There must be some musical magic in the air around Scone as the wee village on Perth's north-east side boasts all three Tiny Tims from this year's production of Scrooge! The Musical at Pitlochry Festival Theatre. I was invited out to meet the girls and find out more about their big break into the world of musical theatre!
Auditions started back in October and with the fantastic quality of dance, singing and drama schools in Perthshire there was always a high chance that local kids would be cast. However, no one could have predicted that all three Tiny Tims would be neighbours and friends!
Chloe Bloice (7), Elise Brand (9) and Kate Laing (8) all hail from Scone with Elise and Kate both attending RDM and Chloe travelling a little way to Kilgraston. The trio of friends attend a mix of singing, theatre and dance classes with Ad Lib Theatre and Julie Young School of Dance (Kate and Elise) and Inspire Studio (Chloe).
They've all enjoyed performing in a number of smaller, local productions over the years and when I meet them I'm treated to a song, several dances and a dramatic performance of how they'd have played Tiny Tim's death scene should they have been asked!
The casting in Scrooge - The Musical! is the biggest show to date for all three girls and is proving to be the experience of their young lifetimes!
Gillian Laing, Kate’s Mum explained:
“We couldn’t believe it when we heard that all three Tiny Tims come from Scone – the girls were so excited to be cast in such a fantastic role. From the first audition right through to their opening nights the whole experience has been incredible.”
The girls, in unison, gave a chorus of “Amazing!” when asked how their experience has been and I was given a full blown lesson in breathing techniques for singing and an explantion as to why Dougie (the musical director) was so 'awesome'.
Kate - "I liked meeting the cast - they're so nice!"
Chloe - "I like the kiwi, mango warm up song" (Cue another dance routine!)
Elise - "I was a bit nervous in my first show but now I just love it."
Susie, Chloe's Mum commented:
"I think it can be daunting for parents when young kids want to step into what is a very adult environment but PFT and the entire cast have been wonderful every step of the way. The chaperones for the kids are just amazing and they’re learning so much. You can see quite clearly how much they’ve all developed.”
Auditions for the junior roles took place over October with rehearsals starting in early November. The young company is made up of three groups who play in rotation alongside the 16-strong professional cast, backed by a live eight piece band.
Lynne, Elise's Mum said:
"It may well have spoiled them for other roles though, the response from the audience has been amazing. It's such a great production for the girls to be involved with. Mrs Doogan, the headmistress at RDM has been so supportive as well - all round its been a fantastic experience."
And although Dickens’ famous grouch Ebenezer Scrooge may be a hater of “yutelide-loving, second-rate people”, it hasn’t stopped people getting to their feet to show their appreciation. Standing ovations, raptuous applause and any number of five-star reviews from Scotland's theatre critics have all ensured a sensational first step into musical theatre for Scone's talented trio.
Shows run until December 23rd and tickets for remaining performances are still available from Box Office on 01796 484626 or go online to buy: www.pitlochryfestivaltheatre.com.
“We both sat in awe & amazement at the sheer talent, expertise & ability of the performers… well done to the stage crew, light technicians, carpenters & all involved.”
“Incredible! Exceptional set, excellent musical arrangement and sterling cast as always!”
“A brilliant performance that should not be missed by anyone.”
"A rollicking feel-good musical" The Herald
"A gorgeous, lavish, traditional Christmas production…lovely songs both joyful and poignant…impressive and heartfelt central performance…" The Scotsman
"Wow! Pitlochry's festive offering is Slick, Artistic, Noteworthy, Terrific, Amazing." The Courier
The annual March Into Pitlochry brings 20 bands to Highland Perthshire, with ska kings Bombskare and Indie outfit Attic Lights topping the bill.