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The Beginning

Tryst Theatre began back in 1978. "Tryst" - an old Scots word for a secret meeting place - are former UK and Scottish drama champions and are one of Britain's most successful amateur clubs, having won a host of honours in the thirty years since their inception. They are based in Larbert in Scotland's Central Region, about thirty miles west of the capital Edinburgh.

Recent History

Black was the theme for 2007's One Act Festival with a film noir detective story and a military black op. Pugilist Specialist followed US Marines in Iraq on a secret mission to assassinate the "Bearded Lady" in a play which contained fierce haircuts. After reaching the Scottish Finals, a strictly off-the-radar mission to the Welwyn Drama Festival had our troops successfully retrieve the Director's award for Lt. Clark.

Meanwhile at the East Kilbride festival, the cast of private eye thriller Sebastian earned praise from the adjudicator: enquiry agent and trainee alcoholic Brian Tripney was nominated for Best Actor, with bestockinged femme fatale Joanne Davidson and ditzy blonde Jennifer Fleming both nominated for Best Actress. This production also saw Tryst take the Staging award for the fifth year running.

Hilarious Scots comedy Cambusdonald Royal was Tryst's autumn production in November 2007. Set in the Abbey of Cambusdonald in 1465, the monks' routine is disrupted when fifty-eight nuns seek refuge in the monastery after their convent is accidentally destroyed by two less-than-holy sisters who have been distilling a secret liqueur.

The 2008 One Act Festival found two contrasting entries from Tryst. The Donoghue Sisters told the dark tale of three sisters who share a terrifying secret from their childhood, while Duck Variations gave the grumpy elder statesmen of Tryst the opportunity sit by a lake for 45 minutes and talk about ducks. Director Jim Allan took first place at East Kilbride with Alan Clark honoured as Best Actor. A trip to the Scottish Finals saw the team win third place and become the inaugral recipients of the Donald T. Farmer Trophy for best theatrical moment. A final flight to Welwyn saw Jim Allan nominated for best actor and the ducks seize another triumphant third place before finally meeting the plum sauce.

The club's 30th Anniversary performance was Whisky Galore featuring no less than five members of the original 1978 cast. There may have been an acute shortage of whisky on Great Todday and Little Todday, but fortunately there was uisge beatha aplenty at the after show party and at the Tryst @ 30 dinner. A star-studded trip down memory lane, with guests travelling from as far as Larbert, Polmont and Hallglen to join the festivities. Our thanks again to Brian Marjoribanks and Ian Scott for joining us for what was a most enjoyable evening.

In 2009 the club produced two entries for the One Act Festival: The Bespoke Overcoat, a Jewish ghost story and After Liverpool, a sexual comedy - which eventually took second place at the Scottish Final and collected the Donald T. Farmer Trophy for the chilling domestic violence scene. A bearded touring production of Someone Who'll Watch Over Me collected second place at East Kilbride, an award for highest team acting marks at Felixstowe and another second place at Welwyn. Brian Paterson also collected Best Actor trophies at Felixstowe and Welwyn and a flat-packed trophy cabinet at IKEA. Two hilarious episodes of hit TV show Fawlty Towers, presented in November, played to packed houses and rounded off a good year for the club.

One Season's King reached the Scottish Finals in 2010 and was followed by a highly successful tour of Art. Starting in Falkirk, the tour swept the boards at the Felixstowe Drama Festival taking four awards: first place, highest marks in team acting, highest marks in production and a special adjudicator's award for Craig Murray's marvellous monologue. The club made it a double when they took another first place at the Welwyn Drama Festival along with an award for the director of the winning play and the audience appreciation trophy. The 2010 leg of the tour ended in Alloa where the play was staged in aid of the Alman's Raise the Roof fund. The club ended the year with a full-length production of Cuttin' A Rug at Bowhouse in November.

In 2011 Brian Paterson's directorial debut with Tryst, Truth, Beauty and Contact Lenses, was just olive-pipped to first place by Art with the second round of the one-act festival in Livingston seeing director Alan Clark lift both the Outlook Tower and the John Duncan Quaich for production. Avec juste un peu d'embellissement the club headed to Inverness to raise the Wheatley Tassie at the Scottish Finals. On the same night the results from the East Kilbride Rep One Act Festival were announced - another first for Art with a Best Actor award for Alan Clark and the staging trophy to boot. Third place at EK went to Truth, Beauty and Contact Lenses.

Following a quick trip for Art to the Killin Komedy Festival it was off to Welwyn with erotically-charged cat and mouse game Some Kind Of Love Story. The journey saw Tryst bring home more silverware - third place, with a Rhona Law taking the plaudits for Best Actress. Back home it was time to plan for another highly important expedition - not to Antarctica, but to the British Finals. The Art team, and supporters made it to Swindon variously by minibus, train, car, aeroplane, Tube and white van and it was well worth it, for Tryst Theatre were crowned British Drama Champions 2011 (a mere 32 years after Equus).


Tryst's Travels

In 1991, Tryst represented Britain at an International Amateur Theatre Association festival in Halden, Norway, with the Marx Brothers spoof A Night In The Ukraine.

Only a few years later the club was invited to Israel by EADI (the English Amateur Drama in Israel group) to participate in their 1997 Easter Festival with September In The Rain.

Closer to home, Tryst have travelled to Dundalk in Ireland and to the Isle Of Man, as well as to several other venues in England, Wales and, of course, Scotland.

Other Information

The club has an approximate membership of twenty, comprised of both actors and technicians. In a normal year the club will stage a full-length play in November and also participate in the Scottish Community Drama Association's One-Act Play Festival beginning in February. Throughout the year Tryst also takes part in a number of other drama festivals around the country. - Tryst Theatre is a registered Scottish charity, No SC003303