Perth Theatre to reopen after four years with Christmas pantomime

Perth Theatre artistic director Lu Kemp. Photo: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan
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Perth Theatre is to reopen on December 9 after a £16.6m restoration project on the 115-year-old building, which has been dark since 2014.

It will also open a new studio theatre, early next year.

The opening production will be Aladdin, running from December 9 to January 6, the first of three productions that artistic director Lu Kemp will be directing in the restored 466-seat Edwardian auditorium for the launch programme.

Kemp, who says she is “thrilled to be bringing Perth Theatre back home”, will be directing a new production of David Harrower’s Knives in Hens in February and the first production of Shakespeare’s Richard III in Perth Theatre for nearly 100 years.

The newly built 200-seat studio theatre space, adjacent to the existing auditorium will stage work from February 2018, with the initial focus on music and on theatre for children.

The theatre building will initially reopen to the public from Monday November 13 with access the box office, theatre cafe and bar.

Kemp said: “We are looking forward to opening a building in which artists and audiences can meet and share ideas.

“We want Perth Theatre to be local and international: for our stages to celebrate this beautiful, vibrant part of the world, and for the theatre to be a place that artists from all over want to come and make work, because they know their work will be given the strongest support and welcome.”

Kemp has also appointed a team of four associate artists to work with the theatre. Playwright Kieran Hurley is creating a piece of ceilidh-theatre, using interviews with farmers and local people, which will tour Perthshire in April and May 2018.

Musician and theatre maker Greg Sinclair is collaborating with primary schools in Perthshire to create Animals, which will tour in Spring 2018. Playwright Clare Duffy is working with senior schools to develop The Big Data Show, to be staged in the autumn, and dance theatre company Curious Seed will be in residence to develop their new show Teenage Trilogy.