Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Glass has got talent

Cottarton Cottage is located in Glass. To those who ask: “Where the hell is Glass?” I usually reply: “It’s a small Aberdeenshire town, the home of the Glass Symphony Orchestra. The name has Celtic roots, meaning “grey”. Yesterday the symphony orchestra didn’t show up in Glass Hall and so we were treated to the local reality show, “Has Glass got talent”?--- An evening of music, song, recitation, dance and comedy.

Remarkable the talent that appears when people aren’t trying to compete with the hotshots on the X-Factor. Miranda played us a scale on her new viola. Not bad. Mike Taitt, our local wizard of Oz played a jig on a harmonica; danced a jig too until the game was up. We realized the music was coming from a 78 recording behind a screen. Nick showed us how to pull a thread from nose to ear, Anne recited her beautiful poetry. Of the talented Yuill family grandmother Christine was the hall’s favourite. Her recitation of “The honey bee from the old town of Effen” had the room in stitches. Note the double entendre of “Effen”. I’ve no doubt that by now the Effen residents are tired of the jokes at their expense.

Vivienne McIntosh treated us to a medley of highland dancing. Her feet moved with breathtaking precision that instantly drew in your eye. She appeared totally weightless. Moira Watson and Liz Brown, “The Local Miracles”, sang in perfect harmony. Great standup comedy from Bob Yuill. He had us in stitches while he embarrassed his family. I swear that Rob, Katie and Christine had red faces. Glass definitely has talent.

Who stole the show were the five sexy ladies, Lilian Cameron, Frances Harrold, Ruth Wright, Sue Brown and Margaret Slorach, known as “Over the Hill.” Dressed in burlesque and swinging their furs, they performed the red-light district song, with parent advisory lyrics “Let’s Do it!” Ooh la la! With a direct reference to a romantic couple in the room. After walking away with the top prize, they were called back for a reprise.

None of the performers appeared to feel ill at ease. They were all having fun on the stage. I often wish that performing art was no more than fun; not the cutthroat competitiveness of “Strictly Come Dancing” or the “X Factor”. Which doesn’t mean that the artist isn’t striving for excellence if that’s what they choose. It’s the drive for recognition that ultimately puts a chokehold on the art.

Our compere, Gary Coull, with a perfect Glass accent kept us laughing between acts. I will use some of his jokes, so watch out. Thank goodness the symphony orchestra didn’t show up.

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