"Balamory" has been around on the BBC for only a couple of years now, but is now a cult children's classic with it's ubiquitous catchphrase, "What's the story in Balamory?". After nearly four series, it looks set to be axed now, which is a pity as it's a colourfully friendly blend of music, frolics and fun.
Made for the under-fives, the series is set in the fictional seaside town of "Balamory" (actually Tobermory, Scotland). The show is narrated by nursery teacher Miss Hoolie (Julie Wilson Nimmo), and features colourful and diverse characters such as Archie the Inventor, Edie McRedie the bus driver, PC Plum, Josie Jump, etc. The cast of characters cast a broad net with black, English, Scottish and disabled all included. Appropriately, attention is never actually drawn to these things so the subconscious message to the children is that it is really all right. I don't think this approach is any way too PC - in a still sometimes prejudicial and ignorant society, it's essential.
The music incorporates different styles of performing that vary from the grating and annoying, to some rather brilliant, contemporary sounds.
Well-aimed at a young audience, "Balamory" will renew itself as a stage show that tours Scotland from December 2004.
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