Last Updated on Friday, 24 February 2017 01:21
East Kilbride Rep was founded in 1954 by local resident, John McNicol (pictured left). John was a keen theatre enthusiast, and by knocking on a few doors he talked some locals into forming an amateur dramatics club. John was himself a keen performer and in 1955 he directed and appeared in the Rep's very first production, Bachelors are Bold. The production helped to raise money for the emerging East Kilbride Thistle Football Club. In the early days, the club would rehearse in the Village School and perform in East Kilbride Public Hall. Productions were also staged for a short time in Claremont High School.
By 1960, the Rep were desperately seeking premises of their own and they were lucky enough to source and purchase a disused wooden hut from the Linlithgow Pigeon Club for £60. Members worked hard to rebuild the hut on land behind the Public Hall.
In 1966 the club began its annual pantomime. The Rep panto, which is written and produced by the Rep and comprises a chorus of up to sixty local children, now runs for two weeks and includes two Saturday matinees.
1978 saw a transformation of the old Public Hall. It was completely renovated and rebuilt to become a purpose built theatre with over 300 seats. The Rep now had a brand new performance venue literally on their doorstep!
In 1984, the One Act Festival was born. The festival attracts amateur dramatics clubs from all over Scotland, who come to perform one act plays and compete for trophies.
It was the end of an era for the Rep in 1996. The wooden hut, that had been in use for the last three decades was demolished to make way for new industrial units. But, to the delight of members, supporters and friends of the club, the Rep purchased and subsequently moved into one of the new units where they still are to this day. The new industrial unit is still affectionately known as "The Hut"!