Back to the 80’s








FROM the decade which brought the world the Rubik’s Cube, Max Headroom and The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comes this awesome musical Back To The 80s.

The talent in the community shined through in Centre Stage Youth Theatre’s production at the Buccleuch Centre.

The cast took us on a journey to a time when Rick Astley and Michael Jackson were the kings of pop and blue eye shadow and bubble skirts were cool. In the age of mobile phones the size and weight of housebricks and an obsession with Star Wars, there was no shortage of 80s material to laugh at.

Set in the USA, it tells the story of the senior class of William Ocean High. The audience joined the graduating class as they lived through their final senior year and experienced the fun, heartbreak, loves and loneliness of growing up.

It was all set to the biggest hits including Madonna’s Material Girl, sung enthusiastically by Cindi Gibson (Emma Hyslop), The Proclaimers’ 500 Miles, Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse Of The Heart and Video Killed the Radio Star. As soon as the cast hit the stage you knew you were in for a good time.

A lot of thought went into the casting which reflected especially in the main characters. The narrator Corey Palmer Snr (Les Murray) gave a confident performance as he reminisced about his school days and love for Tiffany Houston (Chloe Wilkes).

He moved the story along and provided the internal thoughts of his younger version (Glen Cavers) who did a good job in his lead role. Glen had everyone laughing during his Star Wars dream sequence.

Nicky Henderson as Michael Feldman, the hottest guy around, played an excellent part. Equally impressive were teachers Stevie Cocker (Angus McCall) and Sheena Branagan (Michelle Sterling) who had their own personal issues to work through.

The geek Feargal McFerrin, played hilariously by Luke Bell, had the audience in stitches. Kirk Keaton (Christopher Tait) and Huey Jackson (Matthew Grieve) kept us amused with their one-liners and cheeky expressions. Eilleen Reegan (Beth Smith) was confident on stage as one of the newcomers to the school.

Anyone, like me, who was a teenager in the 80s can relate to the story, a fun and lighthearted look at the decade.

From their energy it was clear the audience weren’t the only ones having a good time. The amount of time put into the smaller details whether it be costumes, props, make-up or hair was worth the effort. The production team did a good job with the set, particularly the car shell.

At the end of their final night the cast and crew got a very well earned standing ovation.







This was a show I didn’t know and was unsure of what to expect. However as always with Centre Stage I was not disappointed. This was a lively show from start to finish with lots of superb music from the 80’s as suggested in the title. Les Murray (Corey Palmer Snr) a stalwart of the company was the narrator reminising about his last year at High School with all the trials and tribulations that come with the territory. He introduced the various groups, The Cool Guys, The Regular Kids, The Nerds and Outcasts, The Popular Girls and The Teachers, and describing the action were the two school captains. The set was simple and effective and by the use of pull curtains changed scenes effortlessly.

The singing and dancing was excellent throughout the show and the principals all performed superbly. Glen Cavers as Corey Jnr was superb as the boy next door who has a crush on Tiffany (Chloe Wilkins) but she has a crush on The Cool Guy Michael Feldman played by Nicky Henderson. Nicky carried his role wonderfully well and he for me was the star of the show. Going from the cool guy in the beginning to the lost soul at the end when all his swagger is stripped away.  I liked the two school captains who were good links to the musical numbers. There was also the separate story between the two teachers from their nervous admiration of each other to their separation and subsequent reconciliation. Michelle Stirling and Angus Mccall were both very good in these roles and again as I have said before about this group from Langholm, where do they keep finding this talent?

Every one of the minor prinipals to the ensemble cast made this an excellent, humerous and sometimes sad performance. The whole of the cast can pat themselves on the back  as another triumph.

Thank you Centre Stage for a most enjoyable evening.

Stewart Cameron