish section covering some of the best of Scottish music, as showcased by soloists Liz Pardoe, Jamie Robertson, Rodger Brunton and capped by guest piper James MacCallum.
The final show this evening (Friday) has apparently been sold out for weeks, and frankly, given the talent, we can believe that.