First Minister and leading lady visit Cinderella cast

PRAISE: First Minister Alex Salmond and actress Elaine Smith praised the Fraserburgh Junior Arts Society last week.
PRAISE: First Minister Alex Salmond and actress Elaine Smith praised the Fraserburgh Junior Arts Society last week.

First Minister Alex Salmond and actress Elaine C. Smith were in Fraserburgh last week as they wished the cast and crew of Fraserburgh’s Cinderella production a happy New Year.

Welcoming the pair as Fraserburgh Junior Arts Society heads into its 60th year, the crew shared stories and jokes with both Mrs Smith and Mr Salmond having treated them to a rendition of ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ upon their arrival.

They were then given a tour of the Junior Arts’ Dalrymple Hall store, where costumes and materials from the past 60 years of Fraserburgh productions are stored, with Mrs Smith signing autographs and giving insight into her acting career as they went, this being her first time in the town.

Alice Irvine, of Fraserburgh Junior Arts Society, told the Fraserburgh Herald that was not the first time the First Minister had visited the society, having attended pantomimes in the past.

The First Minister, who had invited Mrs Smith to visit the society, praised the Junior Arts Society on reaching its 60th year, commenting that, as a result, thousands of youngsters have had a chance to participate in local theatre.

“It’s gone from strength to strength.

“What strikes me about Broch pantos is the incredible production - the work that goes into sets and designs.

“They’ve done a huge, amazing job,” the First Minister added.

Elaine Smith told the Herald that, having only been in the town for a brief moment: “It’s an adventure.”

“It’s fantastic, panto should be that - celebrating all local culture.

“I wish when I was growing up there was more of that.”

Buchan Area Committee chairperson Stuart Pratt, who was also in attendance, said: “It’s great that organisations like this can continue in these tough times.

“I’m pleased to be here, I try and come along to these productions as often as I can. These amateur productions are every bit as good as the professional ones in Aberdeen.”

This being the society’s 60th year, Mrs Irvine told the Herald that there was scheduled to be a whole year of ‘extra’ events, the first being a ticketed Burns Supper on Friday, January 25 at the Dalrymple Hall.

The society will then begin preparations for their summer show, ‘Honk’.