Thursday, 12 June 2014

It’ll be alright on the night!

Many people (quite rightly!) were sceptical about our wee Museum playing host to five nights of performances; arguably, there is barely enough room to swing a cat, but it was felt that a bit of drama could really bring the exhibition on the Byre Theatre to life. So, undeterred, Red Wine Productions and The St Andrews Play Club not only worked around the lack of space, they used it to their advantage during their performances of "It'll be alright on the night!" - a play within a play set in the original Byre Theatre. Rather than performing the entire play on the stage, the cast performed the first act in the downstairs area of the Museum.

Some of the cast downstairs during the first act
The first act, written by Carole Tricker, took the audience behind the scenes in the old Byre Theatre of the 1960s. Missing actors and costumes threaten to cancel the show, but the players and fretting Director come up with a plan – the show must go on!
The audience were called to their seats, and the show was underway. The second and third acts were edited versions of the local classic, “The Open” written by Byre Theatre founder Alex. B. Paterson. This play was performed at the Byre Theatre every year the Open Golf Tournament came to St Andrews and so most of the audience were familiar with the play. As the cast were short of a few players, 'Sandy', played by Sandra Skeldon, excitedly steps in during the first act and volunteers to play the part of feisty sixteen year old, Mary the Maid, much to the amusement of the audience.
With a maximum audience capacity of 20, there were concerns that the audience would be too small. Yet, it turns out that this intimate venue was perfect – the cast enjoyed having the audience so close to them, and the audience felt like they were part of the action. One member of the audience even commented, “it was like being back in the first Theatre again”.
4 out of the 5 nights sold out and the plays raised over £700. The funds raised have been split between the Museum and the Friends of the Byre Theatre. This, coupled with the fantastic response we had from attendees have made this venture so worthwhile and we hope to have more performances in the Museum in the near future.
Photographs by Hannah Burt.

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