Aberdeen Tivoli to host first live show since 1966

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Aberdeen’s historic Tivoli theatre is to open its doors to the public again with its first full-scale theatre production since 1966.

The Tivoli Theatre Company Ltd is in the final stages of renovating the building before Attic Theatre’s production of Robin Hood and The Babes in the Wood is staged in December.

Managing director Brian Hendry said: “It's great but it's frightening… you would like more time and more money.”

When the company bought the building in 2009, it was on the Theatres Trust's Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland and required extensive work, including a new roof, windows and doors.

The company received a grant from the Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI), which helped to restore the exterior and make it windproof and watertight.

The Tivoli first opened in 1872 as Her Majesty’s Theatre before closing and reopening under its current title in 1910. It staged shows until 1966, before the auditorium was turned into a bingo hall and the building stayed open to the public until 1997.

Last November, Tivoli Theatre Company moved inside the building to restore the theatre bar, main auditorium and stage.

When the pantomime starts, renovation will still be ongoing but the stalls will definitely be open. There are also hopes to open the first three rows of the balcony, but this is not yet confirmed.

Hendry explained that the theatre would probably be able to seat between 200 and 300 people on opening.

He said: “Next year, or the year after, we hope to have the building totally finished and have a capacity of probably 500.”