It might be a small village but there looks to be a lot going on in Longformacus thanks to an enterprising group of local residents.
Having seen the draw shows have when they come to the village hall, the small team decided it was time that more performers ventured up to the hills.
And so in October last year Watch Promotions was born. Its members already had experience of bringing productions to Longformacus, with the likes of the Northumberland Theatre Company regular visitors, but it was felt that the venue’s entertainment calendar should be less sparse.
Discussions were held with Scottish Borders Council’s Arts Development team and like Watch, they were very keen to see more quality acts brought to the area, so much so that they offered a small subsidy to get things off the ground.
Combined with a grant from the Lammermuir Community Fund, this gave Watch a good springboard to start from and they’ve certainly taken a leap of faith, with the events calendar filling up nicely.
“The aim is to have one show a month on in the hall,” chair Bob Wallum commented.
“That would mean performances would triple. I was typically only having about four shows here a year. We want to try and raise our game.
“We’ve got comedian Des Clarke lined up for June whose starred in Edinburgh and been on the TV a lot; he’s scheduled for Friday, June 13- what could go wrong?!”
To get an idea of what it is locals want to see in the hall, Watch have their own way of gauging public opinion.
“We have our own version of a straw poll whereby emails are sent around the community asking for ideas of acts.
“Of course not everyone has an email so we don’t claim to have asked every single person about every single act but it’s a good way of getting a feel for what people want.
“For instance, one person replied to an email saying he wanted to see some puppetry, something we’d never considered before.
“We will also continue to work with other halls to set up what we are calling ‘tour routes’ where there will be a chance for an artist to play a number of different venues in the area.”
While Bob said Watch are realistic about how the financial side of things pan out, he said to make a positive change the group needed to be bold with their actions.
“The SBC Art Development team have encouraged us to take risks,” he continued.
“We have to accept that in the first year, we might make a loss.
“We run a licensed bar at all our events which always generates quite a bit of money but we have to spend hundreds stocking the bar to be able to offer people the service.
“We are a not-for-profit organisation so to use a term I’ve heard others use; it would be good if we made enough to at least ‘cover our faces’ so we could plan for the future.”
The village hall’s new lineup of events begins tomorrow with a concert from Blues performer Mike Whellans and a familiar face to those in Longformacus, young singer Tammy Miller.
Mooted as fine young talent and one to watch by her fans, Tammy looks set to have a busy year.
Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start and entry is £8.
Other events in Watch’s diary include Rocket Theatre’s production of Oscar Wilde’s ‘Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime’ on Saturday, March 29.
For more information visit the website at www.watchpromotions.org.