Brolly good work by Aberdeen students

Far from Flying a Kite, the team behind the latest student show Mary Torphins – a parody of the much-loved Disney classic Mary Poppins – spent a recent weekend auditioning.

Friday, 23rd March 2012, 9:16 am

After putting almost 50 talented students through their singing, dancing and acting paces, the top role has gone to 21-year-old final-year music student Rhona Johnston from Ellon.

The part as the umbrella flying, spoonful-of-sugar-dosing nanny will be her swansong, for this year’s show - at His Majesty’s Theatre from April 18 to 21 - will be her fourth and final student show, as well as her biggest role to date.

And not only will Rhona be playing Mary Torphins, she will also be working hard behind the scenes as the show’s assistant administrator.

The auditions were held by the production team, headed by Ryan Peacock, a former leading man in previous productions and now a drama teacher at Aberdeen Grammar School.

“The show actually has around 40 speaking parts, so there is practically a role for every member of the cast,” he said.

This is the first time a Disney spoof has been attempted by the Aberdeen Student Show, so finding the right person for Mary was crucial. Ryan and the show’s script editor, Garry Watson, both had a clear idea of what they wanted for the Aberdonian nanny.

“We really wanted someone that would look and behave like Julie Andrews’ portrayal of Mary, a character that people have grown up with – that is until she opens her mouth and speaks Doric!” explained Ryan.

In the weeks to come before the show opens on Wednesday, April 18, Rhona will be juggling finishing her dissertation with learning lines and practising how to fly by umbrella.

“I’m so excited to be given this chance and it is just the best way to end my time with Student Show!” she said.

Tickets for Mary Torphins are available online at, by phone at 01224 641122 and at Aberdeen Box Office at the Music Hall and His Majesty’s Theatre.