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Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre will finally reopen to audiences this autumn after their COVID-imposed closure with a full programme of concerts, theatre and community activities, including Perth’s much loved family panto! Truly offering something for everyone, the venue reopenings mark a major step forward in their return to normality.
The classical season gets up and running in Perth Concert Hall with Scottish Opera’s staging of Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte on Saturday 11 September. Several of the soloists who wowed the crowd at Perth’s Live and Unlocked Summer Festival on the Perth Concert Hall Plaza this summer will perform the glorious music of Mozart in this effervescent and fast-paced comic opera.
Further classical highlights in Perth Concert Hall include the return of the Perth Concert Series with Scotland’s top orchestras; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Dunedin Consort perform Monteverdi madrigals on themes of love and war. Red Note Ensemble take up a residency in the hall around the music of James Dillon. Two rising classical guitar stars, Tim Beattie and Scotland’s Sean Shibe offer thrilling recitals. Pianist Jeneba Kanneh-Mason, the latest of the fabulous Kanneh- Mason family performs Bach, Mozart, Scriabin and Liszt.
The first main stage show in Perth Theatre is The Signalman which runs from Saturday 25 September until Saturday 2 October. First seen at A Play A Pie and A Pint, the award-winning show about the personal tragedy behind the Tay Bridge disaster stars local actor Tom McGovern and is directed by former Perth Theatre artistic director Ken Alexander.
The theatre season continues with a new Perth Theatre production of Molière’s classic comedy Don Juan in October. Reminding audiences of the days of Joan Knight when Molière was a regular crowd-pleasing favourite, the mischievous mash-up of greed, passion and playing the field is just as relevant for 21st century audiences as it has ever been. The National Theatre of Scotland’s The Enemy - a uniquely Scottish and contemporary take on Henrik Ibsen’s timeless work – tours to the theatre in November.
Perth’s much-loved panto dame Barrie Hunter returns as one half of an utterly hilarious ugly sister double act in Perth Theatre’s family panto Cinderella running throughout the festive season.
In-person workshops for young people and adults kick off in September with the return of Perth Youth Theatre, Glee, Horsecross Voices and Let’s Dance in addition to specialist groups Dance for Parkinson’s and Vocal Chord. The Saintees on Stage collaboration with St Johnstone FC to create a production around the role of the club in the city continues with an in-person version of the sell-out Team Talks throughout the autumn. Fun Palaces – the interactive festival of everyday creativity and skills to share will return as an in-person event in the first weekend of October after last year’s online event.
Musical highlights from the Perth Concert Hall programme include classic rock from Jethro Tull and Richard Thomson, and chart toppers Dr Hook starring Dennis Locorriere. Scottish favourites include a long-awaited Del Amitri gig, a welcome return from Deacon Blue and the launch of Wet Wet Wet’s The Journey tour. There’s classic folk from Andy Irvine and Paul Brady, soul and funk from The Average White Band and well-known country tunes from The Legends of American Country. Beyond the Barricade and The Chicago Blues Brothers: A Night at the Movies will entertain with songs from the world of musical theatre.
The music goes on in Perth Theatre’s Joan Knight Studio with more intimate gigs from top Scots folk acts Talisk and Kris Drever, local country, rock and soul band The New Madrids and energetic bluegrass from Southern Fried favourites Flats and Sharps.
The hilarious comedy line-up features Gary Meikle, Katherine Ryan, Jimeoin, Janey Godley, Adam Kay and Daniel Sloss.
Astronaut Tim Peake shares spectacular stories about his space explorations and “the world’s greatest living explorer” Sir Ranulph Fiennes sheds fascinating light on some of his greatest adventures.
Christmas in Perth Concert Hall is wrapped up with festive favourites including Abbamania, A Fairytale of New York – Coming Home for Christmas and Phil Cunningham’s Christmas Songbook. Dunedin Consort bring the sound of Christmas with their renowned performance of Handel’s powerful and atmospheric Messiah and Nicola Benedetti joins the Scottish Chamber Orchestra for an evening of enduring classics from the violin repertoire.
Many community groups including Perth Film Society, Perth Symphony Orchestra and Perth Choral Society are also preparing their return to the venues.
Nick Williams, chief executive of Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre said:
“I know I speak for the whole team when I say that we are thrilled to be welcoming audiences back into the venues. We’ve achieved more than I ever thought possible in staying connected with our communities during the last 17 months, but nothing beats the shared energy and atmosphere of live performance. It’s been a long hard journey to get to this point, but we are looking forward to the future with a sense of positivity and excitement. We can’t wait to get back to entertaining and engaging the people of Perth!”
Several COVID-19 measures will remain in place as the venues reopen including mandatory mask wearing for both staff and audiences, increased airflow throughout the auditoria, protective screens, hand sanitising stations and enhanced cleaning regimes. Some classical concerts and theatre shows will offer physically distanced performances for audience members with concerns about an immediate return to crowded locations.
Many events are already on sale, with the full reopening season available online at www.horsecross.co.uk from Wednesday 25 August. Perth Theatre Ticketing Desk will reopen from Wednesday 25 August for phone sales and from Monday 30 August for in-person sales.
For more detail on Perth Concert Hall business events, Perth Concert Hall
Horsecross Arts is supported by Creative Scotland, Perth & Kinross Council and The Gannochy Trust.