Great Train Race all set to open

Cast members get ready for the opening of The Great Train Race
Cast members get ready for the opening of The Great Train Race

Three former drama teachers are all set to perform “The Great Train Race” by Robert Dawson Scott in the Acorn Centre, Inverurie from today, October 2 to Saturday, October 4.

Primmie MacGillivray and Larry Young are now both retired from full time teaching and Graham Bett is currently a deputy head at Banchory Academy. All three trained at what was then Aberdeen College of Education in the 1970s. Primmie and Larry trained together and Graham worked with Larry in the Drama department at Dyce Academy when the school opened in 1980. The play is being directed by Primmie’s husband Ali Mac Gillivray, a former headteacher in Aberdeenshire and a “weel kent” face in amateur drama circles.

The play is set in the summer of 1895, when Britain’s two great north-south railway companies, the North British (travelling up the East coast) and the Caledonian (travelling up the West coast), became involved in a battle for the title of fastest railway service between London and Aberdeen.

The Great Train Race was first seen last year as part of the ‘A Play, A Pie and A Pint’ autumn season at Oran Mor in Glasgow and The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen. Described in reviews at the time as “a summer panto with added history” and a “fact-filled romp, both highly informative as well as hugely entertaining” this will be the first amateur performance of the piece anywhere in the country.

Taking inspiration from the original ‘A Play, A Pie and A Pint’ idea, Please Take Productions are presenting the piece as ‘A Story, Stovies and Something Weet’. So after the hour long play there will be the chance for audience members to pop down to the Acorn’s hospitality area for a plate of stovies and a small liquid refreshment.

The Great Train Race is being performed from Thursday, October 2, until Saturday, October 4, at 7.30pm each evening as a fundraising event for the West Parish Church in Inverurie, of which The Acorn Centre is part. Tickets priced £10 (£8 concession) are available from The Acorn Centre.

Director Ali hopes that as the Loco Works is so important to the history of Inverurie that the play will appeal to North East audiences