Amateurs set to bring some razzle dazzle to Edinburgh King’s public funding launch

T​he Old Lady of Leven Street has seen better days. No one can deny that. However, a two year, £25 million transformation is set to restore the historic King's Theatre to its former glory and more, creating a community hub for the Capital's theatre lovers. ​

Southern Light in Anything Goes
Southern Light in Anything Goes

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W​ith ​Scottish Government grant funding​ contributing ​£22.1​ ​million of the £25 million ​needed for the redevelopment project the remaining £2.9 million will come from a public fundraising campaign which​ ​kicks off in razzle-dazzling style ​later this month ​w​ith ​Southern Light ​Sings for the King’s​.

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Long home to many of the city's amateur theatre and musical companies, Southern Light, originally Southern Light Opera, have been performing at the 1,300 seat King's since 1925 and for the fund-raising concerts will present a selection of well-loved numbers from their previous shows.

There's one thing to note, however, the concerts won't be taking place in The King's itself. To allow for maximum audience capacity and therefore greater fundraising​ ​potential​, Southern Light Sings for the King's will take place in the Festival Theatre on Nicolson Street​.

Fiona Gibson​,​ CEO of Capital Theatres​, the trust that operates both venues,​​ sa​ys, ​“We’re moved and inspired by Southern Light’s commitment to the King’s transformational​ ​redevelopment project. Not only will Southern Light Sings for the King’s be a barnstorming​ ​evening of music and dance, it will also encapsulate how much of a treasure the theatre is​ ​now to the people of Edinburgh, and will continue to be so for generations to come in its new

and improved form.

​"​Our vision for The King’s future is a thriving community hub by day, and​ ​a stage worthy of the very finest performances by night, and Southern Light fully embodies​ ​these two aspirations.

​"​We hope that audiences will dig deep to ensure that Southern Light​ ​will be performing on our special King’s stage for another 100 years and beyond.​ ​We can’t​ ​thank them enough for their generosity of spirit in helping us turn this vision into reality. ”

The concerts, which will run from September​ 9-11, ​will find company members start​ing Southern Light's 125th season with a selection of numbers from previous ​productions​ including Me and My Girl, Hello Dolly, My Fair Lady,​ ​The Wizard of Oz and Brigadoon​.

Jonathan Tait, President of Southern Light sa​ys, "​The King’s Theatre has been intertwined with our company for nearly a century, and it is anhonour 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.​"​The King’s redevelopment project will re-energise the venues artistic programme by attracting the best available local, national and international productions, create a highly enjoyable, theatre-going experiece, transform access and modernise, preserve and showcase the building’s heritage.

Southern Light Sings for the King’s, Leven Street, September 9-11, 7.30pm (Saturday matinee 2.30pm), www.capitaltheatres.com

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