Lights, cam­era and ac­tion as doors open

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - DISTRICT NEWS -

Sharon Lip­trott

A be­hind-the-scenes look at how Dum­fries Theatre Royal op­er­ates and its his­tory was en­joyed by vis­i­tors on Satur­day.

It was part of Scot­land’s largest free fes­ti­val, Doors Open Days, which cel­e­brates her­itage and the built en­vi­ron­ment.

A to­tal of 14 prop­er­ties in the re­gion took part and of­fered free ac­cess, guided tours and other ex­tras.

The Guild of Play­ers, who op­er­ate the theatre, were on hand to show guests around the £2 mil­lion ren­o­va­tions which have breathed new life into the old­est work­ing theatre in Scot­land, founded in 1790.

It was a chance to look around the war­ren of spa­ces in the build­ing, vis­it­ing the bar, foyer, bal­cony, mir­rored dance stu­dio, prac­tice rooms, dress­ing-rooms, cos­tume Shiela Howat store, stage and fi­nally the base­ment where all the props are stored.

The guided tours were led by mem­bers of the Ju­nior Guild and there was an ex­hi­bi­tion on its fas­ci­nat­ing and il­lus­tri­ous his­tory and the chance to find out about vol­un­teer work.

An­other pop­u­lar lo­cal venue for this year’s Doors Open Days was the A-listed Gothic cathe­dral-style Crich­ton Memo­rial Church cre­ated by Vic­to­rian ar­chi­tect Syd­ney Mitchell.

Other venues which took part were Dum­fries Mu­seum and Cam­era Ob­scura; John Paul Jones Mu­seum at Ar­bigland, Kirk­bean; Moss­burn Com­mu­nity Farm at High­tae near Locker­bie; The New­barns Project Ex­ca­va­tion Dig; Ste­wartry Mu­seum; Kirkcud­bright Gal­leries; Cree­town Her­itage Mu­seum; Kirk­patrick Durham Church; Kirk­maiden Old Kirk, near Drum­more; Stran­raer Mu­seum and Cas­tle of St John; The Whithorn Round­house; and the Mull of Gal­loway Light­house.

Dress to im­press

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