IN THE past seven decades, hundreds of performers have treaded Wee County stages under the Alloa Musical Players name.

Hundreds more have played in the orchestra, worked backstage, made costumes and props, sold programmes, raised funds, designed posters, operated lighting, painted scenery or done one of the many tasks required to put on a show.

And, indeed, thousands of residents have attended the numerous AMP shows since the company formed in 1952.

Truly, the company, originally known as the Alloa Amateur Operatic Society, has been keeping musical theatre alive in the Wee County for 70 years.

And, in fitting style, the time has come to mark the milestone by throwing a party at Sauchie Hall on Saturday, October 1 – in celebration of all those who made the AMP dream possible.

Lindsey Spowage has been a member of the company since 1975 when she joined to take part in a production of Call me Madam.

While many shows have taken place since, she is still enthusiastically rehearsing with AMP as they prepare to stage Little Shop of Horrors in March 2023.

"This is a real feel-good hobby for lots of reasons and you do not need to be a performer – or a youngster, clearly – to join the gang and make an important contribution," she mused.

"Here you find people of all ages and all backgrounds – a really diverse bunch of people – and as an example of teamwork putting on a show is unsurpassed.

"You really need to trust each and every member of the team to do their bit so it all works. And then there's the great exercise to be had from attempting the dance moves.

"And. of course. we laugh a great deal.

"I think that's what I enjoy most – the combination of working really hard to do the best we can on stage, while laughing helplessly at some of the rehearsal antics."

For a number of years, she directed shows with the whole production team talking over headsets and making corrections while the cast ran through the performance.

These were some of the happiest memories for Lindsey, who also fondly remembers the wonderful "council" electrician John Henderson who would persist in singing along with every number while managing the dimmer board.

There was once a horrible moment when the show had to be postponed for months due to the discovery of blue asbestos in the town hall – it was 1978 under president Peter Harrower, whom many will remember as a star performer.

However, that incident now pales in comparison to the recent Covid times, which has seen the company unable to stage anything for two years.

Looking back at the years, Lindsey reckons the company has become a more diverse organisation, reflecting changes in society.

AMP also became a charity in 2017 to reflect on the positive impact it aims to make.

Ever-evolving technologies have also become more available, leading to a more professional finish. And an online ticketing systems mean AMP has come a long way from selling tickets from a small caravan outside the town hall.

"Show songs are full of all sorts of emotion," Lindsey added.

"I think that's why musicals are still surviving as an art form in an age when cinema might have taken over.

"There's nothing like going to a live performance – the only thing better is taking part in a live performance and feeling the goosebumps as the orchestra tunes up at the start of a show."

Rehearsals are now well under way for Little Shop of Horrors, a crazed comedy about a flesh-eating plant, find the company at Alloa Rugby Club on Monday evenings for a last-minute move to join in, all are welcome.

Visit for the 70th anniversary party.