DISASTER struck for Fintry Amateur Dramatics (FADs) when the actress playing the lead role in their most recent production was seriously injured just a few weeks before they were due to perform.
Dawn Kelso (15), who had the title role in Beware The Jabberwock, a fantasy inspired by the poem Jabberwocky from Lewis Carroll’s Through The Looking Glass, broke two ribs and suffered a collapsed lung when she fell 20 feet from a rope swing.
But in true ‘the show must go on’ fashion she was determined to perform and took to the stage despite her injuries.
FADs scooped a top prize for their performance at the annual Scottish finals of the community drama association competition which was held in Stranraer on Saturday, June 16.
This is their first national award - they won the Stirling district final in Fintry in February and the eastern final in Grangemouth in April - and the cast, all pupils at Balfron High and Balfron Primary, fought off stiff competition from rival groups to win the final.
Dawn’s injury hadn’t been the only hurdle they’d faced in the run up to their show in Stranraer.
The youngsters had to raise funds cover the costs of a coach and the onward transportation of three members who would otherwise have missed the big night.
Rebecca MacKenzie, Nick North and Jessica Carey should already have left to go on a school water-sports trip to France and the money raised allowed them to be flown out later from Gatwick.
Rebecca’s parents drove them from Stranraer down to London immediately after the curtain fell on their award-winning performance.
Those plans had just been finalised when FADs was presented with an even bigger challenge to overcome - Dawn’s injuries.
Director Sheila Fraser, who had postponed a family holiday to be there, paid tribute to her cast. She said: “This was an extremely difficult production, technically very demanding, and I cannot praise highly enough the efforts of our talented youngsters.
“We began rehearsing Jabberwock just after the New Year and it has been tough for them to maintain focus, but each time we’ve staged it the kids have risen to the challenge, culminating in what was a top class all-round performance in the final. When the result was announced most of them were in tears and I have to admit, so was I”