Local photographer creates 360 virtual tour of Edinburgh's King’s Theatre

With no panto to look forward to this year, the King’s Theatre have raised the curtain on an innovative new way for people to immerse themselves in the grand old dame of Tarvit Street during the pandemic – oh, yes they have.

Capital Theatres, which runs the 115-year-old institution, have teamed up with local photographer Tom Duffin to create a behind-the-scenes virtual tour of their famous building.

The tour, which allows viewers to navigate the theatre from top to bottom and in 360 degrees, offers an unprecedented warts and all look at the city’s top pantomime venue.

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Supplemented by some witty narration by panto veteran Grant Stott, the tour is interspersed with imagery and audio from bygone performances, including a clip of Rikki Fulton and Jack Milroy, also known as Francie and Josie, when the legendary pair graced the King’s stage at Christmas 1983 for Sleeping Beauty.

In another clip, we can hear the voices of Anita Harris and Una McLean, who put on a memorable performance at the venue in 1989 for Babes in the Wood.

Photos of a four-tiered King’s auditorium, the sound and sight of Stanley Baxter in the King’s panto, and a trip to the dressing rooms are among the other surprises that await.

The access all areas tour will also take visitors to backstage areas of the theatre never seen by the audience, allowing you to stand on stage looking out to a full auditorium, go down to the orchestra pit or up to the fly-floor and historic paint frame, or wander through to the stars dressing rooms.

The King's Theatre can be toured in 360 degrees from top to bottom.The King's Theatre can be toured in 360 degrees from top to bottom.
The King's Theatre can be toured in 360 degrees from top to bottom.

There is the opportunity to donate during the tour which is a donation to the Capital Theatre’s emergency appeal.

Kate Smith, Director of Development at Capital Theatres said: “We know that thousands of people are missing their annual trip to the King’s and we cannot replace their panto experience this year.

"But in conversation with Tom we realised we could open up the theatre in a way which has never been done before and offer our audiences and the local community the opportunity to have a very rich and different theatre experience this Christmas.”

Photographer Tom Duffin, who runs 3D Scotland and offered his services to the King’s for free, said: “Our family have been going to panto there for 4 generations, so the challenge was to create something that was a cross-generational mix of nostalgia, belly laughs and surprising new discovery. What was a fantastic added benefit was the genuine enthusiasm it revealed from the King’s staff who revelled in telling their stories from behind, below and way, way above the stage.

Panto veteran Grant Stott narrates the proceedings.Panto veteran Grant Stott narrates the proceedings.
Panto veteran Grant Stott narrates the proceedings.
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“Together with the heartfelft messages from previous cast members it exposed a deep undercurrent of love and passion for The King’s which is so much more than just about the building.

"It was a real pleasure to rummage in The King’s less travelled spaces, to build a valuable 3D archive and to bring a little of that love and passion - the magic of panto – onto screens near you.”

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