Carluke Opera do Hairspray in their own style

All set...Carluke Operatic Hairspray principals (Picture Alan Watson)
All set...Carluke Operatic Hairspray principals (Picture Alan Watson)

The one sure thing you can say about Carluke Amateur Operatic Society’s latest production is - Gilbert and Sullivan it AIN’T!

The company has bravely decided to take on, in the year 2015, one of the most controversial musicals of the 1980s, Hairspray, which itself was set in the USA of the early 1960s.

The original film version was a then-notorious satire on the changing attitudes to race and culture at the start of a long-past turbulent decade but, strangely, its storyline has become fashionable again given that the plot is played out against the background of a telly talent show, a VERY 21st century phenomenon, given the content of our current Saturday night schedules.

Another contemporary theme tackled is what is diplomatically called `body image’ these days and, at a stretch, you could see Hairspray as an uncannily accurate prediction of the Susan Boyle showbiz fairytale.

Whatever, the Carluke Operatic principals involved in this production, which opened yesterday (Tuesday) at Motherwell Theatre and running until Saturday, October 10, include Monica Jamieson as Tracy, Isobel James as Prudy, Hugh Preston as Edna, Elaine Mitchell as Velma abnd Nik McEwan as Amber.

They and the rest of the cast will take you on a sometimes outrageous and often hilarious musical time-travel trip through the moral minefield of the entertainment world of America of half a century ago.

All the hit songs of the original production - Mama, I’m a Big Girl Now and It Takes Two, etc. - are still there and it will be interesting to see the Carluke Operatic’s `take’ on parts once played by controversial figures in the Eighties film such as Devine!

However, Carluke Operatic hasn’t failed to pull off any production it has tackled in the past and Hairspray will almost certainly be no exception.

Ticket sales have gone extremely well - the Friday night is a total sell-out - but there are still some tickets left for other performances, including the Saturday matinee.

These are available from Janette McIntyre on 01555 770614.

Tickets cost £14, £12 concession.

Carluke Amateur Operatic Society are always deserving of local support and, mounting a controversial work like Hairspray, they are all the more due the backing of everyone who loves adventurous local theatre productions.