Writing, producing and directing one musical for the stage is a formidable task in itself but — to paraphrase Oscar Wilde’s Lady Bracknell — to stage two shows seems like madness.
Straddling the city from the west end to the southside, Paul Harper-Swan is staging Aladdin at Websters Theatre on Great Western Road and the Pure Amazing Wizard of Oz at Eastwood Park Theatre on his home turf.
“It’s great to be bringing a professional musical show home to my roots,” said Paul, who was raised in Giffnock and attended St Ninian’s as a boy.
“For Oz, I wanted to add another layer to the piece; so, I gave it a Glesga treatment and it works.
“There’s something for everyone in the show, including some chart hits.”
Paul promises laughs galore with humour that the adults in the audience will appreciate and funny lines that will have the kids giggling, too. The characters differ, also. For example, the tin man is the tin wumman.
Dorothy works at the OP Hotel — not too difficult to work out the local angle there, then — and she has dreams of appearing on Ex Factor.
“We’re also very lucky to have a brilliant cast,” said Paul, during a rare five-minute break between rehearsals.
He added: “And the audience can get a chance to see Leigh Lothian perform locally before she heads off down to London to appear in Carol King’s musical Beautiful.
“We have a great cast, including Alison Rona Clelland who recently had a role in Little Shop of Horrors.
“The full complement of players are very talented and fans can expect a very professional performance every show.”
While there is a slightly pantomime element to Paul’s Oz, it’s more of a musical spectacle with singing, dancing and much audience participation.
And Paul encourages audiences to join in the fun and shenanigans throughout the shows. He said: “We have people up off their seats and dancing in the aisles. And I expect nothing less from our Eastwood audience.”
The show runs Monday-Sunday, December 15-21. Performances at 10am, 1pm and 7.30pm. Tickets £13/11. Students £9.