I was honoured to work at Leith Theatre last week with a young Theatre Company called B2 Productions whose performance of Sweeney Todd brought an eerie quality to this majestic but run-down space.
The theatre is in Leith and has had a chequered history since it was opened in 1932. Indeed, its website opens by describing this beautiful 1,500 seat amphitheatre by way of this line: “Betrayal, forgiveness, love, war, neglect, despair, hope, healing… a new beginning.”
The last three words are the most significant. Gradually, money is coming in via the trust that runs it, shows like the above and The Hidden Doors Festival. More and more it is becoming a cultural centre at the periphery and soon the heart of Edinburgh’s performing arts (particularly live music) life.
It’s architecturally breathtaking, bereft of its stalls seats, it’s like Edinburgh’s Barrowlands Ballroom, and has the acoustics for great rock and roll (Young Fathers and Kraftwerk have both played here – even though neither of these are rock and roll bands.)
The website shows what’s coming up and the programme is eclectic and interesting.
A behind the scenes tour (should you be fortunate) reveals its 1930s gilt lettered chorus and band rooms (separated into male and female of course.)
It’s a historical dream. I urge you to get yourself down to Leith to enjoy this snapshot in time.