Recently a drama has been unfolding in Partick . Sheila Reid's play 'Rent Strike Memories' about the Rent Strikes in Partick in 1915, when local housewives rebelled against rent increases, was not only a resounding success but has given birth to a Community Theatre. A force to be reckoned with, Sheila (first left in photograph) not only wrote and directed the play but also got local people involved in the production. With the support of local actor David Hayman and Issi Wilson, a community worker, she produced a sensational success. After playing to a sell out audience at The Annex, Partick's Arts and Community Centre, Sheila was invited to take her play and players to a range of venues throughout Scotland. Including the TIS Annual Conference, where her play was reckoned to be the "best entertainment they had ever had".
Unfortunately, I did not manage to see the show although my ticket was acquired early. I was not well enough to accompany my friends Rosemary and Val along to what they described as a "brilliant show and great night out". However, I was fortunate enough to have a sneak preview when Jim and I popped into The Annex during rehearsals. I was able to appreciate some of the work going on behind the scenes and admire Sheila's firm direction of local people in their acting debuts. She certainly is a class act, managing to convey what she wants from her thespian novices with humour, verve and no little motivation.
Sheila may well describe herself as a housewife and mother, whilst she no doubt excels in these roles, she has many other talents. She has written a number of plays and is a true enthusiast of the theatre, immersing herself in local dramatics since she was a teenager. It 's not at all surprising to find Sheila behind the birth of Partick Community Theatre and she's already got the next production all lined up.
I enjoyed myself enormously recently when Sheila and Issi visited me and I heard all about Sheila's latest venture: 'Partickella and the Ugly Twisters', her first pantomime. I can tell you that it promises to be clever, witty and very entertaining. Issi and I were treated to a reading from Scene 1, Act 1 - I intend to be in the front stalls for the Christmas Show at The Annex.
More good news is that lots of local people are getting involved in the project and all parts have been cast apart from Baron Numpty - any interested men, or women, can contact Sheila at The Annex to arrange an audition. People with artistic skills are also needed to help with sets, makeup etc. Tel:0141 357 6747.
Sheila is going to be keeping us up to date with what's going down in Partick with her own page on the Web site, which will be a showcase for her writing and story telling skills. She certainly is a very unique woman with lots of guts and tremendous talent. There must be something in the Partick water as she has the same sense of fun and sparkling wit as that other native - Billy Connolly.
Sheila has managed to marry her writing talents, interest in drama and her commitment to the development of her local community. She is confident, clever and a one woman resource: she is available to contribute to Drama Workshops and will also help you out if you require a little ditty written for a special occasion.contact Sheila at The Annex 0141 357 6747 . Sheila's Showcase