More concerns for Brunton

May 14 2024 | By | Reply More

RAAC Survey uncovers new issues for Brunton Hall

The invasive survey work to assess the condition of the RAAC (Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete) within Brunton Hall, home to the Brunton Theatre, has revealed new issues, according to the East Lothian Council.

Although the Brunton Theatre will remain closed for the foreseeable future, the Brunton Theatre Trust has announced its pantomime for 2024: a new version of A Christmas Carol created by Wonder Fools, which will be staged at both Haddington Corn Exchange and the Loretto Theatre in Musselburgh.

According to the ELC, the flat roof directly above the gold coloured artwork is affected by RAAC (this is above the theatre) and the other part is further behind, where the flags are sited. Pic: ELC

The Brunton Hall is owned by the ELC, which leases the Brunton theatre and Venues 1 & 2, to the Brunton Theatre Trust. The Brunton Theatre was closed in March 2023 following the discovery of RAAC in the theatre’s roof space.

The Trust has been waiting for an “options appraisal” on the future of the Brunton Hall since Autumn 2023, when it moved all its operations out the Corn Exchange in Haddington and the Loretto Theatre and Northesk Parish Church, in Musselburgh.

The ELC says that the scale of RAAC installed across the building, its condition and need for safe access to all roof spaces have presented significant challenges to the team.

The Council has now revealed that the invasive technical testing undertaken has “uncovered further issues within the roof structure and overall building that require to be addressed.”

options appraisal

According to the ELC: “The team are continuing to develop a detailed options appraisal which will inform on all of the issues the Brunton Hall presents and the range of solutions that may be applied as mitigation. Unfortunately due to the complexity of the issue, this has taken longer than anticipated.”

Commenting on the news, Michael Stitt, Chair of Brunton Theatre Trust said: “While we await updates about the future of The Brunton building in Musselburgh, we are presenting our shows and participatory projects at alternative venues in the County – mainly the Corn Exchange in Haddington and Loretto Theatre and Northesk Parish Church, in Musselburgh.

“We also continue to support the wonderful range of community arts organisations to present their shows at these venues as well.

“Our message to our audiences is, please do come and enjoy The Brunton experience at these alternative venues. We have the same high-quality programme ready for you to enjoy, and a warm welcome awaits.”


The Trust has also announced that this year’s pantomime will be staged at both the Corn Exchange and Loretto Theatre. The Trust is working with theatre company, Wonder Fools, to present A Christmas Carol, which will have both public and schools’ performance dates.

Robbie Gordon and Jack Nurse, the co-artistic directors of Wonder Fools, are writing and making a pantomime version of Dickens’ much-loved story, set in East Lothian. This new pantomime will have original songs and is directly inspired by Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas story.

Prestonpans-born Robbie Gordon said: “We are honoured to be writing the Brunton pantomime this year. The Brunton was one of the first places I ever saw live theatre and it will be a privilege to give a similar magical experience to future generations of theatre goers.

“There is a rich tradition of pantomime in Scotland, and it feels very exciting to be tackling one in the region I grew up in. For us, our work is all about creating high quality theatrical experiences that provide a good night out and we can’t wait to bring this story to life.”

Further announcements will be made regarding auditions for the young chorus and tickets on sale dates.


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