Church Hill at 50

Sep 8 2015 | By More

Last call for memorabilia

As the Church Hill Theatre approaches its Golden Jubilee with a launch event on Wednesday 16 September 2015, organisers are making a last call for memorabilia.

The City of Edinburgh Council has just completed a £220,000 refurbishment and upgrade to the theatre, although Æ understands the anticipated upcycling of the Usher Hall seating has been put on hold.

Paul Young gives Rikki Fulton a kiss on the cheek in the Perth Theatre Company production of A Wee Touch of Class at the Church Hill Theatre during Edinburgh Festival 1985. Photo © The Scotsman Publications Ltd

Paul Young gives Rikki Fulton a kiss on the cheek in A Wee Touch of Class from the Perth Theatre Company. Church Hill Theatre, Edinburgh Festival 1985. Photo © The Scotsman Publications Ltd

The council’s team at the Church Hill has also been working on a project to uncover stories, anecdotes and memories about the theatre, particularly from the viewpoint of the amateur and local companies who have made it their home since it opened on 25 September 1965 with a production of The Importance of Being Earnest staged by SCDA.

This project will culminate in an exhibition of artefacts and memorabilia and, significantly, the launch of a short film capturing memories of the theatre as it reaches its fiftieth year. The Church Hill Theatre team will be inviting friends, performers and local businesses to visit the exhibition, and to see the premiere of the film.

So far the project has seen contributions from a number of well-established amateur theatre companies, including Edinburgh People’s Theatre, who have staged a pantomime at the theatre every year, bar one, since The Enchanted Waltz, their offering in 1965.

valuable input

The team say that they have also had valuable input from Opera Camerata, Balerno Theatre Company, Edinburgh Music Theatre, South Morningside Stage Club and the American High School Theatre Festival which has had a Fringe residency at Church Hill for twenty years.

It is hoped that there will be original members of the Importance of Being Earnest cast at the anniversary launch event.

Although the project is well under way, the Church Hill Theatre’s anniversary project coordinator, Russell Clegg, is still keen to learn of any fascinating facts, star struck moments or recollections of memorable performances at the venue. He can be contacted on:

For details of the refurb project, Click here, and to go to Gordon Braidwood’s history of the origins of the theatre, Click here.

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