Every year, we welcome new members into the company, whether it be on or offstage. We perform one annual large-scale musical or pantomime annually, and we support this effort with fundraising concerts and social events throughout the year. But we couldn't do it without our incredibly active and dedicated committee who manage our budgets and all of our admin on a voluntary basis. Many of the committee are also in the cast, build the sets, manage the rehearsals, make the costumes...the list is endless.
Mark's introduction to the company was painting scenery seconds before the curtain went up on our 2001 production of the Wizard of Oz. Since then he's designed and built sets, sung in the chorus, tried to dance, had walk on parts, leading roles, produced shows, designed posters, tickets and programmes and now chairs the committee. No matter how hard he tries he can't escape the firm clutches of the company, and loves every minute of it. "Our show's just get better and better, better costumes, better sets, sound and lighting, acting, singing and dancing, but putting on spectacular shows gets more and more expensive and our committee works tirelessly to ensure the planning and fundraising is in place to give our cast and audience the best we can."
Lynn like most members of the committee, got 'drawn in' when her daughter successfully auditioned for a part in Oliver! back in 2012. Offering to help in Front of House then moving on to help with costumes in the next production. "...before you know it, your hand shoots up and you’re in...". Like some on the committee Lynn has no aspiration to be on stage but the buzz and excitement is infectious and she now plays an active role in lots of key areas. "Through the Company I've made new friends and gained a hobby which I thoroughly enjoy. It never ceases to amaze me the talent of the young, and not so young, people and being part of the team creating a show which dazzles audiences year after year is so rewarding."
Katy has been performing since she was old enough to walk and could subject her brothers to her frequent “performances”. Having enjoyed being part of church, community & school shows throughout her childhood, Katy continued with Gilbert & Sullivan at university. Upon returning home to Edinburgh, Katy has been involved with Edinburgh Music Theatre, the Bohemians and joined Balerno Theatre Company in 2011 for Hello Dolly. She enjoyed the show so much she agreed to join the committee the following year and has been desperately trying to escape ever since, "but I'm clearly having too much fun being a part of the Company and they can't get rid of me." Her favourite role was as the drunken fairy in 'A Christmas Carol'. By day, Katy is a legacy fundraiser for Cancer Research UK and dotes on her two cats and two dogs.
George was inspired by his youngest son's appearance in 'Oliver' to audition for a part in A Christmas Carol. Neither his inability to sing or dance has stopped his continued appearances in our shows. Nor has his inability to understand spreadsheets stopped him from being Treasurer. ''Working with the company on stage and off really is great fun and I hope to continue my involvement for some time to come."
FRONT OF HOUSE & TICKET SALES
I started in Balerno Theatre Company when I was twelve years old. My one and only performance on stage was when I was a fork, yes a fork in Bonnie and the Beast! At that time my Gran was Front of House Manager, a job she did for over 10 years until 2015 when I took over the reigns. I'm a bit of a control freak so now I manage ticket sales as well and joined the committee in 2017. I have always enjoyed being in the company on and off the stage. There is always a buzz when you are working, the ups and the downs, seeing all the effort and hard work put in by everyone then watching what always turns out to be an amazing show.
Sheryn enjoyed performing in a number of shows throughout her teenage years and was heavily involved in the transition from Balerno Community Songsters into the creation of Balerno Theatre Company back in 2001. Since then her heart has remained firmly with the company taking on various roles on stage and also on the committee and production team. In more recent years Sheryn has turned her attention to writing and directing some of our productions. “Most rehearsals make me laugh until I cry and are a perfect antidote after a tough day at work. The best thing about our company is the special team dynamic that comes from a cast and crew ranging in age from 5 – 75 all with their own unique talents”. This year, Sheryn is taking a step back from the Production Team and has rejoined the committee to focus on making sure as many people as possible come along to enjoy our performances.
Bill, his sister and cousins debuted on the Bruntsfield Church hall stage over 60 years ago when their adult drama group (his aunt was a leading player) wanted younger folk on stage – the Pirate King was a memorable role! However helping dismantle the set afterwards was as much fun, and suitable plays for children were scarce. Bill’s uncle was President of the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Edinburgh in the 1960s, which led to his growing involvement with staging and crewing G & S shows in the Gateway, Leith and King’s Theatre, and ultimately resulted in 35 years as Stage Manager for the Society’s annual production – and building the sets, too. In 1991, when technical help was sought by Balerno Community Songsters for their first ever musical Oliver! in Balerno High School Drama Studio, Bill was recruited. He has been the Company’s Stage Manager ever since, and is also now our Business Manager.
Lorraine’s daughter Erin joined the company in August 2016 for the Wizard of Oz. As she was only six at the time, Lorraine stayed for rehearsals however it was apparent from day one that Erin was in good hands. “Everyone was so friendly and made both of us feel very welcome”. Watching the scenes evolve and enjoying the singing and dancing, Lorraine wanted to get more involved so she asked if she could help out. She was given responsibility for doing some of the younger Munchkins’ hair and also the many hairstyles of the “Wizard” himself! Before she knew it, she was asked to join the committee and she didn’t need any persuading. Lorraine is to be found working with the wardrobe ladies and also learning theatrical make-up. But having on-stage performance experience as a child, you never know, you may well see her in a future production if she can calm her nerves enough at the auditions! “It’s a privilege to be part of such an amazing company and watching Erin learn from so many talented people is reward in itself.”
I started helping with the costumes in 2003 for the production of Anything Goes. Working behind the scenes gives you a great insight into how a show is produced and it's a pleasure to see the costume ideas take fruition on the week of the show. Lasting friendships are formed within the company and being on the committee is another way of helping to promote bigger and better shows.