(Photo of the whole cast by Hannah Louise McNicol)
This November the Stirling University Musical Theatre Society performed their rendition of, Wanted, a take on the infamous lives of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.
Just to give you a little bit of background; the real Bonnie and Clyde originated from Texas and became the leaders of a gang of criminals who robbed and murdered their way through central USA during the Great Depression of the early 1930s.
The notorious lives of this criminal couple and their gruesome death in 1934 has been played out on the arts scene for many decades, through poetry, a 1967 film and a musical premiering in 2009.
But the Stirling Musical Theatre Society turned the tale around and set the whole shebang in Scotland, staging good old Stirling as the grisly centre of this ill-fated story.
It all begins when Clyde Barrow, (Kai Howard), a rough rouge meets the seemingly sweet hearted Bonnie Parker, (Alana Bowman). The pair hit it off as they talk about their dreams of becoming rich and famous and their yearning desire to break free from their tainted lives of poverty and petty crime.
(Photo of Kai Howard and Alana Bowman by Hannah Louise McNicol)
One thing leads to another and before we know it, Bonnie is helping Clyde break free from jail and the two of them embark on their future as fugitives and felons.
They dream of having a comfortable and happy life and rob a succession of small town petrol stations and banks; yet the money is just not enough, as what Bonnie and Clyde really live for is the thrill of seeing their names splashed across the headlines.
But as time goes on, the pair become more and more crazed as Clyde begins to kill and Bonnie develops a sick fantasy surrounding her fame as a writer.
But like all highs, this whirlwind must come crashing down as the police home in and set their sights on Bonnie and Clyde who vow to be never taken alive.
Overall, the performance was very entertaining in both a comical and tragic sense. Kai Howard and Alana Bowman had contagious personality and chemistry on stage that grabbed the audience’s attention throughout their scenes. Their singing was excellent and their diction was superb, filling the Venue space with the haunting melody of this real life misfortune.
Russel MacPherson, who played Ted Hinton, was sensational and stole every scene he was in with his dynamic presence and energy, making him both talented in signing and acting. Yes indeed, Russell is a star who is undoubtedly on the rise.
(Photo of Russell MacPherson and Heather McKenzie by Hannah Louise McNicol)
Grace Brammer, who played the young Bonnie had a gorgeous and angelic voice which was not only lovely to hear, but was a ghostly reminder of the innocence Bonnie once had.
However, the whole story was not entirely sad, for there was plenty of laughs thrown in by those such as Heather McKenzie who played Buck Barrow, the unlucky brother of Clyde, and Molly Gladman who played his fretful but devoted wife.
But we must not forget that Wanted was not the only attraction that night, for during the interval, the acapella group from the society sung three songs from Disney’s Tarzan, and they were truly fantastic. Benjamin Heikkinen who took center stage with his brief solos set a high standard for the group and proved that his talent continues from show to show.
All in all, Wanted was a fun packed performance full of little gems of talent. And considering the Musical Theatre Society only had three weeks to pull it all together, they get a warm and well deserved applaud from Brig Arts.
By Caroline Malcolm