Capital Theatres Raise The Curtain on new Digital Programme

Capital Theatres, the independent charity that manages Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre, King’s Theatre and the Studio, have announced their programme of digital activities while their theatres are closed. Entitled Raise The Curtain, it invites the public to ‘Discover it. Create it. Perform it.’ through a range of live virtual events and interactive video content from creative play for toddlers to intergenerational ballroom dancing.

The new Chief Executive of Capital Theatres, Fiona Gibson said, “Capital Theatres exists to inspire a life-long love of theatre. … As Scotland’s largest theatre charity we are proud to play a significant role in Edinburgh’s cultural life and work proactively to increase and broaden engagement with the arts.  The curtain will rise again. But until then, we invite you to Discover it. Create it. Perform it.”

The full programme outlined below includes many activities that are open to the public as well as some private projects that have been developed for specific community groups who already have longstanding relationships with Capital Theatres

Behind the Scenes invites the public tojoin an interactive video call with staff at Capital Theatres sharing how theatre comes together! Learn the tricks of the trade from selling the hottest ticket in town, to lighting up the stage. Starts 27 May 2020.

Wee Creatives will offer free creative play sessions for young children and their adults to enjoy together. Our weekly creativity sessions have moved from our Studio venue to take place digitally. Each week a different performance artist leads a child friendly session, presented on YouTube and live sessions via zoom.  Starts 28 May.

Joy to the Moment looks to entertain residents isolating in care homes or people shielding in their own homes. A series of mini performances inspired by an original idea from Gracie Irvine, a young pupil at The Edinburgh Steiner School, who was worried about people isolating and in care settings and wanted to find a way to entertain them. Starts 1 June.

Virtual Backstage Tours. Get to know the venues even when they’re closed. Starts June.

Tea and Jam. Join this dementia inclusive and family friendly monthly Zoom event with your singing voice and instruments ready, whether it’s homemade instruments from household items to keyboards or saxophones. All ages are welcome for this uplifting 45-minute session of singing and dancing in your living room, gently led by professional musician Gus Harrower. Sessions are held on the last Friday of each month from 11am until 12noon.

Shall We Dance? Learn to dance at home through a series of live and pre-recorded sessions from former Scottish, International and World Champion dancer, Dawn Irvine. Over a period of 8 weeks Dawn will lead bimonthly live sessions where you can learn to dance the Waltz, Cha Cha Cha, Foxtrot and Jive in your living room. To celebrate the end of the 8-week series, Capital Theatres will host an afternoon dance live on Zoom for everyone to join in which will include a showdance from current u21 UK and British Champions and u19 World Champions, Andrei Toader and Mia Linnik-Holden, also live via Zoom. There will be recorded music and dancing to whatever dances the participants have learned. Starts July.

FUSEis our project for anyone who is care experienced. Over the last two months our participants aged 16+ have been meeting through weekly video calls to discuss some of the lockdown challenges such as mental health and loneliness. Their weekly ‘theatre club Zoom’ also involves participants watching free theatre online, voted on by those who attend, bringing participants together to discover the shared experience of performing art.

HarmenyCapital Theatres’ long-standing partnership with Harmeny Education Trust (a residential care home for care experienced children in South West Edinburgh) has been adapted to become a lockdown co-created storytelling project. The co-created approach means that the children create the story, such as choosing the characters and the environment, then each week they share with us through quotes, art responses and drama, how they would like their stories to move on. An artistic response in a video for them to take forward the next week will be created. At the end of six weeks there will be short films of the children’s stories available to enjoy and share.

QOTAThe highlight of Capital Theatres’ two-year partnership with LGBT Youth Scotland was a co-created original performance piece made with a group of young trans activists from all over Scotland called QOTA. Thiswas performed in front of 300 MSPs and invited guests at the Scottish Parliament in February. We have moved our activities with this group to digital creative engagement sessions, where the young people are supported to engage with performing arts and be creative during lockdown. 

Full information is available directly on or through social media channels @captheatres.

Irene Brown

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