It’s Rothes Halls in Glenrothes 25th birthday on Saturday

Looking back...Richard Wilson opened Rothes Halls on November 30, 1993. It has since become the cultural hub and heart of the community and a major success story.
Looking back...Richard Wilson opened Rothes Halls on November 30, 1993. It has since become the cultural hub and heart of the community and a major success story.

One Foot in the Grave star Richard Wilson would not believe just how successful the Rothes Halls has become.

The Scottish star opened the £8 million facility – funded by Glenrothes Development Corporation and Kirkcaldy District Council – on November 30, 1993 and it has since become the heart of the community.

A host of big names have performed at the venue in the last 25 years – from pop icons like The Kinks, Belinda Carlisle, Slade, Leo Sayer and Toyah through indie stars such as Stereophonics, Ian Brown, Bluetones, Super Furry Animals, Ocean Colour Scene and Fun Lovin’ Criminals to Scotland’s own Biffy Clyro, Midge Ure, The Proclaimers, Runrig, Delgados, Lulu, The View and Sergeant, who hailed from Glenrothes.

But it’s the community organisations which use the venue on a weekly basis which will be toasted at the silver anniversary bash.

Susan Turnbull, venue manager, said: “We want to celebrate the community’s involvement with the Halls.

“We support them and they support us, every single week of the year.

“I have worked in libraries for around 30 years and only recently came into venue management.

“I’m amazed at what this venue offers in its two flexible main halls, which can be adapted from seating to standing, and its 11 meeting rooms.

“In any one day, we could have a a recruitment or wedding fayre, tae kwon do classes, rock choir rehearsals and a gaming festival.

“It’s an incredibly diverse venue and it’s thriving because of that.

“We’re a cultural hub at the heart of the community and want to celebrate that.

“The talented team who work here are also very much looking forward to the party.”

The venue will host a big birthday bash this Saturday (November 10).

This will be followed by a silent disco, for those aged 18 and over, which will revisit the staggering variety of bands who have played the venue over the years.

ONFife archives, theatre services and Rothes Halls Library are joint party planners for the day.

Visitors can enjoy a nostalgic trip back in time, with an archive photo exhibition in the foyer, featuring seldom seen images taken at the venue during the last 25 years.

Gillian Parsons, programming and engagement officer, is also hoping locals will share their own memories.

She said: “We’ve got pictures from the opening event as well as a couple of interesting visits in the last 25 years.

“These include the Dinosaurs Alive exhibition which saw life-size dinosaurs being housed in the large hall in 1994 and a visit from Princess Anne in 2001 to Fife Chamber of Commerce and Industry, part of which took part in the halls.

“We also have images of local artists Max McCance and Malcolm Robertson who created bespoke furniture and statues for the Halls, which are still here today.

“Both the artists have been invited to the party too.

“And we’re asking people to share their own memories on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, using the hashtag #Rothes25.”

As well as events inside – ranging from a Fife Tae Kwon Do demonstration and workshops by Studio 38 to scenes from Leslie Amateur Dramatic Club’s upcoming Flint Street Nativity – Glenrothes Amateur Musical Association will perform highlights from Rogers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! outside the venue.

The group also performed at the Halls opening, along with Fife Fiddlers and the Tullis Russell Mills Band, and were delighted to be invited to perform once again for its silver anniversary.

The venue has created lasting memories for performers too though.

Gary Coupland from The Singing Kettle and kid show regulars Funbox – who return to the Halls this Christmas with a new show – said: “When it came to performing live shows, the best audiences tended to be in Edinburgh and Glasgow so it was a revelation when we played the Rothes Halls.

“Fife audiences are so enthusiastic and the fact that it is a concert hall as well as theatre gives it a great atmosphere.

“What was really touching, though, was the brilliant support we got from Fife for our crowd-funding campaign to launch Funbox after Singing Kettle stopped.”

Rothes Halls provides Glenrothes with a community hall for the arts and is also one of Fife’s premier conference venues.

Ticketed events at the Halls

A number of ticketed events have been lined up for this Saturday’s celebration.

For the Kids

Birthday Book Bug and Soft Play – 10am, Free, up to 4 years.

Jolly Jigglers – 1pm (for under 12s) (£4 Child, Adults £1).

Wee ones can party the afternoon away at Jolly Jigglers children’s disco with games and character visits by Alvin the Chipmunk and Dora the Explorer.

There will also be children’s entertainment throughout the day including face painting, balloon modeller, library crafts and a magician.

And the search is on for the Rothes Rabbit; wee ones can follow his treasure trail and play hide and seek.

For the Grown-Ups

Afternoon Tea: 2pm-4pm (£8).

Sandwiches, homebaking and chatter, served with a glass fizz.

Haud Yer Wheesht Silent Disco: Hits from the Halls.

This silent disco, for 18 years and over, will recall some of the glory days on a specially programmed channel of music which celebrates 25 years of live music at the Halls.

A huge number of world class musicians have graced the venue’s stage over the years and they will all be celebrated at this special event.

The ticket price will include a glass of fizz on arrival, followed by a supper of stovies or mac ’n’ cheese, with vegan and gluten-free options.

Tickets are priced £14.

For more details or tickets, visit www.onfife.com.

The Halls regular programme includes popular music, big-name comedy, drama, dance and children’s shows.

Uniquely in Fife, it can stage large-scale theatre productions. It is also home to FifeSpace and FotoSpace visual arts galleries on its first floor which host new exhibitions every six weeks.