Glasgow Airport was opened in 1966 and replaced the smaller airport at Renfrew. In the following year, a group of employees got together with the idea of putting on some sort of entertainment in aid of local charities. It was known that Eric Goold in the Finance Department had previous experience of Amateur Drama, having written scripts for Rutherglen Repertory Theatre, Glasgow Citizens’ Theatre and other groups. He came up with a script for an airport pantomime called Ali Babbotsinch.
The show went on in the West School, Paisley on the 15th and 16th December 1967 – and Glasgow Airport Drama Club was born!
Having ‘smelled the greasepaint and heard the roar of the crowd’ the cast were anxious to build on their success, and moved into the new Eastwood Theatre, Giffnock in 1973. Apart from a period when it was closed for refurbishment, we have presented a traditional pantomime every year since then. We have built up a repertoire of seven pantomimes (with book, original music and lyrics by Eric Goold) which, with a bit of up-dating, we rotate annually.
In 1995, Eric handed over the production of our pantomimes to Robert Fyfe who had been a member of the Club since 1984, and appointed J Campbell Kerr as our Secretary. Like Robert, Campbell has a wide experience of musical theatre, and between them they have directed and produced our pantomimes since.
After forty years we changed our name in 2007, and are now known as the Runway Theatre Company. This widened our appeal while still preserving our links with the airport, and enhancing the good reputation for traditional family pantomimes of which we are justly proud.
In 2010, the club diversified and now produces a spring musical each year. Our policy is to present new or rarely performed works and our productions have included the Scottish Premières of The Drowsy Chaperone and Lend Me A Tenor and the Scottish Amateur Première of Whistle Down the Wind.