East Kilbride Rep Theatre Club Vice Chair Anne Macfie gives an insight into EK RepFest held in May each year.
The festival of one act plays was introduced in May 1984, I’ve been organising it for about eight years now. It’s known as the ‘friendly festival’ and we like to think we’re providing a relaxed and friendly environment for clubs to perform. Although don’t be misled, competition is fierce!
Over the week of the festival, audiences are treated to a wide variety of drama performed by clubs from across Scotland; from local East Kilbride groups, to clubs from various districts east and west of EK, and even clubs coming from as far away as Wick and the Shetland Isles! There are six trophies up for grabs, and on the final night the auditorium is buzzing with anticipation once the curtain comes down on the final play.
Of course, many of the clubs who come to perform at our festival have been around the circuit and tweaked and perfected their plays, so we get to see some cracking plays and some very talented actors doing what they love.
The participating clubs can bring their sets and start setting up from 5pm, so it’s a long night for some. That’s why we provide vital support in the form of tea and coffee, sandwiches and home baking. There are many places to eat in EK village, but if people are coming from far away then we think it’s only fair to keep them fed and watered.
The festival takes around six months to plan, between one thing and another, and it’s a relief when it all goes smoothly. That’s largely because during the run there’s a great team of people working to make this happen. Everyone from the front of house staff, our guys in the control box, the theatre technicians, and of course I rely on our DSM Frank to keep backstage running smoothly. Then there’s our club members who make the sandwiches, pour the tea and polish trophies, we couldn’t do it all without everyone pitching in.
Over the course of the week our club photographer snaps away and we run a constant twitter feed (follow us @EKRepFest) providing instant updates on the trophy winners on the Saturday evening for those clubs who couldn’t make it. We have also produced a promotional video for EK RepFest, and hopefully this will encourage more clubs to enter this year. Details of how to enter, and the promotional video, can be found here.
This original version of this article was published in the Scottish Community Drama Association’s ‘Scene’ magazine.