Hundreds flock to Webster Memorial Theatre over reopening weekend

Arbroath’s Webster Memorial Theatre was finally open for business again at the weekend, welcoming hundreds of people back after a closure of 18 months.

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 11:00am
Hundreds flock to Webster Memorial Theatre over reopening weekend
Audrey Hood (left) ANGUSalive theatre & venues manager, welcomes sisters Michela, Stephanie and Laura Stewart. (Webster Theatre)

Audiences flocked to the theatre on Friday to hear Idlewild frontman Roddy Woomble, performing his first ever show in the town, and on Saturday and Sunday stand-up comedian Janey Godley took the stage.

In common with other theatres and live venues across the country, the Webster had been in darkness since the start of lockdown. The last act to perform to a live audience was Giovanni Pernice of Strictly, on Monday 16 March 2020, who is set to return in March next year.

Thanks to funding from Creative Scotland, the theatre was able to live stream a successful virtual showcase of local talent back in May, attracting more than 750 viewers, with some as far afield as Kansas, USA.

Many theatres, however, kept a solitary ‘ghost light’ shining, a custome renewed during lockdown, as a symbol that, although empty, they would return. Historically they served a practical purpose of allowing people to find their way to the lighting console without risk of injury.

Theatrical superstition also holds that they provide opportunities for resident ghosts to perform onstage. Other superstitions believe that the lights deter them from doing so.

There was no sign of the public being deterred, however, and the weekend was just the start of a resumption of the theatre’s full programme.

Covid restrictions were still adhered to, however, with masks required to be worn inside the building as well as other safety measures employed by staff.

Audrey Hood, ANGUSalive theatre & venues manager, said that the reopening weekend had been successful.

She said: “We are delighted to have our theatre doors open to the public once more after 18 months of being dark. We welcomed almost 900 people, with entertainment from Roddy Woomble and Janey Godley.

"We’d like to thank everyone for their support.

“We have a varied programme of events coming up, so please check out our website. We look forward to welcoming many through our doors once again.”

Details of forthcoming shows can be found at .

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