Curtain’s up on a bright future at ‘The Citz’

The cast of Cinderella having a ball Credit: Tim Morozzo
One of Scotland’s oldest and best-loved theatres will undergo its most comprehensive redevelopment in its 137-year history, securing its future and its place as one of the country’s outstanding producing theatres.

Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre, or ‘The Citz’, has received a National Lottery grant of £4.8million to conserve, repair and expand this popular Victorian venue. Significant parts of its heritage will be preserved, including the Victorian auditorium, its collection of 19th-century stage machinery and a unique example of a working paint frame. The project will also explore the fascinating heritage of the building and the Company.

New learning spaces, rehearsal rooms and a 152-seat studio theatre are included in the design and the front-of-house spaces will be transformed for greater use by audiences and the local community.

The project will be underpinned by heritage-focused activities including a web-based heritage hub; helping people share their stories; volunteering opportunities; and bringing the theatre's work to life through heritage productions.

“Thanks to players of the National Lottery, the Citizens Theatre will undergo a transformation which shines a light on its incredible Victorian heritage.”Lucy Casot, Head of HLF Scotland

Lucy Casot, Head of HLF Scotland, said: “We are delighted to bring some Christmas cheer to one of Scotland’s oldest and best-loved theatres. After 135 years of entertaining audiences, her future as one of the country’s outstanding production theatres is rosy.”

Judith Kilvington, Executive Director of the Citizens Theatre, said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this significant support thanks to National Lottery players.

“This critical funding will allow us not only to preserve our Victorian theatre but also to tell stories which help to uncover and communicate the physical, architectural, social and cultural heritage of the Citizens Theatre to many future generations of theatre goers, participants, and visitors. Our redevelopment project is at the heart of the regeneration of the Gorbals and Laurieston and will create a vital cultural landmark and community hub for all the people who use the building.”

The Citizens Theatre Building is one of the area's few remaining old buildings and has been at the heart of the Gorbals since it opened as His Majesty’s Theatre in 1878. It was then known as the Royal Princesses Theatre until the building was leased to James Bridie’s Citizens Theatre Company in 1945. The building has significant historical relevance for the city of Glasgow, and for the Gorbals.

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