The Tron Theatre is located at the corner of Trongate and Chisholm Street, in the Merchant City area of Glasgow, Scotland.
From its early years as a theatre club, the Tron has grown into a thriving multi-faceted venue. Home to the award-winning Tron Theatre Company, it is a producing house for contemporary theatrical work and also functions as a receiving house for a diverse visiting programme of theatre, comedy and music from Scotland, the UK and abroad. Its Education and Outreach department offers a range of activities from drama workshops for children and young people, to creative writing for adults and professional development opportunities for theatre students and practitioners.
The present day Tron Theatre Company started life as the Glasgow Theatre Club in 1978, the brainchild of Joe Gerber, Tom Laurie and Tom McGrath. In 1980 the Club took over the almost derelict 1795 James Adam designed Tron Kirk, replacing the destroyed Close Theatre in the Gorbals, the club's previous venue. Following hard work and commitment from its members, the theatre opened its doors on 10 May 1981 with a celebratory party. Two days later the first season of short plays opened with a production of Eine Kleine Nacht Musik, directed by Ida Schuster-Berkeley, in the Victorian Bar.
An earlier, separate manifestation was RF Pollock's short-lived Tron Theatre Club which was active c.1929-32. Pollock's vision was to develop a distinct Scottish style of acting using principles similar to those developed by Konstantin Stanislavski. One of the company's achievements was a production of Ibsen's The Master Builder. Actor Duncan Macrae began his career with Pollock's Tron Theatre Club. The amateur group dispersed in 1932, splitting into three new separate groups. These included the Curtain Theatre and the Dumbarton People's Theatre.
Under the Artistic leadership of Michael Boyd (1986 to 1996), the Tron established itself as a powerhouse of both new writing and dynamic productions of classic texts, making good use of the available Scottish talent. Leading artists to emerge from this period include Alan Cumming, Forbes Masson, Peter Mullan, Craig Ferguson and Siobhan Redmond, as well as musician Craig Armstrong (Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet and Moulin Rouge). Many of these artists maintain a continuing association with the Tron.
From 1996 to 1999 the company was led by Irina Brown and productions included David Greig's award winning "The Cosmonaut's Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union," as well as a dynamic international programme.
During 2000 the Tron Theatre Company presented two world premieres of plays by Scottish writers: "Our Bad Magnet" by Douglas Maxwell and "Further than the Furthest Thing" by Zinnie Harris. "Further than the Furthest Thing," directed by Irina Brown, was a co-production between the Tron Theatre Company and the Royal National Theatre. The production premiered at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival 2000 to universal critical acclaim, winning four major awards before a London run at the National Theatre, a subsequent transfer to the Tricycle Theatre, London and a tour of South Africa.
In 2002 Neil Murray was appointed Director of the Tron, serving as Artistic Producer for the Company. Shows produced by the Tron in this period include Iain Heggie's "Love Freaks," "Possible Worlds" by John Mighton (as the centrepiece of the Canadian Six Stages Festival), Forbes Masson's "Jack and the Beanstalk" and "Cinderella" and Chris Hannan's "Shining Souls" in a co-production with v.amp productions which was awarded Best Production in the Critics Awards for Theatre In Scotland in 2003.
The Tron continues to support and premiere the work of both emerging and established Scotland-based playwrights. Previous productions include the world premiere of David Greig's "San Diego" (2004 EIF,) Anthony Neilson's "The Wonderful World of Dissocia" in 2004, this time in a collaboration with EIF and the Theatre Royal, Plymouth. "The Wonderful World of Dissocia" subsequently went on to win 5 out of 10 awards in the 2005 Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland. The production was also revived in 2007 in conjunction with the National Theatre of Scotland, touring the UK including performances at the Royal Court Theatre, London.
Murray left in 2005, to take up the post of Executive Director of the National Theatre of Scotland, and between May 2005 and May 2006 the post of Director was held by Ali Curran, formerly of the Peacock Theatre at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. The Tron produced three new works during this time: the premiere of "Ubu the King," a co-production with Dundee Repertory Theatre, the Barbican, Old Vic and Bite:05, adapted by David Greig and directed by Dominic Hill; the European premiere of John Mighton's latest work, "Half Life" co-produced with Perth Theatre and Canadian based Necessary Angel; and its annual Christmas panto, written by Forbes Masson, "Weans in the Wood." From 2006 until 2008 Gregory Thompson was Artistic Director and the tron produced "The Patriot" by Grae Cleugh, "Antigone" and co-produced "The Wall" by D C Jackson with Borderline Theatre Company.
In April 2008 the Tron appointed a new Director Andy Arnold, previously founder of the Arches Theatre Company. Productions since 2008 have included The Drawer Boy, Monaciallo (Naples Theatre Festival, A Slow Air by David Harrower (London and New York), Sea and land and Sky - new play by Abigail Docherty, Edwin Morgan's Dreams and Other Nightmares - new play by Liz Lochhead, a new adaptation by John Byrne of Three Sisters, and the UK and Irish stage premiere of James Joyce's Ulysses adapted by Dermot Bolger and touring to Belfast, Dublin and Cork - named best production of 2012 by The List magazine. This production will tour to four cities in China in 2015. The Tron Theatre has two notable contemporary sculpture works that were added to the exterior of the theatre as part of its lottery funded refurbishment in 1999. The sculptures are of a large golden cherub and of a skull. The works are by artist Kenny Hunter. http://www.glasgowmerchantcity.net/arttrail/trail18.html