Oldest member of Kirkcaldy drama group invited to Buckingham Palace royal garden party

The oldest member of a Kirkcaldy drama group has been recognised for her services to music and drama with a special trip to Buckingham Palace.

By Debbie Clarke
Monday, 23rd May 2022, 4:43 pm

Isabel Coventry, 86, was invited to the Royal Garden Party at the London home of Her Majesty The Queen last Wednesday.

She travelled to the special occasion with her granddaughter, Abby Jones.

They headed south last Sunday and spent a few days in the capital doing some sight-seeing before attending the royal event.

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Isabel Coventry, 86 has been recognised for her services to music and drama.

Isabel, who is the oldest member of the town drama group, The Auld Kirk Players, said: “I was invited to the royal garden party in recognition of my services to music and drama.

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"It was supposed to happen two years ago but then we went into lockdown. Then at the start of this year, I got a letter inviting me to the garden party.

"It was a really lovely day. The Queen wasn’t able to attend but Kate was there and my granddaughter had the chance to see her close up.

Isabel pictured with the Auld Kirk Players.

"It was very enjoyable and we had the chance to meet a lot of interesting people.”

Born and raised in Kirkcaldy, Isabel attended Sinclairtown Primary and then Kirkcaldy High before going on to university in Edinburgh.

She studied history and economics before doing a post-graduate year at Murray House and then embarking on a career in primary school teaching.

Isabel is pictured second from the right in the dark dress at an Auld Kirk Players performance in the 1990s.

Isabel initially taught at Pathhead school before moving on to Dunnikier where she remained for seven years. She then had her family of four children before going back later on to teach music in schools.

For the remainder of her teaching career, she became a visiting music teacher at schools across Fife.

Isabel joined the Kirkcaldy Gilbert and Sullivan Society in the early 1950s and performed with the Society for many years before becoming a founder member of Kirkcaldy Amateur Dramatic Society (KADS).

She was with KADS for many years until she was asked to fill in for someone who had taken ill ahead of a drama performance for the Auld Kirk Players, around 20 years ago.

She joined the Auld Kirk Players in the 1990s and is still there until this day!

Isabel has also written plays for the members to perform.

She said: “I have very much enjoyed performing with the Auld Kirk Players but it is hard to pick a favourite production. There are things you like in all productions and there are things you don’t like. There are also unexpected things which happen like someone falling down the stairs and then you have to draft someone in at the last minute to take over the part.

"You have to be ready for the unexpected!”

One of her plays is being performed as part of the forthcoming Auld Kirk Players’ Summer Drama Festival taking place in Hunter Hall, Kirk Wynd, Kirkcaldy from June 2 to 4.

The festival will include the plays – "Family Matters" by Isabel Coventry, "A Tale O' Twa Undertakers" by Alan Richardson, "The Ledger" by Graeme Ferguson and "Cupboard Love" A Deckchair Comedy by Jean McConnell, along with various monologues.

Performances are on: June 2 at 7.30pm, June 3 at 7.30pm and June 4 at 2.30pm.

Tickets, price £10 and £5, are available from the cast or by calling – 01592 265499.