A blast from the past

Andy Johnston, who Directs the Gang Show these days sent us this heartwarming message in support of our 2011 production of The Chess Game, having starred in the 1985 premiere on The Fringe.

I have just found out this week that I have to spend  a full fortnight working in Boston – beginning on 31st July and not returning until 14th August, which – as I’m sure you’re aware – coincides completely with FCT’s production of the Chess Game. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it!

To say I am absolutely gutted is a huge understatement. A mere 26 years ago, The Chess Game was my first FCT show, and the profound effect that Peter and the company had on me back then is something I still work to recreate today.

I had worked with various companies before 1985, but there was a warmth and a genuine caring, family feel to FCT that was obvious from the very first auditions at Inverleith. Myself, Craig and Vincent were so taken by this unity that we created a little beast called ‘Marmalade Skies’ simply as a way to say thank you. It’s nice to see that – for better or for worse! – this entertainment slot has now become a tradition in itself.

I guess I would always have ended up working somewhere in theatre, but my experiences from 1985 to 1992, were invaluable in making me the Technician and Director I strive to be today. It was an honour and privilege to be a very small party of ‘Ya Beauty!’ and to be given the opportunity to pay tribute to a great company and, obviously, a great man.

If the new generation of ‘Chess Gamers’ can get a fraction as much out of the company as I have, they will be very lucky indeed.

All the very best to everyone involved in what I am sure will be another outstanding FCT production.

That's Andy in the White Waistcoat and thanks to Philip for the photo.

Time for a Break??

After weeks and weeks of rehearsals (golly gosh it has flown by!) Vic has decided to let the cast of ‘The Chess Game’ take a months holiday! The question on everybody’s lips is ‘are we ready for this?’ and although there are sections to the musical that the cast are not 100% confident with, we have come so far and a little rest is well deserved I think! This show is so energetic – with the cast’s fitness levels being tested by Miss Shaw’s upbeat choreography – so a little relaxation is definitely needed. “We got a king…we gotta king….”

Marvelous summer weather greeted us on our last rehearsal (hopefully setting the standard for a sunny July!) and was great for our ‘Farewell Barbecue’. The cast were worked hard all day – with Kirsty trumping through almost four numbers – and the energy (plus sweat) was pouring out in the cast’s performance. Hopefully we were ‘FULL OUT’ enough for you Kirsty! Then Jane and Margaret prepared a wonderful barbecue for the ravenous cast (the Queens buttered the rolls!) which went down a treat! Thanks so much ladies. The only thing that beats a FCT barbecue is a FCT baked tattie (absolute bliss!) so everyone was buzzing for their sausages and burgers! All the cast enjoyed a lovely chill out in the rugby fields, silly games were played, and the FCT family had a jolly time. (Apart from a wild flock of seagulls who wanted our leftovers and scared some cast members senseless. Not mentioning any names. *Ahem, Rachel and Natasha, Ahem*)

It was a lovely way to break for summer – so have a lovely holiday everyone – when we come back rehearsals will be so full on, so really rest, I mean it. I have previous experience of 10-10 rehearsals and they will drain you out (but are so much fun at the same time) so basically sleep all July please!! ‘That’s what I’ll be doing! Yipee! Enjoy!

Don’t miss me too much eh???

Love you all x

Julia x