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Shows and Concerts

The school, under the Direction of the Music Teacher, Andrew 'Henry' Hall, presented shows annually from 1948 until 1960 but finished when the then Headmaster, A. E. Kennedy, decided that they were 'inappropriate' in his personal vision of school activities.  One further show, 'The Mikado' was presented in 1961 under the auspices of the self styled Darroch Light Opera Group.  However without the support of the school the group found it impossible to continue.

Among the other teachers involved with the production of the school shows, at least during my era, were Mr Murray (Maths); Miss Bryce (Lady Advisor) and latterly John McColl (English) who took over the artistic direction of the shows and who has been prominent as a top class actor on the local theatrical scene for over 50 years

1956 The Blind Beggars Daughter

The blind Beggars Daughter

The above operetta was performed in the Lauriston Halls, as were most of the school shows up until 1960. Note the name of Tam White in the cast list, long before he became the well known blues singer. When his obituary appeared in the National Press it was erroneously quoted that he appeared in 'The Beggars Opera', not the above show which is, and was, relatively unknown.

1957 The Student Prince

The Student Prince

The Student Prince included, among others, Robin Whike who went on to play a prominent part in local theatre with the Bohemians Lyric Opera Company.

1958 The Gondoliers

The Gondoliers

Among the cast of the Gondoliers is the name of Alf Buchan, who went on to play, produce, and Stage Manage numerous shows in Edinburgh and its environs over many years.

1959 Iolanthe

Iolanthe 1 Iolanthe 2 Iolanthe 3 Iolanthe 4

Harry Coghill, who appeared as the Guardsman, Sgt Willis in Iolanthe went on to sing professionally with Glyndebourne and Sadlers Wells - Later English National Opera. David McBain was prominent with the Southern Light Opera Company and various other Companies for over 50 years.

In addition to those mentioned previously a great many former pupils continued their involvement in both music and the arts long after they left school, so whilst Headmaster Kennedy may have considered the shows 'inappropriate' for Darroch, their legacy had far reaching effects on a great number of pupils both at home and abroad.

Suffice also to say that without Music Teacher Andrew 'Henry' Hall, little of the above would have been possible.

1960 Chu Chin Chow

 

Chu Chin Chow 1

Presented in the School Hall due to musical extra-curricular activity cutbacks enforced by the then Headmaster, A.E. Kennedy

1961 The Mikado

The Mikado 1 The Mikado 2

Presented in the school hall and the final show to be presented by the school pupils and former pupils.

The following files were recorded on vinyl following the 1955 production of the Mikado of which no photographs have survived. However there is a later photograph of the girl soloist Joy McDowell in the 1959 Iolanthe production. 

Bear in mind that the extracts were recorded over 50 years ago on vinyl (in, as far as I can recall, a studio which was situated round about York Place) and have been subject to the following modifications over a number years.  Therefore I accept all responsibility for any reduction of quality

1.  33 rpm Vinyl onto reel to reel tape.
2.  Reel to reel tape onto cassette tape.
3.  Cassette tape to Compact disk.
4.  Compact disk to computer hard drive
5.  Clean up and conversion to MP3.

Make allowance also for the fact that the singers are young schoolchildren not trained singers.  The pianist is of course Andrew (Henry) Hall.

 

Click on the links to open the audio files.

The hour of gladness.MP3   Joy McDowell

Hearts do not break.MP3   Joy McDowell

To sit in solemn Silence.MP3  Male Principals