Opera Scotland

Kings Theatre Dundee

King's Theatre, Dundee

Posted 17 Jul 2011

The King's Theatre, Dundee, was a large scale touring venue for fifty years, and from time to time presented opera over most of that period. Unfortunately the owners closed it as a theatre venue in 1961, in order better to concentrate on wide-screen cinema. It later became a bingo hall and is now a nightclub.  Despite the support of Dundee City Council for arts ventures such as the renowned Dundee Rep and DCA, Dundee remains alone among the nation's top cities in being unable to host large scale touring drama, musicals and opera.  The building, originally designed by Frank Thomson, was said to have a fine acoustic. Fortunately its shell still exists (though much altered inside). It is run as a nightclub called Déja Vu. 

In its heyday as a theatrical venue the King's hosted visits by several opera companies including BNOC, Carl Rosa and Sadler's Wells. Like its namesakes in Edinburgh and Glasgow, it was expected that this would provide a touring base for Scottish Opera when it started up. Unfortunately, since its closure, Dundonians have had to make do with small and medium scale opera companies making occasional visits to the Whitehall and Gardyne Theatres, or with the largely amateur Tayside Opera. Alternatively, Taysiders are required to travel to Aberdeen, Edinburgh or Glasgow when they wish to experience one of the richest artistic experiences life has to offer.

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