Who doesn’t love a panto at Christmastime? These musical comedy stage productions have entertained families for decades – oh yes they have!
This year’s pantomime at Ayr’s Gaiety Theatre is Cinderella, and who better to tell us what to expect than Buttons himself, actor Gavin Jon Wright?
Back in 2002, three talented (top-class) pipers decided to join forces and form a band. Bored of playing solo at weddings, the idea of performing as a group at large, corporate events appealed to the three young men.
“It was either that or we’d just go back to doing solo weddings, and if you’re piping at a solo wedding three or four times a week, the money’s not bad but it’s quite boring after a while. We thought this was a better way of doing it.”
It’s less than a month after the Rugby World Cup Final and the sport is starting to get back to normal. South Africa were worthy champions, the run they had to get to the final – and the final itself – proved to the rugby community that they are still the team to beat. Scotland can consider themselves unlucky to be drawn in the same group as the back-to-back champions and Ireland, who at the start of the tournament were the top ranked side in the world. I caught up with Ayrshire’s own Ollie Smith to find out what he made of his first ever World Cup, what it was like to face South Africa, and the confidence he has taken from the tournament.
I’ve never been totally comfortable referring to people by their surname, but Andrew Roachford insists – for the purpose of this article, at least – so that’s what I’ll do.
I begin by asking him about his upcoming gig on 17th December at St Luke’s in Glasgow. It’s part of an 11-date tour titled, ‘A Soul Christmas Evening with Roachford’.
“I love touring, it’s what I do. I’ve kind of grown up on the road and I thought it was about time to do another tour. And being as it was in that period so close to Christmas, I think I needed to include the festive spirit in my shows.”
I’m inclined to agree.
Tony Black is the author of over 20 novels, many of which fall within the category of ‘tartan-noir’, Scotland’s very own crime fiction genre. Not bad for a native Australian.
“I was born in Australia,” Tony confirms. “My mum and dad were Ten Pound Poms. They were out there for about ten years. Then they came back and I was in Kelso until I was 7 or 8, then we went over to Ireland for a couple of years, and then my dad got a job in Ayr.”
What’s it like playing Tosh?
Alison O’Donnell laughs at my opening question before repeating it out load. It’s as though she’s never been asked it before, which I find impossible to believe. Still, she has a comprehensive answer ready.
“There’s always something new. It’s just like your own life, I suppose, you don’t know what’s coming. And with every season they develop her further and further and there’s always new things to explore.
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