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Secret lives of cabaret stars

A TEACHER, nurse and classroom support worker from the region have swapped their day jobs to rock the world’s biggest fringe festival.

The trio have revealed secret lives as musical stars of a popular cabaret show that is taking Edinburgh by stor,
Joanne Blain, from Lockerbie, and Dumfries couple Lynn and Tom Cuddihy are key members of the band which plays for Le Haggis, the adult show from Dumfries, which has been wowing audiences and winning five star reviews and celebrity praise.
In normal life Tom is the principal teacher of physics and maths at Dalbeattie High School. While some of the pupils know he is in a band, they might be surprised to know exactly how he has spent his summer holidays.

Tom Cuddihy

Tom Cuddihy

And August is turning out to be a memorable time for him as Novantae, his local band , has just released its first album entitled For Us.
He and wife Lynn also have their own duet called Cordah which has just put out its first song, September Boy.
In Le Haggis he plays bass guitar and performs a solo of Deacon Blue hit Dignity.
Meanwhile, for Lynn, it’s a turnaround after a decade when she refused to sing at all.
She said: “I used to love singing but was put off 11 years ago when I was doing karaoke and heard myself and it didn’t sound good. I was mortified.”
Things changed, however, after she was persuaded to join Dumfries Community Choir and was soon picked out for her excellent voice.
Life on stage is a far cry from her day job as a mental health nurse working with children and young adults and raising awareness of mental health issues.
She said: “It’s all about mucking in together. We really support each other.”
Hairdresser turned support worker Jo also got noticed through Dumfries Community Choir and has been part of Le Haggis since itsbirth at the Big Burns Supper more than two years ago.

She said: “I get such a buzz from Le Haggis. It’s a dream come true for me.
“I still have to pinch myself to realise that I’m here in a big show at the world’s biggest Fringe festival. It’ll probably only become real when we go home in September.”

Jo blain

Jo blain

From this week the trio will be commuting back and forth to the capital and juggling their day jobs with the show until the end of the run.
Praising them, artistic director Graham Main said: “Our community roots are so important and the fact that singers from the Dumfries Community Choir are up here now, working with some of the hottest acts around, is simply brilliant.”

The Le Haggis band features musicians and singers from Dumfries and Galloway

The Le Haggis band features musicians and singers from Dumfries and Galloway

Other Le Haggis performers with local links include Lockerbie rocker Grant Dinwoodie, fiddler and music teacher Robbie Huxtable and Dumfries born drummer Mike Uphill.

Le Haggis acts pictured with Edinburgh Rugby prop Simon Berghan Photo by Colin Harris

Le Haggis acts pictured with Edinburgh Rugby prop Simon Berghan
Photo by Colin Harris

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