IT’S a much-loved screen musical, but tough casting requirements mean Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is rarely seen on the stage.
That changes in April though as the Glasgow-based Lyric Club will soon be bringing it to the King’s Theatre.
In the lead female role of Milly Bradon is Catherine McKenzie from Carrickstone - a far cry from her day job as a leisure centre receptionist at Broadwood. Joining her on stage as the local preacher is veteran amateur performer and former teacher Iain Fraser from Whitelees.
“It’s rare for amateur clubs to tackle this one,” said Iain. “You need all the brothers and suitors, and they all need to be young so it’s hard to get that many performers.”
Based on the 1954 film, the story sees Milly agree to marry Adam - despite almost being complete strangers - and, on being taken to his backwoods cabin, she is surprised to find he has six brothers who all live with him. She teaches the brothers more refined behaviour and how to dance so they can find women of their own - but the women they choose have suitors already, and rivalries ensue.
The Lyric performers have been training and rehearsing for this show since September. Catherine said: “It’s difficult learning this much material, you need to rehearse constantly and it requires a lot of commitment - it’s a lifestyle, really.”
The club meets twice a week for rehearsals and we also need to practice at home. Catherine added: “My husband has been a very patient reading partner at home for the script, though his accent isn’t the best!”
Iain said: “I’m a song and dance man at heart, but now I’m older I can’t do as much as the younger guys, But there are no small parts, just small performances, and I intend to give it everything I’ve got when I’m on the stage.”
Catherine added: “Iain is good at stealing the show”.
The production is certainly ambitious in scale. In addition to using sets from the professional touring production, it is professionally choreographed, directed and costumed. The wardrobe is supervised by another Cumbernauld local, Joy Thomson.
In total, this production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers involves around 60 people performing or working behind the scenes. Ticket sales have been brisk.
The production runs from Tuesday, April 3 – Saturday 7 at 7:30pm with matinees at 2:30 on the Wednesday and Saturday. Tickets, £10-£21, are available from the King’s Theatre box office on 0844 871 7627 or online at www.atgtickets.com/glasgow.