One of Scotland’s best-loved theatres is to close its doors for two years from January to undergo a stunning £14.5 million redevelopment.
With fevered fundraising almost complete, the transformation of the 114-year-old Perth Theatre will begin after the season-ending Christmas pantomime.
The production of Cinderella will be the final production to grace the famous stage as it is now.
When the theatre eventually reopens its doors in 2016, its B-listed auditorium will have been returned to its former glory and prepared for another century at the creative heart of Perth.
Bosses promised the show will go on during the closure with plans to build on Perth Theatre’s growing reputation by touring productions to other theatres throughout the UK and ‘bringing the theatre to the people’ by staging shows in a variety of venues across Perthshire.
Perth Concert Hall will also step in to host many regular favourite events over the next two years.
More than £13.5 million has already been secured with support from project partner Perth and Kinross Council as well as the Gannochy Trust, Heritage Lottery Foundation and Creative Scotland.
With that finance in place, the stage is set for the transformation, with Horsecross Arts looking to begin works as it aims to raise a further and final £1 million from business and public initiatives.
Perth and Kinross Council leader Ian Miller believes the project is one of the most exciting cultural developments to take place in Perth for many years.
He said: “The council is committed to ensuring this ambitious project secures the future of the facility for coming generations and breathes new life into the theatre as a centre of cultural excellence. A regenerated theatre will also bring significant economic and social benefits to the city of Perth and the surrounding area.”
While the interior will be carefully restored and instantly recognisable to audiences, the theatre’s exterior will be transformed.
The building will be spun around 180-degrees with an eye-catching new entrance and extension created at what is currently the rear of the theatre.