Jamie pays tribute to the first knight of the music hall – Sir Harry Lauder

Whether you’re ninety or nine years old it’s perfectly possible that the jaunty Scottish songs of Sir Harry Lauder will in some way have formed your musical education.

In a top quality production featuring Jamie MacDougall as Sir Harry and Derek Clark as his accompanist,  he unfurled the charismatic character behind all those songs like ‘Roamin in the Gloamin’, ‘The Waggle of the Kilt’ and ‘I Love a Lassie’ and many more .

These songs have remained popular ever since Sir Harry wrote them in the early 1900s and within a few moments it was easy to believe it was the very man in front of us on the Haddo stage.

Popular and versatile is how Jamie is often described and with his operatic training,  he made singing like Sir Harry seem a cinch. He combined great acting with remarkable agility as he moved around the stage nimbly, swishing his kilt and tapping his feet with natural rhythmic flair – not to mention a knack for rapid costume changes while stooping behind a wicker basket.

Jamie captured Sir Harry’s ability to find hope and humour in the face of adversity in the most tragic of times, including when he lost his only son in action the first world war, after which he wrote ‘Keep Right on to the End of the Road’.

The scene where Jamie recreated the atmosphere of the war-time music hall was extremely powerful, a mood further intensified by the original films of soldiers in the trenches which were screened during this thoughtful and entertaining musical play.

Once the most highly paid music hall artist in the world, travelling to America and Australia with his distinctive brand, Sir Harry devoted much of his later life to raising funds for those affected by the horror of war.

Jamie delivered a performance that skilfully and powerfully explored both the public and private persona, allowing us to get to know the man behind the songs and understand why Sir Harry is remembered which such respect, affection and appreciation.

Lucy Gordon

‘Photos by: Simon M Scott’  – www.simonmscott.com

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