BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 November 2005, 22:49 GMT
Curtain call for theatre revamp
Dumfries Theatre Royal (Picture courtesy of Theatre Royal)
The theatre is Scotland's oldest working playhouse
Scotland's oldest working theatre could be demolished under plans to make way for a modern replacement.

The 213-year-old Theatre Royal in Dumfries has links with poet Robert Burns and Peter Pan author JM Barrie.

Proposals to modernise the building while keeping the original frontage failed to win planning approval earlier this year.

The Theatre Royal Trust now claim the only way forward is to build afresh, a move likely spark protests.

The trust spent years working up a 5.2m scheme to build a new theatre behind the existing Shakespeare Street facade.

Changing face

Funding was in place, including more than 2m from Dumfries and Galloway Council, but the authority's planning committee rejected the proposal, putting the whole project in doubt.

The new plan involves clearing the site and starting from scratch.

Trust chairman Howard Hann said it was controversial but pointed out that the theatre had changed many times, bearing no resemblance to the one that Burns knew.

Wilson Ogilvie, the Dumfries-based heritage convener of the Burns Federation, said he understood the difficulties involved in overcoming the planning problems.

But he said he was not happy about the prospect of the building being demolished.

Famous names to have appeared at the Theatre Royal include silver screen comedy legends Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel.

Oldest theatre rescue bid shunned
22 Jul 05 |  Scotland
Council agrees to rescue theatre
27 Jul 04 |  Scotland
Plot twist for historic theatre
18 May 04 |  Scotland

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific