Perth Theatre officially reopened after its £16.6m transformation on Saturday 9 December with the first performance of panto Aladdin.
Cutting the gold ribbon with a giant pair of comedy scissors were panto dame Barrie Hunter and the Provost of Perth
and Kinross, Dennis Melloy. The pair then took part in a Strictly style dance off to celebrate!
Chief Executive Gwilym Gibbons, who has just announced he will stand down in February, said of the relaunch, “This is an incredibly exciting moment! The Perth Theatre transformation has secured the future of one of Scotland’s most historic and culturally significant landmarks for many generations to enjoy. We are immensely proud of the achievement.”
Lu Kemp, artistic director, added, “Perth Theatre used to be called the People’s Theatre Perth. We’ve redeveloped and restored it, we need local people to re-inhabit it and to bring it back to life! We look forward to welcoming everybody and hope they will help return this extraordinary building to its former glory – a busy, warm place used and enjoyed by everyone.”
The transformation of the theatre has been a joint endeavour and a partnership between Perth & Kinross Council and Horsecross Arts. The council owns the theatre, and is its long-term custodian. Horsecross Arts deliver the artistic vision for the theatre, the concert hall and elsewhere across Perth and Kinross. The project has taken almost a decade to come to fruition.
The B-listed Edwardian auditorium has now been restored to its former glory and a new 200 seat studio theatre – the Joan Knight Studio – has been created. The venue has also increased workshop spaces for creative learning and community projects, including the thriving Perth Youth Theatre, and has created improved access and facilities for audiences and visitors.
Funding for the project has come 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.
For forthcoming events see Horsecross Arts website