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News

The Brunton reopens with Big Screen Movies

The Brunton is delighted to welcome audiences back for 2021. From 26 May, The Brunton’s Big Screen Movies and Event Screenings will resume in Venue 1, much loved by regular customers as a local cinema venue.

East Lothian is in level 2 and in line with Scottish Government regulations, The Brunton has in place an extensive range of modifications including signage, floor markings, sanitiser stations, enhanced cleaning schedules, face coverings, reduced capacity in the auditorium and advance booking only – either online or by phone. Staff have been trained to ensure their own and audience safety. They will be on hand to offer a warm welcome and answer any questions that visitors may have.

Michael Stitt, Chair of The Brunton Theatre Trust said:

“We are delighted to finally be opening our doors again to welcome back our audiences from the local community and beyond. Working with East Lothian Council, we have taken considerable steps to ensure a Covid safe environment within our much loved venue.”

Full details of the cinema programme can be found here, movie highlights include: Nomadland (26 May), Ammonite (2 June) and Minari (9 June). The Brunton team are working to programme a range of theatre and concert screenings with Michael Ball and Alfie Boe on 1 July and Mick Fleetwood and Friends confirmed for 11 September.

Thursday 1 July

The Brunton Theatre Trust will continue to follow Scottish Government guidance and hopes to be able to resume live performances in the not too distant future, as restrictions ease. 

Michael Stitt continued:

“Careful consideration will be given to the type of programming that we hope will be possible in the coming months, with the safety of our audiences and staff at the forefront of our artistic decision making, whilst always adhering to Scottish Government guidelines.”

Further details about enhanced protocols, and online ticket booking are available at here. Updates will be provided through our website and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Donations of any size are invaluable to enable The Brunton to survive, thrive and continue to bring a programme of arts and entertainment to East Lothian and beyond. Donations can be made via our website .

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Covid 19 Update News

Reopening Update and FAQs

We are delighted to welcome audiences back for 2021. From 26 May, The Brunton’s Big Screen Movies and Event Screenings will resume in Venue 1, much loved by regular customers as their local cinema venue.

East Lothian is in level 2 and in line with Scottish Government regulations, we have in place an extensive range of modifications including signage, floor markings, sanitiser stations, enhanced cleaning schedules, face coverings, reduced capacity in the auditorium and advance booking only – either online or by phone. Staff have been trained to ensure their own and audience safety. They will be on hand to offer a warm welcome and answer any questions that you may have.

Ticket sales

  • We are operating contactless ticket sales. Customers will purchase tickets online or by telephone only with no counter sales until further notice. Our NEW Box Office number is 0131 653 5245 and will be open from Monday to Saturday 10am to 3pm until further notice.
  • All seating will be unreserved. This means that when you make your booking for your tickets for singles, pairs or family groups, your booking is recorded in our ticketing system. Our ushers will check you in and seat you from the customer booking list when you arrive. No tickets will need to be handed over to reduce contact. You will be ushered to your seats.
  • Please contact our Box Office by email on boxoffice@eastlothian.gov.uk if you have any specific seating preferences and we will try to accommodate these. However this may not always be possible as our usher team will need to seat people according to physical distancing guidelines. Your understanding is appreciated.
  • To manage queuing, the main doors to the front of the building on Bridge Street will be open. The rear door to Gracefield Car Park will be closed until further notice.
  • If you or a member of your household has or begins to display symptoms of Covid-19 please do not visit The Brunton.

Contact Tracing

  • We are taking part in the public health authorities’ Covid-19 Contact Tracing scheme. We are required to have a record of each booker’s name and telephone number.  To do this we will ask you on arrival at The Brunton, to scan a QR code for Check In Scotland and enter your details online. If you do not have a camera phone, we will record your information manually. To find out more, please see our Covid 19 privacy notice.

Face masks

•     Customers who do not have face masks with them on arrival will be offered face masks. It is mandatory that face masks are worn in the building, although they can be removed for eating and drinking.

  • Face masks are not required for those that are exempt.

Cleaning and hygiene

  • We have enhanced cleaning procedures in place before and after each screening.
  • Our staff will be wearing disposable gloves and face shields / masks.
  • Hand sanitiser stations will be in place for customers and staff.

