REVIEW: Lend Me a Tenor – Eastwood Park Theatre, Giffnock

Based on Ken Ludwig’s play of the same name, it’s 1934, Cleveland, Ohio and Henry Saunders, manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company and his nervy assistant Max, are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Tito Merelli (Il Stupendo). Merelli is in town to sing the lead in Verdi’s Otello, an event that will be the biggest coup in the history of the theatre. A sellout crowd awaits – what could possibly go wrong? Well, everything of course.

As always it’s quality assured when you see the name Runway Theatre attached to any performance. In a work that could easily descend into cheap slapstick in the wrong hands, this production manages to pull off the none-too-easy task of presenting a pitch-perfect musical farce.

The laughs are non-stop and the musical numbers are beautifully performed, staged and costumed.The shows greatest success though is the central casting of Kris Haddow as Max Garber and J.Campbell Kerr as Tito Merelli, both in possession of knock-out voices and impeccable comic timing, their impressive theatrical experience shines through and both could grace any West End stage with ease. The pair are ably supported (and finely voiced) by: Roslyn Hogg as Maggie, the object of put-upon Max’s affections, Aileen Johnston as Tito’s volatile Italian wife and Chriss Mills as opera diva Diana Diuane. The ensemble too are worthy of particular praise as one of the finest sounding companies in Scotland.

An utterly joyful evening’s theatre in the presence of possibly Scotland’s finest amateur company.