AOC Productions’ London Calling concert to embark on north-east tour

What do Mary Poppins, Sweeney Todd, Me And My Girl and David Bowie have in common? They’re all associated with London.

But you don’t have to travel to the Big Smoke to enjoy all those great musicals and tunes – Aberdeen’s own AOC Productions will bring them to your doorstep in a north-east tour of their new show, London Calling.

“London is famous for so many musicians and musicals, we just sat down one evening and compiled a list of songs that have something to do with the city – and we ended up with a huge list,” said Aaron Thom, who is directing the show.

“The company’s musical director Craig McDermott and I also noticed a few themes emerging. A lot of the songs we were picking had street names and areas in the title – so that’s one theme of the show.

“In act two we have NW5 (a Madness song but also London postcode), A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, Baker Street, The Lambeth Walk, Warwick Avenue, Chelsea Dagger…

“A lot of people who’ll come to the show will also recognise songs by Lily Allen, Elton John, Jon Bon Jovi and we also have songs from musicals such as Sweeney Todd and Marry Poppins which are always associated with London.”

AOC Productions aberdeen london calling
Rehearsals are in full swing for AOC Production’s concert tour London Calling. Image: AOC Productions.

London Calling to tour north-east with great music numbers

Aaron and Craig decided to hit the road with a concert tour after they were asked to produce Me And My Girl as the amateur theatre company’s main show later this year.

So in preparation for staging the popular musical at The Tivoli in May, they came up with the idea of a London-themed concert that will feature songs from the London-based musical Me And My Girl as well as other shows.

And they have 27 singers – aged between 17 and 70 – on board the London train which will stop at Stonehaven, Midmar and Fraserburgh before arriving in Aberdeen.

Aaron said: “We’re really looking forward to going on tour – it’s one of the things we weren’t able to do for the past couple of years.

“I think the show will appeal to all age ranges. While songs from Mary Poppins will appeal to younger people, more mature audience members will know We’ll Meet Again by Vera Lynn.

“We couldn’t have a better mix of music – there’s something for everybody. There’s also mix of solos – male and female, duets, trios and even somebody playing the violin at some point.”

Directorial debut

The show’s director also thinks London Calling is a great “teaser” for what’s to come when the long-standing theatre company brings Me And My Girl to The Tivoli.

The gifted performer joined AOC Productions in 2004 when he was still in school and he worked his way up to become the company’s director.


aoc productions london calling aberdeen
Aaron Thom will direct AOC Productions’ concert London Calling.

He said: “I joined AOC in 2004 and in 2005 I did their production of Anything Goes at Aberdeen Arts Centre. The last main role I had on stage as a performer was in 2012 – I was the lead in a show called The Drowsy Chaperone.”

Fast forward to last year, Aaron was the company’s assistant director when they produced Calendar Girls.

“London Calling will be my first time as a director and I’ll also be directing Me And My Girl at The Tivoli,” said Aaron who also works as an educational development adviser at Aberdeen University.

AOC Productions memorial award

Busy preparing for the concert tour, the AOC Productions team took some time out of rehearsals to recognise their members’ hard work and dedication by awarding Holly Edmonds the Meg Beattie accolade.

Aaron explained: “Meg Beattie was a member of AOC for more than 50 years. She was in several productions but sadly passed away in 2021. But because she was the longest-serving member of the company and was very much a team player, the company decided to create a memorial award to be awarded after every main show.

Holly Edmonds recently received the Meg Beattie memorial award. Image: AOC Productions/ Facebook.

“Holly Edmonds was the first recipient of the Meg Beattie memorial trophy for going above and beyond what company members could be expected of doing. She really became so involved and was a great team player on and off stage.

“People in the company come and go but creating an award like this… it means people who didn’t work with Meg or didn’t know her (now will). She was so much part of the fabric of the company. The award ensures the name ends up going on and people are aware of her legacy.”

How to book tickets

AOC Productions’ concert London Calling will visit Stonehaven Town Hall on February 8, Midmar Public Hall on February 9, Fraserburgh’s Dalrymple Hall on February 10 and will finish the tour with two performances at The Craig Centre For Performing Arts (Robert Gordon’s College) in Aberdeen on February 11.

Tickets for all shows can be purchased here.

Me And My Girl will be at The Tivoli from May 31 to June 3. Tickets can be booked here.

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