ON Saturday it appeared that the entire population of West Fife had used their bus passes to get to the Carnegie Hall for the Fife Premiere of Kelty Clippie The Musical, writes the Times theatre critic Kerry Black.

Following their amazing sell-out run at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, I was intrigued to see how the show would transfer to a bigger venue and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.

Based on John Watt’s famous song, John Murray has written a truly hilarious script, including original songs by himself and Willie Logan, with direction by Laura Jordan Reed.

Featuring many of the performers from the Fringe show, with a few added cameo roles, it was brilliant to see the multi-talented Jacqueline Hannan back as Maggie Blair, a local Fife lassie whose dreams of being a clippie come true when she is given the premiere route!

Forget the Orient Express, Maggie is on a double decker hurtling fae Kirkcaldy tae Kelty with a multitude of mad characters onboard her Alexander’s bus. Once again the immensely likeable Bob Brews played Dan, her ukulele playing driver, who has nearly been in love several times! Lisa Birrell returns as the sequin clad Senga, a dippy, drunken passenger with a penchant for disco dancing.

Well known local singer, Linton Osborne, played both the interviewer and the silver suited DJ cum bingo caller, who literally dropped his balls all over the stage!

The show is set in the 70s in a land of Green Shield stamps and fag coupons, when local industries like the pits and factories were dependent on a good bus service and a cheeky wee Cointreau on a Saturday night at Kelty Club was the height of sophistication!

While the first half of the show takes place on the bus, the second half transports us to the glittering palace of Kelty Club, where Maggie’s two backing singers looked awfy like the auld burds on her bus (well done to Karen Stewart and Lorraine Dobie). Meantime, Mikey (the wonderfully beige bewigged Sandy Queenan, who reminded me of a young Rikki Fulton) and his date, Sally (Moira Davies), added to the hilarity in their flares and long white boots.

Much to Dan’s disgust, Maggie is drawn to Bobby Mac (Steve Ponton), a slick suited local singer, whose rendition of classics such as “I Left My Heart In Auchtermuchty”drives her mad with desire. Even worse, poor Willy (Mike Tilling, dressed as a refugee from Dick Emery), fancies Bobby too! Will Maggie become “Bobby’s Girl”? Will Dan nearly fall in love again? You would have had to have been there on Saturday night and had yer ticket punched twice to know the answers.

This is a show packed with nostalgia, pathos and great humour. It was pitched perfectly at the audience and once again the Full House Signs were outside the theatre for both shows! With classic songs like “Ten Guitars” interspersed with original songs, before the rousing sing-along finale of the title song, it was great to see folk leaving a theatre still laughing and smiling.

I wonder where Maggie and Dan will head to next? Will they drive back to The Fringe? Watch this space, “Come oan, Get aff!”