The changeable and often unpredictable nature of our weather (perhaps especially so in Galloway) makes it a conversation subject of perennial interest.
So ‘Whither the Weather – or so much for the seasons’ was an appropriate and inviting title for an evening of songs presented by Fine Tunings to a full house at the Swallow Theatre, their fourth visit to this venue. The group, established in 2011, consists of a quartet of local singers (Rania Savvidi, Julie McGlashan, Stuart McGlashan and John Taylor) ably accompanied by the pianist Christina Montgomery. Their programme at the Swallow Theatre was a selection of solos, duets, trios and quartets, all connected in some way with the weather. A wide and varied range of music was included, from Haydn to Flanders & Swann, taking in Gilbert & Sullivan, Ivor Novello, Lerner & Loewe and more. Items such as ‘Summer Nights’ from ‘Grease’ and two songs from ‘The Mikado’ demonstrated the talents of the group for acting and comedy, and contrasted nicely with the more serious songs such as John Ireland’s setting of Masefield’s ‘Sea Fever’ and ‘In Haven’ from Elgar’s Sea Pictures. Rania gave us a very sultry ‘Summertime’ from Porgy and Bess, and at the other extreme of weather the audience enjoyed a pleasing and (at first) mysterious arrangement of ‘White Christmas’ which was sung unaccompanied. The evening concluded with very spirited performances of ‘Sunny Side of the Street’ and ‘Give Me Sunshine’, complete with the famous and much-loved Morecambe and Wise exit routine.
It’s back to theatre for the next event at the Swallow – ‘A Walk at the Edge of the World’ presented by Magentic North on August 27.