Social distancing & seating

  • We will be seating everyone in accordance with current Scottish Government guidelines.
  • We have reduced the number of people we can accommodate for each screening, enabling social distancing to 2 metres.
  • We have arranged for spaces between seats and between rows to ensure that social distancing guidelines are adhered to.
  • We are required to seat customers 2 metres apart from those not in your household or extended household.
  • We have arranged for spaces between seats and between rows to ensure that social distancing guidelines are adhered to.
  • If you are attending with people who are in your household or extended household you will all be seated together. However if you are attending with people from different households, we are required to seat customers 2 metres apart. We will ensure that customers who are required to sit 2 metres apart will be seated as near to each other as possible.
  • When booking you will be asked to let us know how many households will be attending and we will arrange your seating.
  • We will operate socially distanced queuing in the building when customers arrive.
  • There will be signage and instructions for social distancing throughout the building
  • We will take customers to their seats so different households can stay 2m apart.
  • At the end of the film screening our team of ushers will manage the safe public exit from the auditorium in rows and blocks.

Bars & toilets

  • If the bar is open we will have table service at the bar with contactless payment.
  • 1 metre social distancing will be in place in the bar area.
  • Perspex screening will also be in place at the bar and kiosk.
  • We will operate a queuing system for the use of the public toilets.

Please follow The Brunton on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for emails to stay up to date.

Your visit will be different to normal, but we are very much looking forward to welcoming you back.

Categories
News Youth Theatre & Dance

Brunton Youth Theatre

Brunton Youth Theatre welcomes back face to face classes, across East Lothian.

Brunton Theatre Trust is delighted to announce that youth theatre classes across East Lothian, will resume this month, with groups meeting in person, following all Scottish Government, Covid-19 secure guidance.

In March 2020 all youth theatre classes were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For the last year Brunton Theatre Trust has delivered most of these classes online over Zoom. However, following the announced relaxation of restrictions this month, classes can once again resume face to face in Dunbar, Haddington, Tranent, Longniddry, Prestonpans and Musselburgh.

Brunton Youth Theatre Network (formerly known as East Lothian Youth Theatre), offers young people across East Lothian, aged 5 – 18, who are looking to develop their acting skills, the opportunity to participate in weekly drama sessions. Classes are designed to nurture creativity through improvisation activities, characterisation, drama games, devising and much more. Participants will also have the opportunity to work with scripts and texts to build on performance skills.

A spokesperson for Brunton Theatre Trust said:

“Joining a youth theatre group can have a positive impact on Health and Wellbeing by building self-confidence, making new friends, developing new skills, reducing social isolation and above all having fun.”

All classes are led by experienced and qualified drama professionals who work as freelance performance artists and have a wealth of knowledge and talent.

Classes can be booked online at www.thebrunton.co.uk or by calling 0131 653 5245.


Donations of any size are invaluable to enable The Brunton to survive, thrive and continue to bring a programme of arts and entertainment to East Lothian and beyond. Donations can be made via The Brunton’s website www.thebrunton.co.uk .

/ends

Categories
Youth Theatre & Dance

What Moves You?

The Brunton Theatre Trust is working in partnership with What Moves You, a participatory arts project, connecting communities using movement and performance.

Exploring what inspires us to move, Dance Artist Niamh O’Loughlin, mixes creative movement and fun dance tasks in engaging online workshops for ages 6 – 14. 

What Moves You? connects four theatres with four Dance Artists across Scotland.

Led by Dawn Hartley who worked with The Brunton from 1999 – 2007, the project introduces fellow Dance Artist, Niamh O’Loughlin.

Dawn says,

“Niamh is a young choreographer whose work is engaging and super imaginative; in person and online. She has the knack of making everyone feel as if they’re together in the same room, having fun.”

Niamh will perform a solo piece at The Brunton this summer, inspired by the work created in these workshops. More information about this to follow soon.

Free workshops on Monday 3 May Ages 6 – 10: 10am – 10.45am Ages 11 – 14: 11.15am – 12pm 

Categories
What's On At Home

What’s On at Home

As The Brunton is temporarily closed, we’ve been looking for other ways to keep you and your family entertained. We’ve found some online activities that might help to keep the boredom at bay and some of the theatre companies that regularly perform on our stage, are making digital versions of their productions available for you to enjoy at home.

Family

Get Creative UK – Get Creative is a campaign that shines a light on all the great cultural activity that takes place on a regular basis in local communities and encourages people to try their hand at something new and creative. This year, we are using the #GetCreativeAtHome campaign to highlight and promote some of the amazing participatory creative activities that are being developed to help people to express themselves creatively during a time of unprecedented change. At this extremely challenging time, we believe that the power of creativity to unite people and support them to maintain good mental health and connection with others is more important than ever. #GetCreativeatHome

The Gruffalo -There are masses of great games and activities and fun stuff you can download here

Funbox – Clips from previous Funbox productions – available on YouTube.

