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Byre Theatre reopens for professional productions

The Byre Theatre. Photo: Gus MacLeod
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The Byre Theatre in St Andrews has reconfirmed its commitment to professional performances, after being taken over by St Andrews University in August.

The theatre reopened for professional theatre this week with pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk, created by Gordon Barr of Glasgow’s Bard in the Botanics.

It heralds an era of artistic associations between the theatre and Scottish companies, according to Michael Downes, the university’s director of music – who has taken over as the theatre’s artistic director.

The professional opening follows two sell-out productions from university and community companies.

Downes told The Stage: “We now want to bring back professional theatre into St Andrews. We are talking to a range of professional companies from across Scotland. We want to fuse that strand together with university and community productions.”

Downes expects to announce the new associations in the New Year, with announcement of the theatre’s summer to Christmas season following in March.

He acknowledged the theatre would play a role for the university’s active music department, while confirming that: “Professional drama will still be at the absolute core of the programme.”

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