A CLACKS drama group has reached an incredible milestone of 80 years running in the county.

The Alman Dramatic Club was founded in Clackmannan in 1939, and has been based at Alloa's Coach House Theatre since the late 1950s.

Over the years, it has become a well-known source of theatrical entertainment in the area, thanks to the hard work and dedication of its members.

Last month, the club enjoyed night after night of sold-out shows after putting on its 226th production, Parking Lot in Pittsburgh – based on the work of Scottish playwright Anne Downie.

The secret to The Alman's success, according to its artistic director Gerry Docherty, is the great fun its members have in taking part.

He said: "Getting involved with the club is a hobby, and an investment of time and energy, but we wouldn't be around if it wasn't fun.

"The club's aim was always to bring to Alloa some major pieces of theatre.

"It has a long history of Shakespeare, Gibson, Chekhov, Irish and Scottish plays and new plays too."

Senga Awlson, the club's chairperson, added: "We're very grateful that people are willing to pay to come and see us indulge in our hobby, but it does give something back to them."

That "something" is a huge variety of high-quality theatre covering a range of genres, with the club typically putting on three productions per year.

Despite putting on top-quality theatrical performances, The Alman is far from an exclusive club.

Instead, it welcomes anyone that wants to get involved, and tries to accommodate people with a range of abilities, not just limited to acting.

Walter Awlson, one of its set designers, said: "Anybody can bring their skills to the team, and there's a diverse array of different skills.

"We have people who can do electronics and lighting and sound, and people who can build, act direct and all sorts – so almost anyone can get involved."

In recent years The Alman has been getting more and more involved in the community, in an effort to get young people to take part.

It has established ties with Alloa Academy, and gives some of their senior pupils the chance to perform soliloquies at the Coach House, with prizes for the best.

The club will also soon be welcoming youngsters from Craigbank Primary, and guiding them through their own Harry Potter play.

For those who prefer to watch the stage, there is also plenty of upcoming opportunities to see The Alman in action.

The club's next production will be Dracula: The Journal of Jonathan Harker, and tickets will be on sale in the coming months.

To find out more information about The Alman Dramatic Club, visit tinyurl.com/y4xm5dkh