Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Date 27th September 2017
Society Glenrothes Amateur Musical Association
Venue Rothes Halls, Glenrothes
Type of Production Musical
Director Graeme Shield
Musical Director Gillian Haycock
Choreographer Darren Philip Johnson


Author: Mike Pendlowski

For my first viewing of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” any Company with lesser talent than GAMA might fail to grab my attention. However, in this, Graeme Shield’s fast-paced production, even taking in to account the lack of memorable melodies (typical of modern musicals), this was a show to remember and I really look forward to seeing it performed again somewhere in the future.

The show opened in fine style with Lawrence (Colin Cairncross) and Andre (Alan Blair)  joined by the GAMA ensemble in “Give them what they want”. Next we get an insight into Muriel Eubanks’ true character in “What was a woman to do?” – here Muriel was well performed by Elinor Hay. The production moves up a gear with the arrival of Freddy Benson (Andrew Doig), Andrew’s inimitable acting style drawing every inch of comedy from the part. Rival conmen Freddy and Lawrence thereafter formed a partnership which, to a large extent, carried this show throughout.   Enter Jolene (Amy Elder), intent on marriage to Lawrence – how could Lawrence escape? Answer: invent a ghastly brother Ruprecht, aka Freddy, to frighten Jolene away. Another hilarious scene “All about Ruprecht” ensued.

Enter woman No.3, heiress, Christine Colgate, played with assurance by Jackie Beatson. We move into another comedy scene with Christine and Freddy (now pretending to be a military man in a wheelchair, paralysed from the waist down) and later we see Lawrence as pseudo-therapist Dr Schuffhausen tormenting the life out of chair-bound Freddy, in yet another pacy comedy scene.

One of the funniest scenes of the show took place on the bed in  Christine’s hotel suite “Love is my legs” culminating in the chorus being revealed watching from the wardrobes.

The show concluded with what, for me, was a slightly weak Finale, taking in to consideration all the fine singing and acting preceding.

Finally, mention should be given to the small ensemble of minor principals  Lenore (Karen Richards), Sophia (Gillian Elder), Croupier (Oliver Spink), Hotel Manager (Glen McGill), Conductor (Alan Woolley), Waiter (Ben McLeary) and Renee (Claire Mackinlay) each of whom brought individuality of character to their parts and undoubtedly added to what was already a well-directed show – both artistically and musically.

Last but not least, congratulations to Darren Philip Johnson, who choreographed some snappy dance routines, accurately performed by the lively GAMA chorus.

Well done GAMA for another evening of jollity!