Scotland’s oldest working theatre “The Theatre Royal” is set to re-open in time for Christmas! it’s a Christmas miracle!
Dumfries is home of the Doonhamers, Queen Of the South football team, Rabbie Burns and of course the oldest working theatre in Scotland which was closed down a year or so ago due to renovations.
The story of the Dumfries playhouse is unique in history, for those old walls, built in 1792, have seen the development from Georgian theatre to Victorian theatre into early movies and modern cinema accommodating, during its time, the greatest names in theatre history, such as Kean and Macready, the greatest names in Scottish literature, Burns and Barrie and the greatest names in cinema history with personal visits from such stars as Stan Laurel and Charlie Chaplin.
Burns continued his association with the theatre until his death in 1796, writing the prologue “The Rights of Woman” for Miss Louise Fontanelle’s Benefit Night and, in 1794, a tribute to Mrs Kemble as “Yarico” in the opera “lnkle and Yarico”
The theatre, which was built in1792, was under threat of closure a £2 million renovation fund was made available.
Once completed, the Theatre Royal will have a much needed new rehearsal room as well as improvements made to both the bar and foyer.
Speaking of the renovation, Anne Aldridge, Master of the Guild of Players says:
“It’s so exciting, this has been a long time coming. It just opens up so many opportunities, and hopefully it’ll do that for the town and the community – a building that’s fit for the 21st century is so exciting, I can’t wait.”
During the building works have uncovered some hidden gems have been uncovered, like an original stone archway.
The theatre is set to re-open in time for Christmas 2015 in time for a special pantomime!
Will you be attending the new and improved Theatre Royal in Dumfries this festive season? Share your comments below.