Chapter Two: The NEW Theatre Guild

At the EGM a tearful Jack Holmes broke the news to members that club funds had now diminished to a mere £2,000. With production costs in excess of £40,000 looming for our forthcoming production of “Meet Me In St Louis” the existing committee were reluctant to proceed with the show fearing further losses and financial liability to members. The future of the club hinged on the result of this meeting! By the end of a very long meeting the club had agreed to continue and appointed a new committee to determine the next crucial steps. The committee was chaired by Jim Rutherford and included current members Billy Love and Cameron Lowe.

The new committee made several key decisions immediately. The Guild would proceed with “Meet Me In St. Louis” but would move to a smaller venue with a much smaller budget. The club would become a Limited Company – a legal entity which would protect members from the club’s financial liabilities. Finally, and perhaps most reluctantly, the club would abandon it’s constitutional promise to perform new or rarely performed musicals – a new constitution would be written removing this restriction.

Mistakes were made that first year by the largely inexperienced committee. Meet Me In St Louis lost almost £4,000 at the box office and the club went into the RED for the first time in it’s 34 year history. Things looked grim. But Billy Love offered a solution: “Singing Our Songs” (or SOS!). Billy concieved, produced and choreographed this show which proved to be a true lifeline for Theatre Guild. He personally persuaded dozens of past principals from Theatre Guild shows to perform a fantastic revue of Theatre Guild’s history. The result was 3 performances in the Mitchell Theatre to packed houses raising almost £3,000 and literally putting the club back on it’s feet.

By 1995 the committee had the experience of 2 productions behind them and really hit their stride. They took on the role of ‘Producer’ (previously associated with the Director role) and hired a professional production team to rehearse members through a new production of Oklahoma! The show was a great success raising £4,500 in clear surplus and beginning a new era in Theatre Guild history. Following a run of musical successes the club voted to change its name in 2006 to “Theatre Guild Glasgow” to remove any preconceptions of ‘amateur’ status and to help the club to compete on a more equal footing with other local societies. To reaffirm our respect for the history of the club and pride in its longevity we added the tag line “Staging Success Since 1960”.