Simon returns with a sell-out tour of Caithness
Easier access to your trusted, local news. Subscribe to a digital package and support local news publishing.
A FORMER Lybster Primary School teacher and part-time pantomime dame returned to Caithness with a one-man show that had audiences enthralled one moment and in stitches the next.
Simon Lamb toured seven different venues throughout Scotland and at the end of his last show – in Mackays Hotel, Wick – he confessed to feeling quite emotional.
"It's really poignant that I'm back here in Wick where it all started for me when I first came to Caithness," he said.
Simon played the pantomime dame in Wick Players' 2017 production of Jack and the Beanstalk and his stage presence was as big then as it was at this Monday night performance.
Regaling the audience with personal anecdotes, memories of teaching and readings from his book of poems, Cathedral Sky, An Evening with Simon Lamb was suffused with wit, humour and a strong sense of enthusiasm that was infectious.
The audience, at least 100-strong, was very receptive to the show and Simon spent some time at the end signing copies of Cathedral Sky – a poetic homage to Caithness with its vast skies – and engaging with many who turned up to wish him well.
His mini-tour also included appearances in Thurso and Lybster.
"I certainly feel I developed the craft for doing this sort of thing from the amateur dramatics I did as a youngster."
Simon did not shy away from some of the negative aspects of growing up in Ayrshire and having a markedly different accent from most of his school friends. He said he experienced a certain amount of bullying for having an "English accent" despite being born and bred in the area.
"Now I use the voice that I was taken the mickey for when I was younger and making that a strength rather than a targeted weakness.
"I enjoy playing with the audience and that interaction is so important for what I did tonight, for example."
And, with only a Christmas jumper as the one prop he employed in the show, Simon used that power of interaction to make the performance a great success that drew a rousing appreciation from the audience at Mackays.