Theatre

There are four theatres in the Scottish Borders. The fact they survive in such a rural area with a short tourist season has to be testimony to the quality of the entertainment they provide.

 

The Wynd in Melrose is owned by the sometimes controversial Felix Sear. Now Felix has a knack of attracting top acts from all over the world with Julie Felix appearing there annually from the states just to prove our point. How does he do it? Perhaps he persuades them that Melrose is a great little venue, quaint little place to visit on their stressful large venue tours or somehow, like Julie, they admire his nerve and dedication.
We're not making that up about Julie, her agent told us - honest!.

On a national and local level, Felix gives his best too - check out our music section for news of Filska! from Shetland coming in August. Northumberland Theatre are back with 'Home Service' on 16 August following the astounding story of Lola Montez last spring.

The Wynd



The Eastgate Theatre in Peebles has had a remarkable couple of years. This recently converted church - beautifully archaic on the outside and smart contemporary on the inside - hit a blip last year.
Scottish Borders Council launched a rescue package, but (wait for it!) Bill Wyman also got to hear of their plight. So what did he do? He more than magnaminously included Eastgate as an important venue on his world photographic exhibition tour.
Not only did he do that, but he gave an interview to Clare English of BBC Radio Scotland on the blues from Eastgate last October.
This theatre is revived, but still deserves your support and if you see a show that appeals don't hang around as we did recently. We missed the chance to see local-lass-now-very-famous-singer-songwriter Karine Polwart. Lesson learned!

Eastgate Theatre



Into the woods, well literally that's where you'll find our next Scottish Borders theatre: Bowhill.

Based in the stable block of the Duke of Buccleuch's ancestral home, is this cosy little theatre. The entertainment is more local than The Wynd or Eastgate, but it seems that quality isn't compromised. We've worked with their administrator and she's relentlessly dedicated to sourcing local plays with professional local actors young (Borders Youth Theatre) and more experienced (John Nicol, Hilary Bell and others) and pairing with The Wynd to brings national shows to the Bowhill stage.

For your diary: Bowhill programme

Bowhill Theatre

Tuesday 14 April, 3pm

Over the Top Puppet Theatre: Willie the Wicked Wolf

An updated tale of Red Riding Hood with lots of laughs and audience participation

Tickets £8 / £6 under 16s


Thursday 16 April, 3pm

Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre: A Stitch in Time

A magical tale about the wonderful things we inherit from our parents and grandparents and how we pass them down to our own children. Suitable for ages 6+

Tickets £8 / £6 under 16s


Thursday 23rd April

2 – 4pm Walter Francis: The Collecting Duke

This afternoon will see a visit from Dr David Howarth, Head of History of Art at Edinburgh University, to talk about patronage of the arts and how the wonderful collection of art at Bowhill was put together by the great Victorian Duke, Walter Francis.

£20 to include talk, tour and Buccleuch Afternoon Tea.


Friday 24 April, 7.30pm

Guizer Music and Theatre from Scotland: A Posy for Queen Marie

Tickets £9 Optional Supper £14

Arguably, Mary Stuart, Scotland’s most romanticised monarch, has inspired more music and poetry, more comment and controversy, than any other woman in Scottish history. Madeleine Taylor dons the famous heart-shaped hood, the ruff and the pearl-decked gown, takes up guitar and drum and raises voice to share the stirring songs, the vibrant verse, the pithy prose – and even a dainty dance – to acknowledge the legacy of impressions left by the extraordinary life and death of Scotland’s famous lady.


Friday 8 May, 7.30pm

MsFits Theatre Company: Fur Coat and Magic Knickers

Tickets £10 / £8 under 16s. Optional Supper £14

Pensioner Maggie is a compulsive shopper with more cards than Hallmark. She needs to buy, buy, buy. But why has she got her eye on that store detective? Personal shopper Jenny is at breaking point and with her job on the line she has to sell, sell sell. But she has Second Hand Rose to contend with. Rose has a hot date for her daughter’s wedding and she just refuses to get into her magic knickers. When alarm bells ring, 3 women find themselves in the adventure of a lifetime and they will never be the same again


Thursday 21 May, 2-4 pm

Walter and Henry and James and Peter

A look at the portraits of Sir Walter Scott by Henry Raeburn and James Duke of Monmouth by Sir Peter Lely in the company of Bowhill’s expert guides. A grand chance to take a peek inside Bowhill when it is normally closed to the public. £20 to include talk, tour and afternoon tea


Saturday 27 June, 7.30pm

One and A Half Sopranos: Tea With Clarinda

Tickets £10 / £8 under 16s. Optional Supper £14

Well, well, pistols at the ready! This one act play with songs by Sheila Graham, who plays Nancy (’Clarinda’) McLehose, and featuring Cheryl Anne Easton as Jean Burns, is a fictional representation of a meeting which may have taken place between Jean Burns, wife of Rabbie, and Clarinda, one of Burns’ many ladies. What might have happened when the wife met ‘the other woman’ – bearing in mind of course, that this was an era in which good manners were paramount!


Sunday 5 July, 6.30pm

Theatre SetUp: Cymbelline

Tickets £12 / under 16s £10

Written in the Celtic tradition, this romantic comedy draws us into the lives of ancient Britons and Romans and the legends surrounding them, with visionary dreams and voices from heaven adding to an exciting story whose happy outcome brings joyous surprises. This rarely performed play is a rich gem of Shakespeare’s late career and will be played simply in period costume with specially written music.

.. This was Shakespeare in its purest form, yet cleverly made accessible to a modern audience’ – The Stage.



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