Southern Light Sings For The King's

Date 10th September 2021
Society Southern Light Opera Company
Venue Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Type of Production Revue
Director Andy Johnstone
Musical Director Crawford Moyes
Choreographer Louise Williamson
Assistant Director Louise Hunter

Report

Author: Mike Pendlowski

“Sit back, relax and enjoy!” must, surely, be the introduction to any Southern Light show – and why should tonight be any different?  As the title explains, profits from this evening’s performance will be donated to the Kings Theatre restoration fund.   The “Grand Old Lady of Leven Street” must have been justifiably proud of the efforts of the SLO cast and Production Team, taking thirty-four numbers, overtures and entr’actes from over twenty musicals and operettas, and melding them into a two and a half hour spectacular of singing and dancing. I have tried to avoid suggesting tonight was a concert – I feel that does the show a severe injustice!  With items plucked from the most recent seventy-five years of SLO’s existence the entertainment flowed seamlessly without the need for any human introductions. Instead, Gavin Scott’s, cleverly designed video projections, kept us all on track with show titles that maybe stretched the memories of some (but very few!) of the appreciative audience.

In mentioning certain numbers from the show, I must stress that these are chosen as favourite songs of mine, and not showing any favouritism towards any of the soloists tonight.   In fact, if I had space in this report, I would mention each and every soloist for the extremely worthy contribution which they made to the performance.

Personal favourites would have to be “You Are My Heart’s Delight” from Land of Smiles – David Mitchinson :  “The Sabbath Prayer” from Fiddler On The Roof – Dorothy Johnstone, John Whelan & Company : and “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady – Rebekah Lansley.    Company numbers were of the usual very high standard for which the Southern Light is well known.   The eighteen piece orchestra  was firmly in the hands of Crawford Moyes, who must also take much credit for a musically enthralling evening from the SLO.

Not only were we treated to an evening of musical excellence, but, thanks to Andy Johnstone’s direction and Louise Williamson’s choreography the company moved just as well – at the same time as they were singing – something that doesn’t always feature in several shows nowadays!

Now, all the above would appear to be quite achievable were it not rehearsed in the midst of a pandemic – in a car park, wearing face masks.  This gradually morphed into the performance we watched tonight, and, following Government and Society guidelines, allowed the  large cast to remain safe and well throughout.

In summary, congratulations to everyone at SLO for an extremely enjoyable evening of entertainment – we thoroughly enjoyed every minute!