|The first images showing how Paisley’s iconic arts centre will look after a £2.8m transformation have been revealed – including a new extension and public space at the heart of Paisley’s nightlife district.|
|The Paisley Arts Centre stage has hosted some of Scotland’s biggest names in the three decades since the 250-year-old former church building was converted into one of the country’s most vibrant small entertainment venues.
The building is being upgraded as part of a wider investment in Paisley’s venues and outdoor spaces aimed at using the town’s internationally-significant cultural and heritage story to change its future.
And plans have been submitted for the work, with images revealed today showing:
– a redesigned public space around the arts centre, removing railings and bringing the street to the building – creating a new outdoor area for events and for people to dwell;
– how the building’s location at the junction of New Street and Shuttle Street means it is perfectly placed to add new vibrancy to the surrounding already-busy nightlife area;
– a new-build extension to the existing entrance – creating more room to expand facilities inside – including an improved café-bar;
– improved auditorium with retractable seating offering a capacity of 150 (seated) and 200 (standing) and creating the flexibility to offer more events, bringing more footfall to the town;
– better audience and performance facilities – retaining the intimate atmosphere the building is known for but adding more comfortable seating with better legroom, improved sightlines, better sound and lighting, upgraded toilets, and better disabled access and facilities;
There will also be new back-of-house facilities expanding what the building can do and making it more attractive to performers – including a new kitchen, improved dressing rooms, and workshop space for rehearsals and other events.
The arts centre is due to close in summer 2020 to allow the transformation to take place, and is expected to reopen in summer 2021.
The venue is home to a year-round performance programme and last week hosted several events as part of Paisley’s Spree festival, and will be packed out again for the ever-popular PACE Youth Theatre panto this festive period.
While the arts centre had a number of improvements to the outside of the building in 2012 the facilities inside had become outdated and needed more than a makeover to change that – but the planned work will create 21st-century facilities inside the historic building.
The project is being taken forward by Renfrewshire Council and the venue will continue to be operated by Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd.
Cllr Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “The images revealed today show how Paisley Arts Centre will be transformed into a unique and intimate performance venue capable of hosting a greater range of events and performances than ever before.
“The council is investing in Paisley’s venues as part of a wider push to use the area’s unique heritage and thriving cultural and events offer to bring people into the town and create new life and footfall.
“The revamped arts centre will be more than a building – it will be a place where the town’s next generation of talent can learn, be inspired and have their first time on a stage.
“It will also complement other investments happening in Paisley’s venues around the town – both council and community-run – helping connect, build and support the growing creative community already active in the town.
“We expect the improved performance programme the new facilities will allow us to offer will see increased numbers coming to arts centre shows day and night – and boost the surrounding pubs and eateries while here.”
Other major investments happening in Paisley town centre just now include a £42m transformation of Paisley Museum into a world-class destination showcasing the town’s internationally-significant collections and story.
There’s also work to preserve Paisley Town Hall’s place at the heart of life in the town by turning it into a landmark entertainment venue and a new learning and cultural hub offering library services to be built in a modern facility at the heart of Paisley High Street.
For more information, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/paisley or www.paisley.is
Tag Archives: Paisley Arts Centre
Following a successful Scottish tour in spring 2018, The Occasion Theatre’s The Monster and Mary Shelley, written by Stewart Ennis, will return this autumn for a UK tour.
The Monster and Mary Shelley is an outlandish trip through the mind of one of literature’s most influential imaginations.
On a sun-less day at their villa in Switzerland, Lord Byron challenges his guests Percy and Mary Shelley to each write a ghost story. Two days later Mary, 18 years old and having recently watched her premature baby die, has a ‘waking dream’ and begins to write a story that will haunt and define her for the rest of her life.
Incorporating elements of music hall, melodrama, horror and teenage rebellion with a pulsing contemporary cinematic score, The Monster and Mary Shelley is an atmospheric, moving, and darkly comic exploration of fear and the Gothic Girl who electrified the world.
The show is directed by The Occasion Theatre’s Co-Artistic Director Peter Clerke, written by Stewart Ennis and performed by Catherine Gillard.
Stewart hails from Bridge of Weir. His very first job on leaving Linwood High school in the late 70s was a trainee journalist on the Paisley Gazette. He’s also an ex RAI nurse. A career as an actor followed, primarily in theatre, but some may know him from his recurring role as Cllr McVitie in Still Game. Stewart also recently published his debut novel Blessed Assurance which refers to fictionalised versions of Paisley and Bridge of Weir.
