The St Andrews Play Club was founded by A B Paterson and a group of theatre enthusiasts in 1933. They adapted the old cow byre on Abbey Street into a theatre and from 1933 to 1970 the St Andrews Play Club ran the Byre Theatre 1. They not only mounted their own productions but also hired professional staff to produce plays from Easter till Christmas.
When the new theatre was opened in 1970 the St Andrews Play Club ceased to exist and the new Byre Theatre Company Ltd took over the running of Byre Theatre 2. The amateur company attached to Byre 2 for the first few years was the Andrew Soutar Company, comprising members of the old Play Club. This Club mounted an annual production immediately before the professional season to raise funds for the theatre.
The Play Club was reconstituted in 1977. At that time A B Paterson directed the plays, and the finishing touches were added by whoever was the professional Director of Productions for the year. Stage One was the youth section of the Play Club that operated from 1982-1990. In 1990 it was merged with other youth theatre groups in the town (Crawford and Cosmos) to become StAYT, the forerunner of Byre Youth Theatre (BYT).
Travels with My Aunt is a 1989 comedy adapted by Scottish dramatist, Giles Havergal from the Graham Greene novel of the same title.
The Ladykillers is a 2011 stage adaptation written by Graham Linehan based on the Ealing comedy film of the same name.
The production features extracts from some of Shakespeare's best known plays as well as songs and sketches, with a Shakespearean theme, drawn from a variety of sources.
Blithe Spirit is a comic play by Noël Coward. The play concerns the socialite and novelist Charles Condomine, who invites the eccentric medium and clairvoyant, Madame Arcati, to his house to conduct a séance, hoping to gather material for his next book. The scheme backfires when he is haunted by the ghost of his annoying and temperamental first wife, Elvira, after the séance. Elvira makes continual attempts to disrupt Charles's marriage to his second wife, Ruth, who cannot see or hear the ghost.
The play club performed two episodes that they did not do in the previous production. These are The Godiva Affair and The Floral Dance. The latter was only ever performed by the original cast as part of a theatre tour; in this show it provides a rousing end to the first act. The Deadly Attachment was the second act. It is one of the classic Dad’s Army episodes – the one with the German U Boat sailors. One of our members, Carole Tricker, has written a new piece entitled All Together Now.