The Kate Kennedy Club is deeply entrenched in philanthropic tradition. Protecting the history of St Andrews is all in a year’s work for the town’s oldest charitable club: The KK girls and boys can be spotted providing paper towels to post-foam fight freshers and tidying the beach in anticipation of May Dip. While these tasks are done outside of the spotlight, the KK literally takes centre stage for their annual charity pantomime, a satirical play written and performed by members of the club. This year, they promised a performance of Parisian proportions, with an interpretation of club favourite play Les Miserables. Directed by Josh Davis, the concept was simply too big to fail.
Things started on a high note when narrator Laurence Pemberton revealed that, in lieu of Les Mis, the club would instead be channeling Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. (The change was particularly pleasing to this reviewer, an avid rewatcher of iconic animated masterpiece Joseph: King of Dreams!). Max Cutting portrayed Joseph, starring alongside ten other KK boys and girl in a gripping rendition of the ancient biblical tale. This core group was joined by numerous other club members, including fourth year Ludovic Meaby, who stepped out of his comfort zone to portray a melodramatic, rotund, baguette-swinging Frenchman.
Per usual, the musical received a St Andrean treatment, with references to Raisin, Ma Bells, and violent locals drawing the loudest laughs from the crowd. It was in these moments that the script truly shined. As students, we are drawn to inside jokes, tongue-in-cheek allusions to our daily struggles. Similarly, pop culture was deftly woven within the storyline – Ghost Mode, cocaine, Kevin Spacey, and a sensual Nicola Sturgeon all served vital roles in the plot, which managed to stay relatively faithful to the original script. (I confess, the Broadway version would have benefited greatly from a homoerotic lapdance helmed by Victor Steiner as Mrs Potiphar).
All that aside, the pantomime must be recognised as a genuinely impressive work of amateur theatre. Lighting, choreography, line memorisation ability, and staging all went off without a hitch, which many professional performances cannot even boast of. Based simply on the passion of the acting, it is evident that the pantomime was a labour of love. It may not have been Les Mis, but it certainly made the people sing praises. Proceeds from the event – £340 – will be donated to local Fife charities, thanks to the 170 guests who attended.
The Kate Kennedy Club Charity May Ball will be held on Sunday 6 May, with tickets sale to be announced in due course.