Director Nan bows out after 30 years

Nan Keen with the Deeside Youth Musical Theatre cast of the recent production of Joseph.
Nan Keen with the Deeside Youth Musical Theatre cast of the recent production of Joseph.

A long-standing director and producer is retiring after 30 years behind high quality and hugely entertaining musical theatre shows on Deeside.

Nan Keen has made the difficult decision to call it a day but is leaving behind a glowing legacy due to her devotion to theatre life in the area.

I have loved working with the young people of Deeside

Nan Keen Director-Producer

Nan arrived in Aboyne in 1980 and was quickly persuaded to join the Deeside Musical Society (DMS).

It followed several years of performaning, taking leading roles in amateur productions, including The Pyjama Game and Westside Story, in musical and light opera groups in Fife.

There followed a long association DSM both as a performer and from 1986 as the group’s artistic director.

At its height, DMS was performing shows twice a year and Nan increasingly enjoyed taking on the challenge of producing demanding productions.

In 2008 she retired and was invited to join Deeside youth theatre group, the Deeside Youth Musical Theatre.

Nan took over from Alison Ewan and along with musical director Graham Davidson has moved the group in a new direction, raising the age of the cast to 18.

This has allowed her to challenge members with larger musical theatre productions such as Hairspray, Grease, Fame and this year’s Joseph.

The group performs over three nights to packed audiences and it has become an annual highlight for the local Deeside population.

Cast members have been given the opportunity to work with an experienced and extremely talented director whose enthusiasm and dedication has inspired them all to perform to the highest standard possible.

Past members have gone on to pursue careers in stagecraft, lighting and design and performance.

The decision to retire has not been an easy one for Nan.

She said: “Musical theatre has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I have loved working with the young people of Deeside.

“Their enthusiasm and energy has been infectious and their willingness to take on a challenge and give things a go has amazed me. I will miss them all very much.”

Deeside Youth Musical Theatre has been extremely fortunate to have had Nan’s involvement for the past seven years.

The group is now looking for its next artistic director. If you are interested in joining, contact Julie Thomson (chair) on 013398 85515 or Graham Davidson (musical director) on 013398 85310 for further information.