Providing much more than just a ray of sunshine during a particularly hot summer, a unique and captivating play 'Invisible' returns this weekend to Lounge.
In collaboration with SHIMS (Scottish Head Injuries Musical Support Group), the play centres on the future of The Sunshine Club which provides therapy and support for people who have suffered life-changing head injuries.
The musical features some performers who are recovering from brain and head trauma, backed up by the cast of well known actors from the local amateur dramatics scene.
It refuses to shy away from some of the more difficult aspects of those recovering from such a horrendous situation including marriage break-ups, memory loss, and looks at hopes and fears of the individuals themselves, some with prosthetic limbs, and there is something life affirming about how these people have come through something so challenging, and here they are now performing and working wonders in front of a Largs crowd, willing to tell their story to a wider audience.
It is a very moving, poignant, and uplifting production.
Interspersed with guitar music and descriptive lyrics which pull at the heart-strings, we are taken through the stories of some of the people who have battled these traumas, with some having recovered from car crashes, and bad falls, and use music and theatre to lift their lives.
Musician and songwriter Robin Lucas is the prime example, having been in a coma after a horror car crash, and some of his descriptive lyrics don't just pull at the heartstrings but movingly convey what members of The Sunshine Club have had to come through with conviction and, incredibly, great hope for the future. It is a turnaround of incredible proportions.
The show offers an interesting insight into the condition and recovery involved in head injuries.
'Help Me Please' is one of the moving and poignant lyrics as the world comes crashing down on The Sunshine Club as it comes under threat from closure.
The title 'Invisible' refers to the fact that people can't visually see brain injury, and this is addressed in one of the songs as people can't see it and appreciate the upset involved with memory loss, as 'there's no bandage.'
The show featured as a shortened version in last year's Largs summer theatre but is now being given the full two act treatment.
'Reaching for the heights from the depths of despair' showed the courage and commitment of these unfortunate victims, and indeed, this could actually be any one of us such is the perilous nature of life.
Even crutches were used as dramatic props for a knock on the door, and one of the Sunshine Club members who was a Status Quo fan refused to get 'down, down, deeper and down',
Invisible also investigated the difficulties and complexities of losing confidence, and memories being lost, with the clever analogy that recovery was like switching on a light bulb. It was a powerful moment in a show full of them.
Invisible is beautifully performed by not just the local actors and actresses but the real true life members of the Sunshine Club. On its opening night, it gained a deserved ovation from the Lounge audience. The cast were: Julie - Pat Nicol, John - John Griffin, Matthew - George Whitestone, Narrator - Drew Cochrane, Robin - Robin Lucas, Guido - Guido Corvi, James - Eric Balfour, David - Gordon McMurray.
Sunshine Club members and musicians - Tony Carr, Peter Grant, John McMeekin, and Alan Leyden.
Written and directed by Drew Cochrane, with music and lyrics by Robin Lucas, it is a must see.
The shows take place on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8pm at Lounge. Contact 689968 for tickets at £8 with all proceeds going to the Scottish Head Injuries Musical Support group).