A BIG birthday bash on Saturday marked 70 years since the birth of Alloa Operatic Society.

Alloa Musical Players (AMP), as it has been known since the turn of the millennium, marked 70 years of musical theatre with the event at Sauchie Hall on October 1.

Having launched in 1952, hundreds have given their time and talents with those attending ranging from members from the 1960s through to today's new starts.

Following a welcome glass of bubble, people attending browsed through the historic photographs on display, enjoyed speeches and more.

Elizabeth Sinclair and Margaret Cowell, two of the earliest surviving members, had the honours of cutting the cake while tributes were paid to notable players recently lost – founding member David Hunter, and long-serving performers Dorothy Izatt, Helen Roxburgh and Jean Thom.

Lindsey Spowage, who joined AMP in 1975 recalled a few incidents over the years, including a bomb scare during a performance, the discovery of blue asbestos causing the postponement of a show, the appearance of a live donkey on stage as well as a well-behaved dog called Fred.

She said: “I think the greatest advance has been in the use of technology such as computerised lighting desks and radio microphones allowing singers to be heard over a band.

“We can also sell tickets online which is massively labour-saving – and communicate so easily using social media.”

The next AMP show, the Little Shop of Horrors, is already in the works, tickets are to go on sale shortly for the March 2023 staging.

Rob McDermott, AMP president, added: “Although there is a great deal of hard work and worry involved in staging a show and managing a company, we do it to keep music live in our community and above all to have fun.

“This is a very diverse group of people, making it a rewarding hobby that builds confidence and self-esteem – not to mention providing plenty exercise!

“We are an ever-changing team with a secure core and we welcome new performers and volunteers of all sorts.”