An amateur operatic group celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
East Renfrewshire Operatic Society (EROS) will end their golden anniversary season with the whip-cracking musical Calamity Jane.
EROS was founded in 1965 by Alex McLeod and Bill MacFarlane. They placed an advertisement in the local paper, The Mercury & Advertiser, inviting all parties interested in forming an amateur musical society to attend a meeting in the Clarkston Halls.
Tracy Fraser tells The Extra: “The turnout was overwhelming and the first president, Mr William McFarlane, offered to provide the initial funding for the first production.”
The first show was The Merry Widow, performed in Clarkston Halls — which remained the performance venue until 1973 when Eastwood Park Theatre was opened.
EROS was the first club to perform in the new theatre. Over 50 years, , 60 performances have been staged ranging from light opera to pantomime and revues.
In 2004, it was decided to do away with the somewhat ‘stuffy’ name and this was changed to what we thought would be the more ‘user friendly’ name of EROS Musical Society.
Many lifelong friendships have been formed, husbands and wives have met through EROS, including the current president and secretary — Philip and Lynsay Larmour — creating second and third generations of members.
Florence Denholm attended that first meeting in Clarkston Halls and met her future husband Jack.
Florence played Calamity Jane in 1975.
Carol Inglis has played many leading roles including, Katie Brown in Calamity Jane in 1975 alongside Florence.
Tracy is Carol’s daughter and was on stage as a ‘bump’ in 1978.
Tracy’s next appearance on stage with EROS was in 1986, at the age of eight in Brigadoon, and is also playing the lead role of Calamity Jane.
Florence, Carol and Tracy have been organising their 50th Anniversary Dinner Dance in May.
Tracy said: “We have been trying to contact as many former members as possible but haven’t managed to reach everybody, so if there are any who would like to attend, please get in touch with Carol at firstname.lastname@example.org or come and see us at the theatre during our run of the showe. EROS have even received a letter from Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber (patron of National Operatic and Dramatic Association) congratulating EROS on their 50th anniversary.
The milestone production runs Tuesday-Saturday (April 21-25) at Eastwood Park. Tickets from £12.