Finding a brand-new way to open the doors of the King’s Theatre, despite the pandemic, Edinburgh’s favourite panto venue has teamed up with professional photographer Tom Duffin to create a virtual theatre tour.
The tour allows the thousands of people missing the annual Panto extravaganza to see and hear familiar panto voices both current and from years gone by, as well as to tour every nook and cranny of the theatre, opening up previously unseen spaces in which they can discover nuggets of history, see photos of the King’s as it once was, and hear the stories of the staff and stars who make the King’s Panto so special.
As you stand outside the theatre images of it before the theatre was built in 1905, the 1940’s, now and as planned in the future following a major redevelopment, revolve to show the King’s site over the course of more than a century. Favourite panto baddie Grant Stott greets you in the foyer for the start of a virtual 360-degree tour of the historic King’s Theatre, on which you’ll also hear familiar cheeky panto banter from the much-loved Andy Gray and Jordan Young. From the entrance you can explore around the theatre both front of house and behind the stage taking you to places rarely seen by audiences. 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 panto stars’ dressing rooms are among the surprises that await. Technicians, stage managers, wardrobe and flymen share insights into their job making the panto magical from their different crannies of the theatre.
The incredible access all areas tour will take visitors to backstage areas of the theatre never seen by the audience; 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. Or simply take time to enjoy the beautiful foyers, bars and auditorium which normally are the backdrop to a performance but the interior architecture serves as entertainment in its own right when you have time to take in the intricacies of it.
The tour has been designed by professional photographer based in Edinburgh, Tom Duffin who has incredibly kindly donated his time and skills to Capital Theatres for this remarkable adventure.
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.”
Tom Duffin said: “The skills and techniques we’ve developed for immersive experiences was a perfect fit for the King’s. My family has been going to the King’s panto 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 from the King’s staff who revelled in telling their stories from behind, below and way, way above the stage.”