Four decades of artistic endeavour

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EASTWOOD park theatre’s 40th anniversary celebrations kicked off in style this week.

Theatre goers, performers and local pupils flocked to the theatre for the ceremonial cutting of the cake, just days before a weekend of festivities.

Organisers have promised that the spectacle will involve every activity that takes place in the busy complex.

The plans during the weekend’s celebrations include arts and craft sessions, fitness testing, face painting, fun sessions in the pool, movie screenings, live music and a roller disco.

This year, the theatre will host performances from several local groups who have become mainstays, including Giffnock theatre players, Eastwood Entertainers, Harlequin youth theatre, and Theatre South Productions.

Runway, EROS, Minerva Youth, Theatre Guild, Quite Contrary, Glasgow Music Theatre and Minerva Theatre will also be performing in 2013.

The theatre was opened on January 8 1973 by Scottish minister Hector Munro.

The idea for a new theatre in Gourock Park had been mooted in the late 40s but work did not start on the complex until 1966.

The opening was marked with a display from the East Kilbride synchronised swimming team who performed an excerpt of their show Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

Theatre company Runway was founded in 1969 and has been using the theatre ever since.

Chairman Robert Fyfe said: “The theatre allows you to put on shows with professional sound and lighting locally.

“At my count, 16 groups use the theatre and people like to be able to support local theatre groups without the hassle of going into town.

“People in East Renfrewshire have a huge variety of entertainment on their doorstep thanks to the facility”.

St Ninian’s pupil Emma Tracey (15) has been performing in the theatre since she began dancng at just two years old.

She said: “Lots of groups use the space and it is great to have on my doorstep. A lot of us have grown up using it and it has been a very important part of our childhood”.

A full list of the shows coming to the theatre and the art and fitness classes can be found on www.eastwoodparktheatre.co.uk.