We are delighted to announce that the venue we have chosen for Hidden Door 2017 is the old Leith Theatre – a stunning derelict art deco theatre that has been standing empty and gradually falling into disrepair for 28 years.
Hidden Door is in discussions with the Leith Theatre Trust, the organisation that has recently been granted a lease for the building and wants to get it up and running as a functioning arts venue for the city.
There is a huge amount of work needing done to the venue, but Hidden Door has never shied away from a challenging site, and this one is truly inspirational. We want to bring the old theatre back to life next year, filling its beautiful spaces with live music, visual art, theatre, film and spoken word for the duration of our event which will run from 26th May – 4th June 2017.
The venue comprises of a huge auditorium and balcony, with a labyrinth of old dressing rooms, passages, a projector room and an orchestra pit!
The history of the building is varied, serving in its time as a theatre, a cinema, and a music venue, hosting the likes of AC/DC and Thin Lizzy.
David Martin, Creative Director of Hidden Door, said:
“Edinburgh is a city busy with festivals but Hidden Door opens up new spaces for artists and creative talent to bring something new to the mix, celebrating innovation and experimentation in the arts.
“People may think that Edinburgh doesn’t have a lot of disused buildings, but they would be amazed at the secrets that are still there to be discovered. This year we have access to one of Edinburgh’s best kept secrets – the old Leith Theatre. Many people think they have been to the Leith Theatre, but have in fact only been to the adjoining hall. The actual theatre is breathtaking, and we will fill every nook and cranny, backstage room, under the stage and even the roof space with exciting art installations, theatre shows and film from some of Scotland’s most promising new artists.
“And then of course we have the fantastic main auditorium which we will bring to life in a spectacular way – with music from the likes of Hidden Orchestra and new enfant terrible Anna Meredith, plus fantastic new site-specific theatre productions by Grid Iron, Ludens Ensemble and Surge. This will be our most ambitious festival yet, and will reflect a dynamic emerging cultural scene in Scotland.”
Irvine Welsh, Leith-born author and patron of the Leith Theatre Trust, said:
“It’s terrific to see a pop-up counter culture event like Hidden Door collaborating with Leith Theatre to open up the whole of the building, not just the main auditorium but also all the corridors and dressing rooms, bars and secret nooks that make it such a charming and exciting place. Hidden Door gives audiences the chance to glimpse what the future of the theatre could be and show others how versatile and interesting it can be in the meantime through its programme and use of space. I’m excited to see a like-minded organisation coming together with us and bringing Leith Theatre new life.”
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