With just 75 days to go until Perth Theatre’s reopening panto, the countdown is on towards a new generation of theatre in Perth!

Gwilym Gibbons, chief executive of Horsecross Arts, Perth Theatre artistic director, Lu Kemp, Council Leader Ian Campbell from project partners Perth & Kinross Council, plus other partners and supporters pressed the button to launch the 75-day countdown to the first performance of Aladdin.

The countdown will be projected onto Perth Theatre’s Mill Street façade and will be visible after dark from now until the run of Aladdin starts on Saturday 9 December.

The £16.6m transformation of Perth’s historic theatre is nearing completion with the Box Office, café and bar in the restored and redeveloped venue due to reopen on Monday 13 November. From that date, in the run up to panto time, there will be a series of opportunities for members of the public to test the restored and redeveloped theatre, peek back stage, explore the building and check out the performance spaces.

Gwilym Gibbons said:

“It is incredibly exciting to reach this stage in the transformation process. With 75 days to go until our reopening production of Aladdin, we are counting the days until we welcome the people of Perth back into their restored and redeveloped theatre!”

Councillor Ian Campbell, Leader of Perth & Kinross Council, said:

“It is an exciting time for Perth as so many major projects are progressing at different stages, and they all will provide a major boost to the city. With the reopening of the theatre and the first production getting ready for an audience, it’s a welcome step forward. Over the next few years we will see a number of positive changes happening across the city centre, and I think it is fitting that the first project to reach completion and kick things off is the renovation of one of Perth’s most iconic buildings.”

Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive, hub East Central Scotland, who are leading the delivery of the project, said:

“We are all looking forward to handing over the newly transformed theatre, which will once again take its place as one of the city’s most unique cultural venues.”

Kevin Dickson, managing director, Robertson Tayside, said:

“Being so closely involved with the transformation of Perth Theatre has been an absolute privilege for everyone at Robertson. It’s exciting to know that the theatre will reopen in just a couple of months and I am sure that once they step inside, the public will agree that all the hard work has been more than worth it.”

Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, commented:

“Perth Theatre plays a hugely important role in the life of the local community so it will be wonderful to see its doors open again welcoming visitors of all ages to the panto. Thanks to players of the National Lottery, they will be delighted and entertained in an auditorium which has been beautifully restored to its Edwardian heyday.”

Philip Deverell, Director, Strategy at Creative Scotland said:

“The restoration of Perth Theatre’s beautiful Edwardian auditorium, and the creation of state of the art facilities for audiences, artists and staff will create a vibrant and welcoming theatre space for everyone to enjoy. The new theatre will encourage experimentation and creativity, whilst nurturing talent, and complementing its internationally recognised sister venue Perth Concert Hall."

Perth Theatre will mark its official reopening with the first public performance of Aladdin on Saturday 9 December at 2pm. Tickets for Aladdin, in Perth Theatre from Saturday 9 December until Saturday 6 January, are on sale now at www.horsecross.co.uk and at Perth Concert Hall Box Office on 01738 621031. Perth Theatre’s homecoming panto is proudly supported by Struans, with panto kids cheered on by Thorntons Solicitors.

The new Perth Theatre season of plays, music and events will be launched on Tuesday 10 October with a month-long priority booking window for season theatre bookers.

Lu Kemp said:

“We are hugely excited to open the doors of Perth Theatre once again to the community it belongs to everyone - old and young - across Perthshire. We hope that everyone will find something for them within our programme - and if they can’t come to us we will go to them!”