SELL-OUT audiences at the Volunteer Hall in Galashiels were swept along on a magical sea of mirth and music last week.

The exhilarating voyage was expertly navigated by the Right Angle Theatre Company in its annual pantomime production, based on the classic Robert Louis Stevenson story Treasure Island.

And, like the audience, the mainly youthful cast, superbly marshalled by director Derek Calder, had a whale of a time.

“The reception we got was terrific and I know our talented cast enjoyed it as much as the audience,” reflected company president Jodie Millar after the fun-packed festive show completed its five-night run on Saturday,

Jodie, himself, had taken centre stage as the larger-than-life pantomime dame Rosie Bloom, a genial Cornish innkeeper with a personality as warm as her red cheek blusher and as big as her ample posterior.

Rosie is constantly reminded of that latter physical attribute by the watchers who, on cue, were urged to shout out “Avast behind!” – in nautical parlance “look out behind you!”

That traditional participative ingredient of panto whetted the appetite for a delicious feast of comedy, song and dance which never lost its flavour.

Rosie had a perfect foil for her numerous punchy one-liners in her thigh-slapping son Jim, played with an infectious confidence by Stuart Mitchell whose strong voice was to the fore in the show’s roistering opening number “Whisky in the Jar”.

As the hero, Stuart shines again in his duet with Principal Girl Penny (an alluringly assured Lauren Gracie) “What I’ve been Looking For”.

If what they were looking for was baddies then they didn’t have to wait long with the arrival on stage of Gordon Keddie in the role of a mean and twisted Long John Silver and his dastardly sidekicks Sea Snake Sally (Amanda Blacklock) and Blind Ali (Greg Robertson).

Gordon, recently awarded his 20-year long service medal from the National Operatic and Dramatic Association, was in cracking form as the one-legged villain determined to lay his hands on a map of buried treasure.

As his partners in skullduggery, Amanda and Greg were equally convincing in taunting the audience and persuading the gruff and blustering Squire (Scott Robertson) to set sail for a tropical island in search of the booty.

After acquitting himself so well as the 2017 Braw Lad, Greg proved himself a master of comic timing as the hapless Blind Ali who elicits much hilarity when it is revealed his visual impairment is down to having the patch over the wrong eye!

There were many other stand out performances from a company at the top of its game, not only from the aforementioned Scott Robertson, but also from Tracy Borthwick as the drunken custodian of the map Barnacle Bill, Rachel Falconer as Rosie’s right hand woman Potty Patsy, Julie Smith as half-mad marooned pirate Barmy Beth and Emma Wilson as straight-talking Captain Mullet.

And take a bow the children who, on alternative nights, played the trio of featured pirate shipmates with such aplomb - Aidan Hodgson, Ally Turnbull, Caitlin Green, Calum Crooks, Aimee Richardson and Katie Wilson.

The show also benefited from slick choreography, interpreted with great skill and gusto by a team of dancers which included 2017 Braw Lass Amy Thomson.

The songs had everyone clapping along – a tribute to an excellent trio of musicians led by Border Big Band stalwart Chris Achenbach on keyboards.


Spirit of the Sea – Chloe Muir; Long John Silver – Gordon Keddie; Rosie Bloom – Jodie Millar; Potty Patsy – Rachel Falconer; Jim – Stuart Mitchell; Squire – Scott Robertson; Billy Barnacle and Parrot Pirate – Tracy Borthwick; Blind Ali – Greg Robertson; Captain Mullet – Emma Wilson.

Sea Snake Sally – Amanda Blacklock; Penny – Lauren Gracie; Jolly Roger – Aidan Hodgson and Ally Turnbull; Salty Sam – Caitlin Green and Calum Crooks; Cut Throat Kate – Aimee Richardson and Katie Wilson; Barmy Beth – Julie Smith.

Dancers – Sara Facchini, Caiomhe Minnikin, Chloe Muir, Hannah Scott and Amy Thomson.

Chorus: Rhuiridh Anderson, Ruby Everett, Hannah Green, Katie Horsburgh, Nicole Hughes, Emma Johnston, Katie Loughran, Shannon Mack, Sarah Phillips, Gemma Proudfoot, Leanne Robinson, Anthony Wilson and Sara Young.

Children – Abigail Burns, Ellie Cockburn, Lucy D’Agrosa, Rhianna Devlin, Faith Heriot, Erin Liddle, Carrie Smith, Isla Train, Molly Turnbull, Ellie Welsh, Katie Bell, Charli Black, Lucy Clark, Grace DeCoteau, Georgie Everett, Sky Hume, Darcie Liddle, Olivia Lugton, Hanna Turnbull and Max Turnbull.


Director/musical director – Derek Calder, assisted by Julie Smith; producer – Gordon Keddie; stage manager – Colin Johnston; wardrobe – Amanda Blacklock, Jodie Millar and Lesley Robertson; lighting and sound – Tom Combe, Stuart Wilson and Keith Gracie; choreography – Lauren Gracie, Stuart Mitchell and Julie Smith; front of house – Lana Thomson; stage crew – Sandy Blacklock, Billy Easson, Steven Headspeath, Calum McNab, Craig Monks, Adam Nichol and Malcolm Wilson; musicians – Chris Achenbach (keyboards), Graham Borthwick (percussion) and Adam Sherwood (guitar).