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Countdown on for Perth Theatre's reopening panto

Published: 26 Sep 2017

Perth Theatre

With less than 75 days to go until Perth Theatre’s reopening panto, the countdown is on towards a new generation of theatre in Perth!

Gwilym Gibbons, chief executive of Horsecross Arts, Perth Theatre artistic director, Lu Kemp, Council Leader Ian Campbell from project partners Perth & Kinross Council, plus other partners and supporters pressed the button to launch the 75-day countdown to the first performance of Aladdin.

The countdown will be projected onto Perth Theatre’s Mill Street façade and will be visible after dark from now until the run of Aladdin starts on Saturday 9 December.

The £16.6m transformation of Perth’s historic theatre is nearing completion with the Box Office, café and bar in the restored and redeveloped venue due to reopen on Monday 13 November. From that date, in the run up to panto time, there will be a series of opportunities for members of the public to test the restored and redeveloped theatre, peek back stage, explore the building and check out the performance spaces.

The new theatre will encourage experimentation and creativity- Philip Deverell, Creative Scotland

Gwilym Gibbons said: “It is incredibly exciting to reach this stage in the transformation process. With 75 days to go until our reopening production of Aladdin, we are counting the days until we welcome the people of Perth back into their restored and redeveloped theatre!”

Councillor Ian Campbell, Leader of Perth & Kinross Council, said: “It is an exciting time for Perth as so many major projects are progressing at different stages, and they all will provide a major boost to the city.  With the reopening of the theatre and the first production getting ready for an audience, it’s a welcome step forward. Over the next few years we will see a number of positive changes happening across the city centre, and I think it is fitting that the first project to reach completion and kick things off is the renovation of one of Perth’s most iconic buildings.”

Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive, hub East Central Scotland said: “We are all looking forward to handing over the newly transformed theatre, which will once again take its place as one of the city’s most unique cultural venues.”

Kevin Dickson, Managing Director, Robertson Tayside, said: “Being so closely involved with the transformation of Perth Theatre has been an absolute privilege for everyone at Robertson. It’s exciting to know that the theatre will reopen in just a couple of months and I am sure that once they step inside, the public will agree that all the hard work has been more than worth it.”

Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, commented: “Perth Theatre plays a hugely important role in the life of the local community so it will be wonderful to see its doors open again welcoming visitors of all ages to the panto. Thanks to players of the National Lottery, they will be delighted and entertained in an auditorium which has been beautifully restored to its Edwardian heyday.”

Philip Deverell, Director, Strategy at Creative Scotland said: “The restoration of Perth Theatre’s beautiful Edwardian auditorium, and the creation of state of the art facilities for audiences, artists and staff will create a vibrant and welcoming theatre space for everyone to enjoy. The new theatre will encourage experimentation and creativity, whilst nurturing talent, and complementing its internationally recognised sister venue Perth Concert Hall."

Perth Theatre will mark its official reopening with the first public performance of Aladdin on Saturday 9 December at 2pm. Tickets for Aladdin, in Perth Theatre from Saturday 9 December until Saturday 6 January, are on sale now at horsecross.co.uk and at Perth Concert Hall Box Office on 01738 621031. Perth Theatre’s homecoming panto is proudly supported by Struans, with panto kids cheered on by Thorntons Solicitors.

The new Perth Theatre season of plays, music and events will be launched on Tuesday 10 October with a month-long priority booking window for season theatre bookers.

Transform Perth Theatre

Perth Theatre has a long history of artistic innovation and excellence having been at the heart of cultural life in Perth for over a century. The transformation of the theatre will restore and redevelop one of Scotland’s oldest and best loved theatres for generations to come. The B listed Edwardian auditorium will be restored to its former glory and a new 200 seat studio theatre will be created. The newly transformed venue will have increased workshop spaces for creative learning and community projects, including the thriving Perth Youth Theatre, as well as improved access and facilities for audiences and visitors. Our aim is to:

  • Create a vibrant 21st Century building by restoring the main auditorium and creating a studio theatre, which together will present a diverse range of small and mid-scale productions for local, regional and national audiences
  • Acquire full equalities access for the public, performers and staff
  • Create creative learning spaces from which dynamic creative learning programmes can be co-ordinated and delivered across Perth & Kinross
  • Foster lively and vibrant eating, meeting and social spaces, and ease of visitor “flow” around the theatre building
  • Enhance the flexibility of conference spaces between Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre, strengthening Perth as a business tourism destination
  • Deliver a building with presence and impact in Perth’s emerging Cultural Quarter
  • Construction started in March 2016 and the theatre will reopen in late 2017
  • Funding for the £16.6m project has been pledged from project partners Perth & Kinross Council, Creative Scotland, The Gannochy Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund, other trusts and foundations, individual donations and other supporters and funding bodies.
  • Fundraising continues towards the final target to fully kit out the restored and redeveloped theatre.

Media contact: Pam Dochard, Media Relations, pdochard@horsecross.co.uk, tel 01738 477728, mob 07884 017199.