Peter studied at the Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Paris and was a founder member and Co-Artistic Director of benchtours (1991 – 2009), directing or performing in all of their productions. He was also Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Lung Ha’s and spent five years at Edinburgh’s Theatre Workshop. From 2009 – 2015 he was the Artistic Director of Blue Apple Theatre, Winchester, one of Southwest England’s leading learning disability arts organisations.
Peter Clerke, director of The Monster and Mary Shelley said:
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to re-tour this hugely enjoyable show, both to more venues across Scotland and, with the support from ACE, to break new ground in England.
Never far from controversy, Shelley, throughout her lifetime, was at the forefront of social change in a turbulent world. Her exploration of fear, in the form of Frankenstein’s Monster, spawned a whole genre of fiction and continues to hold a massive relevance in the present day. We very much look forward to introducing The Monster and Mary Shelley to new audiences across the UK.”
Catherine Gillard plays Mary Shelley. Catherine studied at Sydney Acting School and the Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Paris. She was a founder member and Co-Artistic Director of benchtours (1991 – 2009). Recent projects include Kill Me Now (Melanie Stewart Dance Theatre/Philadelphia Live Arts Festival), Apocalypse, The Taking of Zena Charbonne and YOU ARE HERE! (The Occasion.)
Richard Williams composes. Set and costume design is by Ali MacLaurin with lighting design by Paul Froy.
The Monster and Mary Shelley will play Paisley Arts Centre, Paisley on Thursday 24 October. For further information and to book tickets, please visit www.renfrewshireboxoffice.ticketsolve.com
This Christmas, PACE Theatre Company is delighted to announce its annual pantomime will be The Snow Queen. A festive treat for adults and children alike, this icy tale of a queen who is up to snow good will run from 27 November to 31 December, featuring hilarious characters, fantastic original music and a supporting chorus of young actors.
CHRIS ALEXANDER (Martha and White, Catherine Wheels) will reprise his role as dame, Widow Swanky, having proved a hit with audiences since his debut performance in 2017’s PACE panto (Jack and the Beanstalk and Snow White). He’ll appear alongside a stellar ensemble cast including: DUNCAN BROWN (Mammy Goose, Tron; Chick Whittington, macrobert), SARAH MCCARDIE (River City; Cinderella, Motherwell Theatre), SHANNON SWAN (Glasgow Girls; Outlander) and KARA SWINNEY (Sunshine on Leith, tour).
PACE is pleased to welcome ANDY MCGREGOR as writer and director. Andy is a playwright, director and composer who has been making a name for himself creating work for family audiences, and in particular Christmas shows for venues such as the Citizens Theatre and macrobert arts centre.
The Snow Queen will be produced and musically directed by ALAN ORR, whose comic performances were at the heart of PACE pantos for many years, while regular collaborator FRASER LAPPIN will bring his inimitable flair to the set and costume design.
Alan Orr said, “We’re incredibly proud that the PACE panto has become such an institution for Renfrewshire audiences at Christmas. It’s the perfect opportunity for families and friends to get together and celebrate the festivities. We’ve gathered together a fantastic team to create this year’s panto, and we’re confident that there will be something for everyone to enjoy!”
The cast will be completed by 4 teams of young actors handpicked from PACE’s core youth theatre groups, enhancing the production with their boundless energy.
This year’s schedule will also feature the Company’s first relaxed performance; ideal for anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed performance environment, including those with an Autistic Spectrum Condition, sensory and communication disorders, or a learning disability. During the performance the lights in the theatre will be dimmed so that it’s not too dark, there will be a more relaxed approach to noise and movement from the audience, and we will make small changes to the lights and sound (such as taking out strobes lights) so that the performance is more accessible for anyone with sensory sensitivities.
PACE Theatre Company presents
THE SNOW QUEEN
Written and directed by Andy McGregor
Wed 27 November – Tue 31 December 2019 (not Sundays)
A family pantomime for all ages!
General Booking: 0300 300 1210 | https://www.renfrewshireboxoffice.ticketsolve.com
Group Booking: 0345 130 5218
Tickets from £10 – £27.50 (booking fee applies)
Group bookings – Buy 15 tickets and get one free.
