By member Pat Johnson
One of the items on the agenda at every committee meeting is “Website”. At one such meeting there was mention that someone really should write a blog for the website. Now I wasn’t sure what a blog was, never having read, let alone written such a thing before, but I heard someone say, “I’ll do it”. Imagine my surprise when I realised those words had been spoken by me, but it turns out a blog is similar to an essay. So that’s alright. That just left the problem of subject matter.
My first thought was the EPT premises, the place where we rehearse, hold meetings, build sets, paint scenery, store costumes and props and have workshops and social functions. There’s something about that old railway repair shop, with its stone floors, year round sub-zero temperatures and ramshackle assortment of props from past performances that’s oddly endearing. During the three years I’ve been a member of EPT I’ve grown strangely fond of the place.
But that was in the old days. The days when we could meet and hug and do things together in real life, rather than the virtual world we’re all growing to accept as the new normality. The pre-Covid days, when plays could be rehearsed and theatre goers could sit together to enjoy performances.
I’ve often heard the phrase “we are family”, relating to the membership of EPT. Inwardly I used to groan. Family, so luvvie-ish! But never have I felt that expression more apposite than it is now, thanks, in large part, to our president Derek Ward. I couldn’t possibly comment on whether the term “luvvie” would be appropriate to describe him, but he has kept us all amused and entertained with his chronicles of life in lockdown and he has privately checked on the more vulnerable members by regular phone calls and texts.
A small sub committee has been dreaming up ways to keep us together and occupied as a group. We’ve had quizzes, coffee mornings, bingo, a musical quiz, improvisation sessions and committee meetings have continued, all on Zoom. We “performed” our Easter play and it is currently appearing on a You Tube near you. The cast of “Men Should Weep” have had rehearsals in isolation in preparation for performance in the future, following the cruelty of cancellation just two days before opening night.
There are more activities in the planning for the lockdown weeks ahead, so we’re staying together in spirit, boosting morale and maintaining the community of Edinburgh People’s Theatre. We are family.
Find out more about us and how to join.
If you fancy taking part in any of our lockdown activities, stay tuned on our members’ Facebook group.