For any organisation to last over 100 years is quite an achievement - and that is exactly what Bo’ness Amateur Operatic Society have done - come hell or high water.
And if these components have really not entered into the timimg or continuity scheme of things, two world wars and an industrial depression certainly have.
So, to highlight their perseverance, their indefatigability and, above all, their considerable musical talent, the society are presenting in the Town Hall this week, a celebration musical showcase.
It runs until Saturday and, if you haven’t already seen it, you are missing a musical treat.
Starting with a very impressive “One” from Chorus Line and numbers from their very first show way back in 1911, H.M.S. Pinafore, they finished with songs from the more modern musicals such as Wicked and La Cage Aux Folles. In between there is hardly a musical that isn’t featured. My Fair Lady, Carousel, Fiddler, Oklahoma, Chicago, Guys and Dolls, Chorus Line, Showboat and many more, they are all there. And if musicals (apologies Mr. Shakespeare) be the food of love, etc., this showcase could have continued into the wee sma’ hours as far as this writer was concerned.
Bo’ness Town Hall stage is not the easiest place to produce any type of show, with a proscenium arch that literally halves it in two - narrow at the back, wider at the front.
But any difficulties were obviously overcome and as the show progressed so did the confidence of the company. Some of the choral numbers were quite outstanding, with “Tradition” from Fiddler on the Roof, “Can’t Help Loving Dat Man” from Showboat, and the finale from ‘‘Les Miserables” probably being the best of the many great arrangements. Take a bow Gillian Haycock.
There were also some lovely solos, “What I did for Love”, “All that Jazz”, “Could have danced all night” and the duet “People will say we’re in Love” were all well received by an enthusiastic audience.
All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable evening’s entertainment and congratulations are due to everyone concerned with this production.
If I can make a final point, where have all the young people gone who used to enjoy this musical hobby? They don’t know the fun they are missing!