Ian Brotherhood had a wee magic idea, in which he drummed up wee magic spells and mis-spells, pretence and portents, madness and mayhem – in other words a pantomime for Largs Writers Group. And it worked. His zany characters, and the story of the town of Largs in danger of being bought and transformed to a Theme Park by Mullah Kintyre, a rich, if somewhat effete Arab (Alison), abetted by Abu Bin Nevis, big brash baddy (Jim), for commercial gain, played out crazy-style when feisty Jack, local newspaper editor (Val), his sexy secretary Maiden Voyage (Jack) and two sugar-plums of fairies (Helen and Ina) came to the rescue. All very fanciful and far-fetched – oh yes it was. But now think this: The Largs Pencil, and fair Maiden Voyage therein incarcerated, rescued by a mad mob of Save Our Town activists. Think Fairy Nuff and Fairy Liquid, aptly named for their propensity to use spells well-oiled with ’a wee swaally’ of bottled green potions. Could you stretch imagination just a tad farther, and include some romantic couplings? Ah-h-h! No? Then think belly-dancer (Gill) writhing with scene-change placards to snake-charming piped music (Margaret); think wacky afro-haired nymph scene-shifter (Rose); and finally think ‘cowboy dude’ (Angus) who morphed into narrator for the morning… Now do you have an idea of our pantomonium?
Ian wrote his panto, dreamed his dream, and it all came true with a little then a lot of help from his friends especially Rose and Jack and the wonderful cast, every one of whom put heart and soul into this pantomime par excellence! Rose was the driving force. A little powerhouse of energy and enthusiasm, patience and hard-graft. She coaxed and cajouled, sewed and snipped, painted and polished, all with endless determination to make The Wee Magic Flute the best in the band. And it was. Jack was the other prime mover and shaker, ensuring that no dust settled, not even magic fairy dust, and that the wee magic flute’s top notes will for ever trill in our memories.
Christmas lunch in Brisbane House Hotel afterwards was a delicious come-down from thespian heights, and as usual Helen arranged this for us with her usual seemingly-effortless efficiency and aplomb.