There were tears of laughter mixed with those of sadness yesterday as the institution that is the Singing Kettle said farewell for the final time.
After 32 fun-filled years, and more than 6,500 live performances, the curtain came down on the much-loved show that has brought joy to generations.
An added treat for the packed Music Hall audience in Aberdeen was the appearance of founding members Cilla and Artie – who stepped down from stage duties in 2013 – as they mingled with fans young and old and also took to the stage to say their own emotional farewells.
There was a palpable sense of anticipation as children, parents and grandparents prepared to watch the show for the final time.
Young adults dressed in homemade hats mixed with parents who had seen the Singing Kettle when they were children, and it was revealed some had travelled from as far away as London to see the final performance, such is the draw of the Kettle formula.
The show itself was as enjoyable as ever, as we sang and clapped along to such songs as the Music Man and Over the Irish Sea.
It really is strange that such a successful troupe should decide to call it a day when there is still such an appetite for the show, and my five-year-old son – who sat with his eyes and mouth wide open throughout the performance – is certainly not chuffed he’ll never get to see the gang again, at least not in this guise.
Such was the enthusiasm from the adults in the audience, that we had to be told to give the children a chance to be heard, and that, from the stage, it was like looking out at a giant adult creche.
It was all good natured, and it’s safe to say that not all Singing Kettle fans are children.
There were some memorable ad-libbed moments from Gary, Kevin and Anya as they laughed and joked their way through this final performance.
Kevin’s costume malfunction while dressed as the good fairy brought howls of laughter from both the audience and the performers, and the sight of some lucky children plucked from their seats participating on stage is always the highlight of the show.
It was clear to see the genuine sadness at the fact this long run was coming to an end, and I am sure there were some wobbly lips when Cilla and Artie gave their thanks to cast and audience with some heartfelt words at the end.
After the final kettle had been found – and Music Man Gary was given the honour of opening it – the last song was sung and the Singing Kettle was no more.
It has been an astonishing run of success, and part of so many people’s childhoods, and their children’s childhoods too.
But the good news is we don’t have to wait long to see the new incarnation of this group as Fun Box rises from the ashes of the Singing Kettle.
Gary, Kevin and Anya have decided to continue under a different moniker and will return to the same venue in August to begin what will hopefully be another 32 years of family fun that my children will be taking their children to see in the future.
Thanks for the memories, and we’ll see you in the summer.