JOYCE MCMILLAN on NEW BEGINNING FOR THE BYRE? for the Scotsman Magazine, 13.9.14. _________________________________________________________
IT WAS A JUST A brief piece of news, flitting past on my laptop screen; it said that director Gordon Barr and his Glasgow-based Bard In the Botanics company had just been commissioned to present Jack And The Beanstalk, as the 2014 Christmas panto at the Byre Theatre in St. Andrews. As casual updates go, though, this one could hardly have been more welcome; in that it signalled the return of one of Scotland’s best-loved theatre venues, dark since its operating company slid into bankruptcy in January of last year, and now about to reopen, following the signing in mid-August of a new deal between Fife Council and the University of St. Andrews.
Under the deal, the University leases the theatre from the council for the peppercorn rent of £300 a year, and becomes wholly…
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