Harburn Village Hall - SWRI Drama Archive


swridramaAn almost full Church Hill Theatre played host to this year’s Midlothian heat of theAnstruther Gray Drama Festival and the bus loads of Rural ladies and supporters who packed the foyer were richly rewarded by a most entertaining evening.

First off: Bellsquarry ( aka St Trinian’s?) set the comedy tone for the evening. Were we remembering our own school days I wonder? This was a home grown production devised by the cast and great credit must go to them for their clever and witty plot and the hilarious characters they portrayed. Harburn and Ratho joined forces next for In The Bag by Frances Bartram. Again this was a comedy, but of a subtler nature. Edingell Thomson nobly stepped up to the mark when Joan LeLievre unfortunately broke her ankle with two weeks to go and Sandra Dobson was drafted in to fill the gap made by this move, but you would never have suspected that they had not been rehearsing these parts for months. There was many a twist in this short play and we watched with increasingly amused incredulity as Morag Stott’s somewhat suspect acquisitiveness became increasingly obvious, and there were moments of pure farce as she dashed round the stage hiding.......but I will not give away the plot as you will have a chance to see this production later. Do not miss this opportunity.

Edingell, Morag, Sandra and Mary portrayed the different characters of the four volunteers seemingly effortlessly. Sandra, however, may live to regret expressing her willingness to do everything quite so convincingly but Mary, as Josie, was a slightly surly yet fitting foil to this somewhat cloying enthusiasm. There was a lovely moment towards the end as Maureen, played by Edingell, showed a less than admirable side to her nature and one which she brought off superbly. The music was an integral part of this production and added pace and atmosphere throughout. Congratulations to Barbara Milne for the slickness with which she managed the many cues. Thanks also to David Dobson who lit the piece with his normal calm eficiency.

After a much enjoyed presentation of Rabbie on the Run by Leith Theatre came the moment of truth. Brian Marjoriebanks (BA, LRAM, ALAM) gave an extremely helpful and well considered adjudication . He had clearly enjoyed both productions but did not pull his punches and made some constructive suggestions about staging to both companies. He was very complimentary to the actresses and picked out one of my favourite moments of In the Bag for special mention: the beautifully synchronized tea drinking to the music of Tea for Two. Finally, the judgement - and Harburn came away with the honours with Morag deservedly winning Best Actress. I had hoped for a tearful acceptance speech but alas, no.

So, many congratulations to the cast and to Anne Rennie and team for the brilliantly dressed set and multitudinous props, but especially to Isobel McChesney for the production. It is a pity the finals had to be cancelled due to lack of entries nationwide so we are especially grateful to Frances Kemp, Edingell and Isobel for galvanising Midlothian and ensuring a splendid evening of local talent.

Juliet B


An Evening’s Entertainment.

Husbands shocked at four letter stunner in Village Hall

At last the much flagged ' we was robbed ' SWRI play " A Respectable Family Business" comes to Harburn. This was an opportunity to see our friends and neighbours in an entirely different light! - Sandra enjoying a lavish lifestyle of yacht, many houses, diamonds and exotic foreign holidays. Morag a woman with a secret (Lover) and Tilly, loking anguished and imposing. A new addition to the cast were two Ratho WRI members, Edingel and Frances. Last but by no means least was our indispensable Gillian aka 'the talking curtain' . It was an interesting quite complex play, well constructed. The cast filled the stage with their outrage, indignation and shock as the true goings on of their respectable (or so they believed) father was revealed by his secret business partner and lawyer during the reading of his Will. The play was tackled with the usual good humour and dedication that is uniquely Harburn.
And so the evening progressed with David and Hiko playing and singing. The sets were punctuated by jolly chat between the two musicians, the finer details of which were rather lost on those of us at the back who couldn't quite hear.! This part of the evening was made for me when Isobel ( who compered the whole event with charm and efficiency ) shouted from the back, after David's first song, " Would you like the lights out David?".

The usual delicious food was later served and the noise level of animated chat was worthy of the usual high Harburn standard. As I left I was stopped by two supporters of the Ratho part of the cast who pronounced the evening a great success. Hear! Hear!.


Cub reporter Jennie T

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