Music

Dougie MacLean – Streaming live concerts from his home and studio in the Old School in Butterstone, Scotland. Available to watch on Facebook or YouTube.

Scottish Opera – Spotlight On… Immerse yourself in some of Scottish Opera’s best loved productions, past and present. Never-before-seen photos, in-depth interviews, videos, exclusive programme articles and more to keep you entertained. Visit their website.

Theatre

The Shows Must Go On – The Shows Must Go On YouTube channel bringing you showtunes, backstage access and full performances from some of the best loved musicals in history! Featuring the best of musical theatre and beyond! From The West End to Broadway we’ve got you covered!

Rapture Theatre – Enjoy Rapture Mini Bites, a series of online, bite sized performances curated by Co-Artistic Director, Michael Emans. Every Friday they publish a reading, speech, poem, song or dance routine performed by one of the stars of previous Rapture shows. Find them on Facebook or Rapture Theatre’s website.

National Theatre of Scotland 

  • #ScenesForSurvival – Scenes for Survival is a new season of 50 + digital artworks created in response to the current COVID-19 outbreak. Visit their website for more information.
  • Play Datesan online interactive programme for children and families, is free and available now! Get creative with our workshops for children of all ages.
  • Ghost Light: A celebration of theatre on film – Ghost Light is a love letter from the National Theatre of Scotland, evoking moments from Scottish theatrical performances past, present and future with works from writers including J.M. Barrie, David Greig and Jackie Kay, and original composition by Patricia Panther. Watch on YouTube.

Sky Arts available on Freeview – As the UK’s only dedicated arts channel, Sky Arts exists to bring more art to more people across the UK. By throwing open the doors to make the channel free to air, we want to increase access to and participation in the arts. Offering something for everyone, whatever their passion, Sky Arts showcases the best of classical and popular music, theatre, opera, dance and the visual arts, as well as original drama and comedy.

Categories
Fundraising Campaign News

The Brunton asks theatre goers to remember the good times

Rapunzel The Pantomime – A Family Film (Photo: Robin Mitchell)

2020 has been a difficult year for everyone and The Brunton is no exception. Whilst decisions to cancel or postpone events have been undoubtedly right, it has inflicted an enormous financial challenge upon the Trust, a charity dedicated to bringing the very best theatre, music, dance, comedy, children’s theatre, screenings and entertainment to East Lothian and beyond. To date The Trust have incurred revenue loss of £705,000, 50% of their annual turnover.

In a usual year The Brunton stages up to 175 productions at their Musselburgh home, with a total of 269 live performances and screenings ranging from re-imagined classics such as Shakespeare and Chekhov, to modern masterpieces, new work by contemporary artists and theatre/dance-makers and live screenings from the National Theatre and Royal Opera House.

The Trust also present performances and projects in schools and community venues across the area and work in collaboration with partners to deliver projects that support artists and communities.

The Brunton has developed over the years, transforming from a local authority run venue into a Scottish Charitable Organisation and a highly respected component of the arts in Scotland.

Before March 2020, The Brunton was looking forward to a future where they would continue to grow and expand.

Crucially The Brunton now needs help to survive, thrive and continue to bring a programme of arts and entertainment to East Lothian and beyond. Their Emergency Fundraising Campaign asks theatre goers who are not able to enjoy a trip to The Brunton just now, to consider giving the gift of the value of a theatre ticket to The Brunton; to remember the good times at The Brunton and look forward to returning just as soon as it is possible.

Michael Stitt, Chair of The Brunton Theatre Trust said:

“The Brunton has been fortunate to have such a supportive and enthusiastic audience. Never has this been more important. The damage done by the pandemic will be long term and extremely challenging. We need the help of our community to survive and ultimately thrive. Every donation is one more step towards recovery and we hope those who love our work will donate to this important appeal.”

The Brunton has produced a pantomime film of Rapunzel to view at home over the Christmas period, providing some festive fun for all to enjoy and creating employment for 18 freelance arts workers.

The Brunton is asking for voluntary donations of support to help secure their future into 2021 and beyond. Donations of any size are very welcome and can be made via www.thebrunton.co.uk or by calling 0131 653 5245

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About Us

Meet John Binnie

Writer and director of Rapunzel The Pantomime – a family film

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I have been a writer/director since 1986, when I first began working with Clyde Unity Theatre. I love making theatre.I‘ve written over thirty plays, which I’ve toured nationally and internationally. I’ve made theatre in some fascinating places including New York, Singapore, Namibia and India. I so enjoy coming and doing pantomime at The Brunton. I previously did Jack And The Beanstalk and Cinderella.

