Hey everyone On Tuesday night I missed something truly special at Lourdes in fact some people may call it miraculous. Now for the benefit of the non Glaswegians amongst you I should point out that the Lourdes I refer is a secondary school in the Cardonald area of my city rather than a shrine in France. So what was last night’s amazing miracle in that school I hear you ask. Well after a 19 year break history was made as GAP that’s short for (Govan and Paisley) Theatre Group was reconvened and the group met for it’s first rehearsal this side of the millenium.
This is in no small part due to the efforts of Gary Maguire who after taking initial soundings from former members during a facebook chat persuaded enough former members of the senior and youth groups to get involved and then not content with this, persuaded Neil Shackleton to take leave of his senses get the group reformed again
With many original members in attendance the group had our first meeting since June 1995 when everyone went our separate ways to get on with the business of life. I have to say it’s been an eventful time for as I gained an honours degree, performed both stand up comedy and poetry the later of which has seen me perform at the Edinburgh fringe for the past nine years, and acquire the gender into which I should have been born and now live full time as a woman and that’s some of my highlights I can’t wait to catch up with everyone and find out what they’ve all been up to.
Yes I know that thanks to the wonders of technology I have reconnected some of them particularly those for whom I was a volunteer helper at Greater Schools Youth Theatre in other words the mad squad and believe me they don’t any madder than this little lot. Honestly, you just help to trust me on that. Anyway the fact is that each of them have a special place in my life but I know what there getting up to but I can’t wait to see those in the senior group, you know the one I was actually a part of from 1990 to 1995.
It will be lovely to see people like Margaret Bell, Carla Corneli, Lisa McGilloway, Bob Snell, and Claire Monaghan and catch up with all their news and gossip. I suppose it will be like filling in the Gaps as we all get up to speed with the stories which have shaped us since we last met.
I don’t know why but I’m getting quite excited at the idea of being part of the group again. I think it’s all the great memories of shows like the 1990 Christmas Review, which was my first show with the company, the Girl Of the Golden City, Rave On, Road, Stags and Hens, and No Mean City amongst others and believe me some of those memories were priceless. We also went on tour throughout Glasgow and the West Of Scotland. I can recall only too clearly the night the set collapsed at Springburn. Luckily there were only five or ten people to see this calamity but the next two nights more than made up for it as we returned to full houses at our spiritual home of the Pearce Institute where everything went like clockwork as we always knew it would.
Honestly, those nights on the road from Govan to Greenock forged friendships made to last and just like the ships which were built at the local yard they were strong navigate even the stormiest seas. I suppose when you go back to something after a few years you wonder if it will still have the same magic as it did the first time round. I don’t know why but on this occasion I think the answer might be yes. You may wonder I am so confident about this, if I answer honestly I have to say I think it was a combination of the characters we had the creative talents of our cast and the technical ability of our crew such as our director Neil Shackleton and stage manager Iain Boyce. When you combine those factors with the enthusiasm and commitment of a cast that actually get on with each other you can see why I think both our summer show and the panto will be great successes in the finest tradition of GAP.
As you can probably tell I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone and finding out more about the shows and how I can help to play my part in making them as successful as I want them to be. I really don’t care if I have a small part in the show or I’m selling programmes as front of house. To me GAP will always be about my community and companions. So lets get rocking and lets get these shows on the stage. It’s time to get dramatic again not for auld lang syne but for the smell of the greasepaint and the roar of the crowd. However, as we get ready to take the next stage on our journey we know that though the starting point must be the past it must end with our future. As we recall the days we once raved on along our road of dramas, dreams, and demons, but now as we walk down memory lane we’re filling in the GAPS.
Love And Best Wishes