King’s Theatre Favourites Southern Light Start Redevelopment Fundraising

Edinburgh’s longest established musical theatre company, Southern Light, has entertained audiences at the King’s Theatre since 1925. As it starts its 125th season in the King’s Theatre that is essentially the Company’s home, it will be performing a night of musical entertainment in the Festival Theatre in aid of the King’s Theatre Redevelopment Campaign that will comprise a selection of well-loved numbers from its previous shows including Me and My Girl, Hello Dolly, My Fair Lady, The Wizard of Oz and Brigadoon. Holding the concert in the Festival Theatre will allow for maximum audience capacity as well as greater fundraising potential.

£25 million capital spend is required to transform the King’s Theatre and 88% of that not insubstantial sum is now in place. This comprises grants and donations from the City of Edinburgh Council amounting to £4million and a £6.5million sum from the Scottish Government. Add to this the National Lottery Heritage Fund, whose development funding is secured pending an application for a further £1.7million plus another £2.2million raised from supportive patrons and donors, companies and trusts.

In addition, Capital Theatres will contribute £4.4 million, and a further £5 million being called in thanks to  prudent borrowing. Every penny raised between now and July 2022 will help to close the 12% gap in their funding, to realise the final £2.9 million needed for the transformation of the King’s Theatre. This final piece of the puzzle starts  in the form of a public fundraising campaign thanks to the show Southern Light Sings for the King’s.

The objectives of the King’s Redevelopment are five fold – to re-energise the artistic programme by attracting a greater breadth and the best available local, national and international productions; create a transformed, highly enjoyable, theatregoing and visitor experience; transform access to achieve equality of experience for all; modernise, preserve and showcase the heritage and create an enabling environment to foster lifelong cultural engagement. 

Jonathan Tait, President of Southern Light said “The King’s Theatre has been intertwined with our company for nearly a century, and it is an honour to be able to help them at this exciting part of the theatre’s history. We are privileged to have had the opportunity to perform in a building that means so much to the people of Edinburgh and we are delighted that we are playing a part in ensuring others will get that opportunity in the future.

Clearly the pandemic has made the rehearsal process more challenging than usual, but the creation of an outdoor rehearsal space, adaptable to all weathers, and an array of COVID protection measures, along with much grit and determination, means the show has come together. Also, by working with the theatre on this exciting project and by keeping an open mind this has been very rewarding and we hope that the people of Edinburgh come along for a great night of entertainment to help such a worthy cause.”

Southern Light Sings for the King’s runs from Thursday 09 Sep to Saturday 11 Sep 2021     Evenings 7.30pm | Matinee Sat 2:30pm

Tickets available from Festival Theatre Box Office: 0131 529 6000 or at Capital Theatres website.

Irene Brown

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