It’s one of the best known facts in showbusiness: for all performers, the hometown show is always the hardest.
For Halfway girl, Lorna Dolan, her show at Rutherglen Town Hall this Friday comes with even more pressure - it represents the first step in the next stage of her career.
Lorna (29) will perform The Way We Were for only the second time this week, and she hopes it will open the door to further shows as she settles back into life in Scotland.
Lorna spent most of the past decade travelling the world, performing on luxurious cruise ships. But she grew tired of that lifestyle and has returned home to try and fashion out a new career.
And she hopes The Way We Were, which features hits from the 20’s to the 80’s, will help her make a name for herself.
“It’s an old-style cabaret show that you would have seen years ago,” she says. “No-one is really doing anything like this these days.
“I decided I wanted to put on a show. It was actually a New Year’s resolution and I went ahead with it.”
And Lorna revealed an old friend and well known local face helped persuade her to go through with it: “This is the first time I had done anything like this. I had done a panto with Scott Kyle through college before and when he took over at Bathgate Theatre he asked me to put on the show.
“It seemed like a good idea and I performed in August. It was nearly a sell-out and that was really pleasing because it was in a place where no-one knew me. It wasn’t just my mum buying all the tickets.”
Lorna’s determination to make the show a success has seen her touring senior citizen clubs to raise interest. Her commitment is typical of a girl who left Cambuslang at the age of just 17 to chase her dream.
A former pupil at St Charles’ Primary and Trinity High, Lorna was spotted at a singing competition and asked to take on a job at a Haven Holiday home. Pretending she was 18, Lorna went and later moved to Newcastle to perform in bands.
At the age of 20 she auditioned for Celebrity Cruises. It was a different world for the young Lorna, who finally found herself sailing at the age of 21.
But it is an experience she wouldn’t change: “You get things like the X Factor running cruise ship performers down, but the entertainment at Celebrity Cruise’s was excellent.
“It’s not easy for anyone coming out of college to perform on a cruise ship. I was lucky I started well because I really don’t think I was ready for it. I had no experience and couldn’t even read music.
“They flew us out to Nashville for rehearsals and I was so nervous. I thought I was going to be fired, not because I was making mistakes but just because I didn’t understand how big the production was.
“I kind of fell into the job. When I got on the cruise ship everyone had been to a fancy college and there were people from all over the world. It was an amazing experience and it was the best way to learn. I proved you didn’t need the fancy college to succeed.
“We worked three nights out of 12 so a lot of the time it was a big party.”
Despite her success on the sea, Lorna decided to return home in 2010: “I just wasn’t enjoying it anymore. I thought if I didn’t get off now, I would be stuck there forever.
“It feels like you’re in captivity. Everything is really comfortable and completely safe. I was coming home and going to clubs would freak me out.”
Since returning home two years ago, Lorna has appeared in a number of shows, but The Way We Were represents her first attempt to put on a show herself.
Featuring music by the likes of Judy Garland, Doris Day and Barbra Streisand, Lorna hopes it will appeal to young and old alike.
And she also hopes it will open doors to her for the future: “I’ve always been into musical theatre and I was pretty lucky to get work back when I was a teenager.
“I wasn’t sure anything would come of it. I thought I’d maybe end up playing in pubs and clubs. But I’m still performing full time.
“I’ve no idea what will come of this. Obviously I’ve already done Bathgate and hopefully if the Town Hall is a success I can roll it out and take it to other, smaller venues across the county.
“There’s a lot of hard work goes into it and we’ll need to see if the pay makes it worthwhile. Obviously I’m not really a well known singer.”
Tickets for The Way We Were are on sale from the Town Hall Box Office on 0141 613 5700 or online at www.boxoffice.southlanarkshire.gov.uk.
The show takes place on Friday (November 23) at 7.30pm.