NOSTALGIA is a powerful sentiment. Smiles, tears, gentle chuckles, raucous bellows and downright hysteria. I have witnessed all of these over the last three weeks at Le Monde Hotel, where my latest play, And I Ran With The Gang is running.
The piece tells the story of the original Bay City Roller, Alan Longmuir, and culminates with the man himself joining the cast on stage for a rendition of the band’s greatest hits. It’s a feelgood show, as you might expect, but I have come to realise, nostalgia is about more than just the band and the songs.
People who haven’t seen each other for 30 years are being reunited through the show - many wearing their tartan for the first time in three decades. We’ve had ‘girls’ who ran the fan club, chambermaids who cleaned the boys’ rooms back in the day, a couple of the band’s original roadies and of course fans from all over the world - including one who flew in from Tampa in America.
All are older now, of course, some in better health than others, but for 90 minutes, they are all teenagers again. Transported back to a time in their life that I’m sure many had all but forgotten.
And that’s the power of nostalgia. It takes us back to a time when the world was safe, when most had their parents and family around them to keep it that way. And you had the camaraderie of your friends.
The reunions over the last couple of weeks could give ITV’s Long Lost Family a run for its money.
And I Ran With The Gang closes tomorrow. It has been sold out for the last week, but what I am going to miss more than anything is the sheer joy of watching people from all walks of life put their troubles aside for a couple of hours and remember a time when they were happy, and for the most, without a care in the world.
A time when they ran with the gang... assuming they were allowed out that late.