Tryst Theatre began back in 1978, rising from the not inconsiderable ashes of Larbert High School Former Pupils Dramatic Society. "Tryst" - an old Scots word for a secret meeting place - are former UK and Scottish drama champions and are one of Britain's most successful amateur clubs, having won a host of honours in the forty-plus years since their inception. They are based in Larbert in Central Scotland, about thirty miles west of the capital Edinburgh.
In the past few years Tryst have tackled a range of plays - and in a variety of locations.
2018 saw local writer Kenneth Ross' modern take on the classic Antigone performed in Stirling, Killin and Alloa - the latter as part of our Death and Deckchairs double-bill. With so many characters disposed of during the Greek tragedy, it was up to John Godber's hilarious September in the Rain to bring a little bit of sunshine to the Alman audience (albeit with a pac-a-mac in reserve).
Also that year was Tryst's 40th anniversary and the club celebrated in style with their production of The Cheviot, The Stag and The Black, Black Oil - the cast of fourteen (plus three musicians) bringing a ceilidh atmosphere to proceedings.
Things took a darker turn once more in 2019 with War Wounds and Witchcraft - a heart-pounding modern-day version of Macbeth paired with PVT Wars, brilliant short comedy following three patients in a veterans hospital. The plays linked by battlefields, emotional fragility, inner turmoil and injuries that need healing.
Yet more new writing was on display later that year, with two plays performed as part of the Falkirk Arts Festival. Shells by Howard Sargeant found three old friends meeting in a bar (remember those?) for a long overdue catchup. With some darker themes - and inventive swearing - this rollercoaster of a play brought tears and laughter for the Behind the Wall crowd. Aiming straight for the funnybone, Burns from Bard to Worse by Kenny Ross charted the life of Scotland's favourite son in sixty minutes - a mix of song, poetry and the odd terrible pun!
Early 2020 saw the inaugural Play with a Pizza Pie at Behind The Wall's Pizza Pad. Audiences were treated to a specially-created BTW pizza pie, a drink… and an hour-long play - this time April in Paris. John Godber's comedy saw Bet and Al win an escape from their Yorkshire home for a romantic trip to Paris - but the clueless Brits abroad gave us plenty to laugh about.
Stay tuned for more when we're all able to escape our homes!
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In 1991, Tryst represented Britain at an International Amateur Theatre Association festival in Halden, Norway, with the Marx Brothers spoof A Night In The Ukraine.
Only a few years later the club was invited to Israel by EADI (the English Amateur Drama in Israel group) to participate in their 1997 Easter Festival with September In The Rain.
Closer to home, Tryst have travelled to Dundalk in Ireland and to the Isle Of Man, as well as to several other venues in England, Wales and, of course, Scotland.
The club has an approximate membership of twenty, comprised of actors, technicians and general hangers-on. Recent plays have generally been staged at the Coach House Theatre in Alloa, or Behind the Wall in Falkirk. In an ordinary year Tryst also takes part in a number of drama festivals around the country.