‘Fantastic response’ to opera’s centenary show

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HAWICK Amateur Operatic Society created its own piece of history last week when the show to mark its 100th anniversary attracted sell-out crowds.

Townsfolk began to cram into the town hall as word spread of the society’s show-stopping production of Beauty and the Beast, and this led to capacity audiences on Friday and Saturday night – and huge queues for the matinee which even delayed its start.

HAOS leading light Iain Scott, who captivated audiences with his portrayal of the Beast, said: “I was absolutely astounded by how the show was received by people, with Friday and Saturday’s two shows getting the best crowds I’ve ever seen in my 21 years with the opera. The response was unbelievable, and some people were even return visitors.”

The society’s production of Beauty and the Beast had been carefully chosen for the centenary year and 89th production, and for producer Brian McGlasson, it certainly was a triumph. “I was absolutely delighted by the end of the week as the show really took off and just grew and grew,” he said. “I think being a different type of show it attracted people, and children asked their parents to take them along as it was Disney. The cast all got stuck in and it’s fantastic such a response has coincided with their special year.”

And the show’s other big star, talented young performer Natalie Paterson, who played Belle, said she is still having to pinch herself following last week’s success. She said: “All I have heard is great feedback and I cannot thank the audience enough for their cheers.”

On Saturday night the cast received a standing ovation and huge cheers, with Natalie adding: “I have to say the audience on Saturday night made me aware of how much I have achieved over the last few years and how proud I was to be a part of this show for the centenary year. Everyone in HAOS should be proud of themselves for the amount of work and effort they have put in to making it such a success.”

Iain, who had to endure half-an-hour of makeup every night to get into character, added: “The role of the beast was one of the best I’ve ever played, and I had the time of my life last week.”