Dumfries will benefit from a permanent new theatre, performance and rehearsal studio as a legacy of Big Burns Supper 2015.
BBS, which is run by the Electric Theatre Workshop, is transforming part of the ground floor at its Munches Street base into an auditorium which can hold audiences of up to 100. It will initially be used as a venue for shows and events during this year’s nine-day Big Burns Supper festival, which takes place from . It will then be made available to the community.
Graham Main, Director of ETW and Artistic Director of BBS, said: “We needed an extra venue for Big Burns Supper events and it made sense for it to be something that could benefit the community all year round. It’ll be great for Dumfries to have a brand new space for shows and events right in the heart of the town.”
After the festival is over Electric Theatre Workshop hopes to organise a year-round programme of events in the space – which is currently being called Studio 1 – as well as opening it up for other groups to use. Graham believes that as town centres decline as places just for shopping it is vital to revive them as hubs for community activity. He said: “It’s really important to make our town centres into lively and vibrant places which the whole community can enjoy. The arts are a great way of doing this and we hope that Studio 1 will bring people together for all sorts of exciting projects.”
This year BBS features 140 events and shows. One highlight will be the Burns Night street carnival on which will feature bands, huge interactive puppets and hundreds of costumed performers. As 2015 is the UNESCO Year of Light one of the main features of the carnival will be lanterns made and carried by people from all across the region.
The festival is made possible by support from many organisations including Creative Scotland, 8020 and Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Beacon Event Programme.