Theatre cel­e­brates its first an­niver­sary

Cast and crew marked spe­cial oc­ca­sion with cake at the end of ‘a fan­tas­tic year’

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS - JAMIE BUCHAN [email protected]­courier.co.uk

Perth Theatre has cel­e­brated the first an­niver­sary of its dra­matic re­launch.

The beloved city-cen­tre venue closed its doors for four years of ren­o­va­tions and improvements worth nearly £17 mil­lion.

It re-opened in spec­tac­u­lar fash­ion when an un­scripted fire alarm in­ter­rupted the first per­for­mance of pan­tomime Aladdin.

The build­ing was evac­u­ated while fire fighters car­ried out safety checks.

When the show re­sumed, mem­bers of the emer­gency-ser­vice crew were in­vited to join the show and sur­prised au­di­ences by car­ry­ing dame Widow Twankey back onto the stage.

Since then, the theatre has had a busy 12 months, with rave re­views for its CATS (Crit­ics’ Awards for Theatre in Scot­land) win­ning pro­duc­tion of Knives In Hens, Richard III and a co-pro­duc­tion of singer-song­writer Karine Pol­wart’s Wind Re­sis­tance.

The new Joan Knight Stu­dio has hosted a va­ri­ety of events from chil­dren’s shows, mu­sic gigs, and pre­sen­ta­tions, as well as the cel­e­brated WOW Women Of The World Fes­ti­val and the South­ern Fried ex­trav­a­ganza.

It has been a fan­tas­tic year... our staff hit the ground run­ning with a hugely busy sched­ule

One of the most talked about shows was The 306: Dusk – the emo­tional cli­max of a highly ac­claimed col­lab­o­ra­tion with The Na­tional Theatre of Scot­land.

The first an­niver­sary of the new-look theatre was marked with cake and party, fea­tur­ing the cast of the lat­est panto Snow White And The Seven Dames.

Mike Grif­fiths, in­terim chief ex­ec­u­tive of Horsecross Arts, the cre­ative or­gan­i­sa­tion and char­ity be­hind the theatre and nearby Perth Concert Hall, said: “It has been a fan­tas­tic year.

“We have wel­comed back au­di­ences who have been over­whelm­ingly com­pli­men­tary about the trans­formed theatre.

“Our staff hit the ground run­ning with a hugely busy re-open­ing sched­ule and their ded­i­ca­tion and en­ergy has car­ried us through a jam-packed year.”

De­pute Provost Wil­lie Wil­son joined yesterday’s cel­e­bra­tions. He said: “Perth Theatre is one of the ma­jor parts of our cul­tural trans­for­ma­tion pro­gramme for Perth and Kin­ross.

“Since it opened, it has wel­comed many thou­sands of peo­ple through its doors, con­tribut­ing to the grow­ing vi­brancy of our nightlife and lo­cal econ­omy.”

He added: “The re­stored Ed­war­dian in­te­rior and new stu­dio theatre to­gether em­body Perth’s unique blend of old and new.

“I’m sure Perth Theatre will have many suc­cess­ful years ahead of it.”

The theatre is now pre­par­ing for its sec­ond sea­son with pro­duc­tions of Vic­to­rian thriller Gaslight, Miss Julie – a story of pas­sion across the class di­vide – and Scot­tish fish­ing tragedy Lost At Sea.

Pic­ture: Steve MacDougall.

Perth Theatre cel­e­brates its first an­niver­sary. At the front is (left) Horsecross Arts in­terim chief ex­ec­u­tive Mike Grif­fiths and Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil De­pute Provost Wil­lie Wil­son, along­side panto cast, (left to right), Ewan Somers, He­len Lo­gan and Barrie Hunter.

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