MEMBERS of the Barrhead Men’s Shed are preparing to take centre starring in their very own theatre production.

The project sees them join kindred spirits from five other Men’s Sheds across the country to share their ideas and experiences, as well as describing how the movement has changed their lives for the better.

The ‘shedders’ have come up with their own plot for the show, creating colourful characters to help get their message across.

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Artistic director Matt Dunn, founder of 3in1 theatre company, hopes the show will break down the misconception of what a Men’s Shed is.

He told the Barrhead News: “I think there is this misconception that the Men’s Shed is about lonely old men making things. It’s not – it’s totally different.

“Men of a certain age can have a little loss of purpose once they retire. They can be isolated, even if they have a wife and children.

“The play is told by the men. It is their voices, their stories.”

Funding for the project has been provided by ScotRail, through its Foundation Scotland programme, with Men’s Sheds in St Andrews, Glenrothes, Galashiels, Stonehouse and Leith also taking part.

Bill Core, co-founder of the Barrhead Men’s Shed, told how the movement helped to boost his confidence following two bouts of cancer.

He said: “We’ve been asked to open our hearts up on why we are here and how it started for us. When you reach retirement age, you focus on different things. I focused on the fact that I didn’t want to retire at 65 but you lose the prospect of that.

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“It was ill health that stopped me working and I didn’t have the energy to work. When you have an illness, you think ‘what am I going to do now?’

“The Barrhead Men’s Shed has made a difference to my life. It makes me want to get up in the morning, it makes it all worthwhile.

“The days that you’re here and everyone leaves with a smile on their face, that’s it – you’ve won.”

Bill told how he was left feeling isolated after undergoing a facial operation as part of his battle against cancer.

“My self-confidence took a hell of a hammering,” he said. “I didn’t look in the mirror for nearly a week after the operation was done. Then, one day, I tripped and the only way I could get up was to lift myself with the sink and the mirror was there, so I was forced to look. I was no George Clooney but it wasn’t bad.

“I had the guys at the Men’s Shed coming to visit me and having the Men’s Shed was a factor in getting me back on my feet and getting my mind set on the right channel again.”

The play – as yet untitled – will be performed at Queen Margaret University, in Musselburgh, on Saturday, May 4.

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