2018 - 19 message

Hello. I’m Anne Mackenzie and I’m honoured to once again be President of Edinburgh People’s Theatre for the year 2017 – 2018.

I’m a relative newcomer to EPT, having joined in February 2006, but I’ve been involved in various ways, in almost every EPT production in the last 11 years. I’ve also served many terms on the EPT committee as joint publicity convener, patron’s secretary, ticket secretary, membership secretary and play reading convener. And I’ve enjoyed visiting various community groups, organisations, and meetings as a member of the EPT cabaret group who enjoy bringing EPT out into the local community. In my spare time, I also have a full time job and 3 children (2 grown up, and a lovely 15 year old girl)!

I remember my first visit to the EPT premises, where I was amazed at the Aladdin’s Cave of theatre stuff we had, and totally impressed by the talent and commitment of the EPT members I met. I joined EPT because I wanted to act, having returned from 5 years living in Italy and having begun acting with a theatre group in Turin and enjoying it. However, I soon realised that this isn’t the be all and end all of the team effort which goes into putting on a production. I also realised that in terms of acting, I still had a lot to learn, and I watched and learned from much more experienced actors than I (and I still do). I have been on stage quite a bit with EPT but I’ve also done Front of House duties, Box Office, Prompt, Backstage crew, helped with transporting the set and props to the theatre, painted sets, been assistant director, musical director, publicity, and swept the floor in the rehearsal area, as well as the committee duties outlined previously. It sounds like hard work, and sometimes it is, but I can say truthfully, that there have been times at EPT when I’ve never laughed quite so much or had so much fun and friendship with a group of people, before.

When I joined EPT in 2006 I was immediately aware that here was a really friendly, welcoming group of people; I was impressed that EPT productions were taken very seriously in terms of the professionalism of the members involved, the club was committed to producing shows of the highest quality possible; and that the team work involved was paramount to achieving the former. What this means in reality, is that every member of EPT, whatever they do, is fundamental to making a production work. We discourage ‘divas’ and ‘star wannabes’ because we all play a part in a production, from set building, costumes and the sourcing of props to stage manager, sound and lighting. As a member of EPT we’d expect you to do front of house sometimes, or help paint sets, and support our productions even if you’re not going to appear on stage. This isn’t to say we won’t encourage your talent, we have had members go on to the professional stage, as you’ll see in our history, and we’ll support you all the way, but we’re a theatre group and we’ll see you as part of our team. We’ll also encourage you and help you learn, if you’d like to, about the technical aspects of a production, or to help improve your acting technique through in-house workshops, or support and encourage you if you’d like to learn how to direct a play for the first time.

Edinburgh People’s Theatre has a rich history from its inception in 1943, and an excellent reputation in Edinburgh. We’re proud to be the longest performing theatre group at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (61st year), and this year (2018) sees our 68th consecutive pantomime (with the last 53 at the Church Hill Theatre), and there were others ‘christmas shows’ before these. We’re successful because of the members of EPT and their talent and commitment to the club. We’re a diverse bunch, we have young members and older members and lots of folk in-between, but we all work together to produce high quality theatre and we have a lot of fun doing it.

If you’re interested in joining EPT please get in touch with us (visit the Join Us section of the website). We have regular open nights where potential members can come and visit us. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to know anything more about the club. EPT is lucky to have a loyal audience, with many regulars coming along to all our shows. If you don’t want to become a member but do want to be kept updated about our future productions you can become a patron by filling out a simple form (see the Patrons section of the website). Full contact details can be found in the Contact Us section. We’d love to hear from you.