Whistle Down The Wind

Date 15th September 2012
Society Runway Theatre Company
Venue Mitchell Theatre, Glasgow
Type of Production Musical?
Director Robert Fyfe?
Musical Director David Dunlop

Report

Author: Ian M. Gray

Choreographer: Eleanor Weir

This Scottish Premiere successfully followed last year’s premiere of The Drowsy Chaperone, and was Runway’s first production in the Mitchell Theatre.
There was a slight surprise that it had been transported to America (unlike the original film and the NYMT version by Labey and Taylor) but it had travelled well. Elle MacKenzie (Swallow), Kate McVey (Brat) and Ethan Kerr (Poor Baby) were the principal youngsters, missing their recently deceased mother and Tom Russell (Boone, their father) is struggling to bring them up. When the trio rescue a sack of kittens dumped in the river to drown, they decide to hide the fact from their father and to bring them up in the barn, in secret. That’s when they find the fugitive killer J. Campbell Kerr (The Man) hiding, and mistakenly assume he is Jesus, due to his reaction when first discovered. His concern to stay hidden means that he plays along with the charade, and gives some compassionate advice to the children, in contrast to the description given by Bob McDevitt (Sheriff) who is searching for The Man. The presence of “Jesus” cannot be hidden from the trio’s friends, and they crowd in to ask him all sorts of questions. These fourteen children sang a couple of very complicated songs very well indeed, and were a credit to the company, giving excellent portrayals in their attempts to find the moral of his stories. Eventually, of course, The Man’s presence in the barn is discovered by the townspeople and, after making sure the children are safe, he sets fire to himself in a spectacular ending. With nothing left of him, the town gets back to normal, but there is still a lingering doubt, with Swallow not convinced by her father of The Man’s true identity.
A complicated story, well portrayed by the Runway cast and enjoyed by the audience, who gave a standing ovation.