Rapture Theatre take Shang-a-Lang musical on tour
Feelgood musical production from the writer of Mamma Mia
Rapture Theatre, under artistic director Michael Emans, has a strong claim to being the hardest-working touring company in Scotland: Shang-a-Lang is their third production this year. Like previous offerings The Sash and The Collection, Shang-a-Lang is determinedly populist with a dark turn.
Following the adventures of three middle-aged women on a mission to revisit their adolescence during a weekend at a nostalgia music festival, it’s clearly more than an exercise in sentimentality for Scotland’s original teen idols, The Bay City Rollers.
‘Although it is by Catherine Johnson, the same person who wrote the book for Mamma Mia, we don’t burst into song,’ says Julie Duncanson, who plays the ‘sex-mad and gallus’ heroine. ‘It’s got a great soundtrack, though. It’s very human, and a bit of a laugh, but it packs a bit more of a punch. It’s not fluffy!’
Duncanson’s enthusiasm for the script – and, as she says, for ‘the fantastic title: everyone knows what it’s about straight away’ – is for its humour and willingness to present ‘three women with a past’. As they hook up with two musicians, the drama is as much about the women’s friendships and rivalries. ‘But it is still uplifting and funky and fun!’
Albert Halls, Stirling, Fri 15 Nov; King’s Theatre, Glasgow, Tue 19–Sat 23 Nov