LOCHGELLY and District Amateur Musical Association are putting all the pieces together to play Chess on stage next year.

And while the show must go on, by the time they perform it at the Lochgelly Centre next May it'll be three years since they last trod the boards.

The pandemic put paid to any plans for a musical in 2020 and 2021 but rehearsals are now underway for a return in 2022.

Sandra Cowie, a committee member and part of the marketing team, told the Times: "Evita was the last show we did in 2019 and we've got the same fantastic production team, with Malcy Burnett, choreographer Clare Stewart and musical director Suzanne Stewart.

"It's been a huge gap, we've not been able to do anything these past 20 months, so we decided to start back with a bang with Chess.

"It's a show set in the 1980s during the Cold War, it's basically America v Russia over a chess board with defections and a love story going on too.

"It was first done in the West End in 1986 with Elaine Paige and was written by Benny and Bjorn from Abba with lyrics from Sir Tim Rice.

"It's got big anthems and rock songs, Barbara Dickson sang I Know Him So Well on the cast recording, but not in the show, with Elaine Paige which was one of the big songs from it.

"I went to see it in 1986 with the original cast so it's one of my favourites."

She continued: "We had quite a few people at the launch night last week and rehearsals started on Monday.

"We're still going strong. We've got about 45 people signed up but we're still looking for more members and dancers.

"You can get in touch with us via the Facebook page and there's an online form.

"It's all ages but you need to be 16 by the time the show goes on stage.

"And you don't have to have experience, we've got a fantastic team that can work you into shape!"

Sandra loves being involved with the musical association, which has been going since around 1935.

She added: "I started when I was 16 in 1982, my mum and dad were in it before me so I followed in their footsteps and did it for a few years before moving north and starting a family.

"Later I wanted to do something for me and came back to Lochgelly for Evita in 2019, that really attracted me.

"It's such a good, professional company, well run and so friendly. I feel like I've never been away.

"I like music and singing.

"The week of a show is like a long holiday, the social life and meeting friends really brightens up your week and I really look forward to the rehearsals.

It's fitness too, you do dance warm-ups and it keeps the mind focused on something other than day to day life.

"It's an escape really. I love it."

She added: "For people's mental health, an area I work in, it's really important to get back to some sort of normality.

"We are taking all the necessary precautions though, we wear face masks during rehearsals, we've got a one-way system, temperature checks and hand sanitiser everywhere, so it's all as safe as possible."

Rehearsals are in St Serfs Church, Main Street, Lochgelly from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.

Chess will run from May 25 to 28 next year.