EACH year the standard of performances improves at the East Region Cabaret, and this year’s event held at Perth Concert Hall was no different with many of the audience members thinking it was too close to call a winner during the interval. 

All eight acts brought in their own comedy elements which combined with song and dance routines to keep the sell-out crowd entertained throughout as well as the judges, Mrs Irene Macarthur, Jimmy Anderson and Tommy Baxter. 

As well as eight 10-minute performances, there was an opening act from pipe and drum duo, Raymond Kennedy and Suzie Dunn, both of SSS YFC, as well as closing acts from Peeblesshire JAC and Carluke YFC.

Commenting on behalf of the judges during a critique before the awards were handed out, Mr Anderson commented: “The whole competition was very very close and the standard has really gone up a notch compared to the first time I judged 25 years ago.

“We were looking for that entertainment value – something to hold our attention for the whole 10 minutes with no gaps or pauses. We were also looking at the presentation and production of the show, with good scenery and song choices,” he added.

It was certainly close between the top two but it was the Perthshire District team that secured the coveted trophy for the second year on the trot. This year’s winning entry was titled ‘The mart’, and followed a breeding sheep sale at United Auctions’ Stirling centre with a number of solo singers showing off their talents. Produced by Jim Smith and Aislinn Campbell, this production also saw Anna Sloan qualify for the best act award for her portrayal of UA’s former head honcho, David Leggat.

Finishing in second and just one point behind was the East Fife JAC team with ‘A day in the life of East Fife High’ which was produced by Anna Dickinson and David Smout. This performance followed an unruly class through various school lessons, and there was further celebration for the team when Nicky Wilson was awarded the title of best act outwith the winning team. 

Forfar JAC secured third place with ‘FYF news’, which showed live reports from in and around Forfar as well as a fantastic weather report. 

The club’s synchronised swimming team was also shortlisted for the best act award, alongside Hannah Stewart from Bathgate JAC, West Fife YFC’s Grant Barr, Tasmin Glass from Strathmore JAC, Robin Norrie from Brechin YFC and Kinross JAC’s Amy Weatherup. 

There was a new award this year for the best comedy act, which went to the three little pigs from West Fife YFC – David Laird, Grant Barr and Robbie Geyer. Runners up for this title were Andrew Adam, from Forfar JAC, and James and Callum Neill, from Strathmore JAC.

See this week's issue of The Scottish Farmer, out February 11, for more photos from the Cabaret.