St Andrews Byre Theatre calls to the community . .

Byre Theatre, St Andrews.
Byre Theatre, St Andrews.

The Byre Theatre is celebrating 10 years in its award-winning building and 78 years of being an integral part of the St Andrews community.

However, few years in its long history have been as turbulent as this past 12 months which has seen the Scottish Arts Council (now Creative Scotland) removing the annual funding the Byre had previously been granted, in addition to the reduction in 2006.

Now the theatre is reaching out to the community for volunteers to come forward and offer practical support in its front of house teams.

A spokesman told the Citizen this week: ‘‘The Byre has a long rich history to be proud of, from its roots with AB Paterson and his peers to becoming Scotland’s only five-star theatre and one in which St Andrews and Fife can be proud.

‘‘The role a theatre plays in the community can never be underestimated, and our relationship with the community has never been stronger as witnessed with the Byre’s impressive role in the Royal Wedding celebrations, providing artistic, technical and box office support to the event.

‘‘But there is so much more to learn about what we do, such as The Byre@ programme taking professional theatre to rural areas; our expanding education programme reaching out into local schools, as well as our own Byre Youth Theatre and Haydays providing arts and crafts for the over 50s.

‘‘We listen to you, to put on what you want to see: you wanted panto and we have delivered three acclaimed pantos in a row, with a fourth on the way; Fife’s got Talent has been massively successful as people live out their dreams by performing on a professional stage before a live audience; The Inside Out Street Theatre Festival, which in 2010 entertained 28,000 people, brought in over £300,000 to the local economy.

‘‘The Byre continues its mission to inspire creativity through the artistic and education programmes, delivered thanks to the dedication of the small team of staff and friends which has seen the theatre continue to expand and encourage and inspire more and more people into the arts.

‘‘However, despite cost-cutting measures and redundancies, the recent funding loss has meant that we are no longer able to continue without further practical support and we would now like to ask for volunteers to help us in our Front of House teams, where they will be involved in welcoming people to ther theatre and helping them enjoy their visit in safety.

‘‘Whether you are available one night a month, two nights a week, daytime only, weekend only we would love to hear from you. You will receive full training and support.’’

Anyone interested can contact Stephen Sinclair, The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, St Andrews, KY16 9LA; or ring him on 01334 468733

Thank you for your support, we look forward to working with you!

Henry McLeish (Former First Minister. 2001) “The new theatre is a wonderful facility – not only for St Andrews and Fife, But Scotland.”

Sir Sean Connery, 2001 “The new Byre offers the UK an exciting performance space which professional touring companies would be foolish to overlook.” “An asset to Fife”