Guild History

Formation and Early YearsWWII and Shakespeare StreetPost-War and the Purchase of the TheatreThe Guild and the Theatre RoyalRedevelopment and the 21st Century

WWII and the move to Shakespeare Street

In the 1930’s The Guild was based primarily at Greyfriars’ Hall, where they held monthly meetings and staged most of their productions. The Guild was also supported by the Scottish Community Drama Association Festival of One Act Plays, with more than 50 one-act plays being performed over the course of ten years.

After the lease of Greyfriars’ Hall came to an end in 1943, the Guild moved to 15 Shakespeare Street to the Little Theatre. Now demolished, this 96 seat theatre became the Guild’s first permanent headquarters – a move which marked the end of the Guild’s time as a touring company. This decision proved an immediate success. Money no longer had to be spent transporting actors and scenery to outlying villages and other venues. A membership scheme was introduced, and the total membership soon exceeded the numbers attending the previous travelling productions.

Though the Second World War was to cause a cessation of activities, the Guild was able to contribute to the entertainment of those in Dumfries. Despite a decreased membership, the Guild staged plays and variety shows, not just for the townspeople but also for the British and Allied soldiers who were stationed in the town and surrounding area. In total, twenty-four full productions were staged during the wartime years.

Formation and Early YearsPost-War and the Purchase of the Theatre