Going to theatre – whether it’s a musical or Shakespeare, or anything in between – is a truly magical and extraordinary experience. However many of us might be reluctant to attend on our own or are simply put off by the hassle of getting to the theatre. The Coastal Villages Theatre Group was set up with this in mind.

There are many reasons why theatre has been around for thousands of years, and is still growing. Live theatre is not only extraordinary, engaging and exhilarating but it brings people together. The theatre not only gets you to the same place, but it allows you to share the experience of a particular show with one another. Mrs Joan Cochrane of North Berwick, who loved theatre and was keen that others could experience live performances, set up Coastal Villages Theatre Group (CVTG) to encourage members to travel and share the experience of theatre together.

Currently in its nineteenth season, CVTG provides approximately 150 members the opportunity to travel by coach to a variety of events in Edinburgh, Musselburgh and even Pitlochry! Several advantages are served by this arrangement. No hassle with parking or driving in the dark. And, those who might be reluctant to attend a performance alone can join others. Friendships are also made. The coach picks up at local stops (beginning at the Quality Street car park in North Berwick, through Dirleton, Gullane, and Aberlady), drops at the theatre door and collects members when the performance ends.

The founder, Mrs Cochrane took on all committee roles and kept up her interest in CVTG until she died in October 2016. Later Vicky Gordon shared the work of organisation and larger committees were set up. Since then the job has been shared by approximately eight or nine members who review what’s on, decide on a programme of music and theatre and collect bookings and payment for individual shows.

In the past year, members enjoyed 12 events with a total attendance of 335. This autumn’s season features Scottish Ballet Dances Stravinsky, musical comedy Legally Blonde at the Festival Theatre, Oklahoma! (Church Hill Theatre), Wind Resistance (Lyceum) and the RSNO Christmas Concert (Usher Hall). Group Co-ordinator, Kitty Crews-Austin says “The group continues to thrive and answers a real need for people in East Lothian. We are always looking for and welcoming new members.

to join please contact membership co-ordinator Murray Austin | e: nbscotsgolfer@hotmail.com | t: 01620 892633