Schools & Nurseries – Teachers go FREE to any Band A show *Max of 1 teacher for every 10 children
Chris Alexander Widow Swanky
Duncan Brown Percy
Sarah McCardie Multi-role
Shannon Swan Persephone
Kara Swinney The Snow Queen
Andy McGregor Writer & Director
Alan Orr Producer & Musical Director
Pauline Ramsay Stage Manager & Lyricist
Angela Orr Assistant Director
Fraser Lappin Set & Costume Designer
Emma Armstrong Lighting Design
Grant Mason Executive Producer
Wed 27 Dec: 7pm
Thu 28 Nov: 7pm
Fri 29 Nov: 10am and 7pm
Sat 30 Nov: 11am, 3pm and 7pm
Mon 2 Dec: 6pm*
Tue 3 Dec: 10am and 7pm
Wed 4 Dec: 10am, 2pm and 7pm
Thu 5 Dec: 1pm and 7pm
Fri 6 Dec: 10am and 7pm**
Sat 7 Dec: 11am, 3pm and 7pm
Mon 9 Dec: 1pm and 7pm
Tue 10 Dec: 10am and 7pm
Wed 11 Dec: 10am and 7pm
Thu 12 Dec: 1pm and 7pm
Fri 13 Dec: 10am and 7pm
Sat 14 Dec: 11am, 3pm and 7pm
Mon 16 Dec: 1pm and 7pm
Tue 17 Dec: 10am, 2pm and 7pm
Wed 18 Dec: 10am and 7pm
Thu 19 Dec: 10am and 7pm
Fri 20 Dec: 3pm and 7pm
Sat 21 Dec: 11am, 3pm and 7pm
Mon 23 Dec: 3pm and 7pm
Tue 24 Dec: 11am, 3pm and 7pm
Fri 27 Dec: 3pm and 7pm
Sat 28 Dec: 11am, 3pm and 7pm
Mon 30 Dec: 3pm and 7pm
Tue 31 Dec: 11am, 3pm and 7pm
IMAGE: Mihaela Bodlovic
Brand new theatre from veteran actor, playwright and musician, David Anderson.
An old guy visits a seaside museum, where he finds a Punch and Judy stall. He peeks in and finds himself in the year 1960. He’s 15 years old, holidaying on the west coast of Scotland. It’s a world of rock ‘n’ roll, teenagers, consumerism, rampant hormones, love of all things American, and a girl.
Not the girl he’s left behind and whom he’s afraid of losing to an older (17 year old) man. No. An altogether more exotic creature, who introduces him to the butterfly kiss.
Brand new theatre from veteran actor, playwright and musician David Anderson (City Lights, Gregory’s Girl), co-starring Katie Barnett and Jack Mullen.
Date: Sunday 29 March
Venue: Paisley Arts Centre, 7.30pm
Cost: £12 (£10 conc) + booking fee*
Suitable for ages 14+
More information: https://boxoffice.renfrewshire.gov.uk/PEO/show.asp
Little Princess Goldtree is a Scottish version of Snow White told with hand carved puppets, striking shadow silhouettes and traditional storytelling.
A wicked stepmother, a beautiful princess and an all-knowing, all-seeing magical trout – just the ingredients needed for a fairytale. This Scottish version of Snow White is told with hand carved puppets, striking shadown silhouettes and traditional storytelling, accompanied by an original soundtrack.
Yugen Puppet Company was established in 1997 by Alison Monaghan to celebrate Scotland’s rich heritage of traditional stories, retelling them using skilful puppetry and magical shadow theatre.
Date: Wednesday 8 April
Venue: Paisley Arts Centre, 2pm
Cost: £4 + booking fee*
Suitable for ages 4+
A funny, very personal exploration of fraternal relationships.
Secrets, storytelling and sibling rivalry. There were two brothers is a funny, very personal exploration of fraternal relationships. Inspired by brothers, both real and fictional, this new solo show by Mark Kydd takes the audience on an unexpected journey through his experiences with his brother and the discovery that they share more than a birthday.
There Were Two Brothers
Date: Saturday 14 March
Venue: Paisley Arts Centre, 7.30pm
Cost: £10 (£6 conc) + booking fee*
Suitable for ages 16+
More information: https://boxoffice.renfrewshire.gov.uk/PEO/show.asp