John Binnie

Why Rapunzel?

I have always wanted to do a pantomime of Rapunzel. I love the idea of all her hair and being locked in a tower. However in a COVID world, the story struck a special chord. The character of Rapunzel is forced to self-isolate by the evil sorceress. Rapunzel has heard about the outside world and has longed to go there. Now she is scared of the disease. She doesn’t know about needing to wear masks.

Why is pantomime important?

Pantomime is joyful. It’s fun. Pantomime can have wild stories, larger-than-life characters and also heart. The best pantomimes allow the audience to join in, but also to feel. That’s when pantomime really works for me.

Rapunzel The Pantomime is a play but also a film. What were the challenges of writing and directing for this format?

The script needed to be fast and snappy. There’s no time for longueurs. Making a pantomime film is more collaborative, as Jonathan the filmmaker needs to edit the filmed scenes and come up with a new form. Obviously we miss live interaction, but the idea that the panto is going out to all these children and community groups in East Lothian and beyond, is a remarkable thing. I am very proud of being involved in it.

L-R, Ross Donnachie, Eilidh Weir, John Binnie. Photo: Robin Mitchell

This is a very strange year, but we have seen some amazing creativity with new productions filmed online and / or with social distancing. How have you responded creatively to this way of working?

It has been a challenge. At the beginning of the pandemic, I missed coming together with a company of actors and creatives to make a show. Actors are the most incredible people – they are so generous of their talent and time, helping to get a production on to the best of its ability. I’ve written more plays from home this year, and I am currently rehearsing a play on zoom. I hope to do some outside promenade performances in the warmer months of 2021.

Can you tell us any funny stories about the filming?

The day we did the chase around was wild. The Dame and her son Jammy Dodger would usually run around the audience and auditorium with a bucket of slops. Obviously we couldn’t do that under COVID restrictions. The Dame needed to get into full makeup at 7am, and then we took her and her son out onto Musselburgh High Street. Passers by on the street or at the bus stop were amazed and wanted to find out what was happening. When we ended filming at the harbour under beautiful weather conditions, mums with prams were surprised to see the dame chasing Jammy along the pier.

L-R, Ross Donnachie, Graham Crammond. Photo: Robin Mitchell

Enjoy Rapunzel The Pantomime at The Brunton Cinema, or watch online at home. Available selected dates December – January. More information here.

The Brunton has received funding from the Scottish Government’s Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund through Creative Scotland.

Donations of any size are invaluable to enable The Brunton to survive, thrive and continue to bring a programme of arts and entertainment to East Lothian and beyond. Donations can be made via The Brunton’s website.

Categories
Covid 19 Update News

New Box Office Number

Tickets are on sale now for film screenings. Please book via our website www.thebrunton.co.uk or by calling our NEW box office number 0131 653 5245.

We hope our Reopening Video will help answer any questions you have about visiting the venue.

Categories
Covid 19 Update News

The Brunton receives a portion of the Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund

Fifty-nine venues across Scotland have received a total of £4.74million from the open call for applications to the Scottish Government’sPerforming Arts Venue Relief Fund through Creative Scotland. The Brunton has received funding of £250,000.

The purpose of the fund is to support immediate and critical financial need in order for venues which programme theatre and/or dance and/or music to remain solvent during the period of closure to the public and to plan for a sustainable return. This funding is to bridge the financial gap until opening plans and income projections are clearer. The fund recognises that performing arts venues still await confirmation from the Scottish Government as to when they can re-open. Social distancing requirements will have an impact on capacity and the financial viability of programming. 

Michael Stitt, Chair of The Brunton Theatre Trust welcomed the news:

As a Scottish Arts Charity, 2020 has been an incredibly difficult year for The Brunton. The lockdown that was necessary due to Covid-19 has impacted greatly on the operation of The Brunton and its programme, as it has done on venues throughout the country and on those employed within the arts. We are extremely grateful to receive support from Creative Scotland’s Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund. This funding is a crucial contribution that will assist The Brunton to remain sustainable through this difficult period and will support the continuation of our programme of arts and entertainment for East Lothian and beyond. Careful consideration will be given to the type of programming that will be possible in the coming months with the safety of our audiences and staff at the forefront of our artistic decision making. We thank Creative Scotland for this funding. We also thank all our audiences and the local community for their ongoing patience and support for The Brunton during this challenging time.

Iain Munro, CEO, Creative Scotland said:

Despite the ongoing, detrimental impact that the Covid-19 pandemic is having on Scotland’s performing arts venues, and on culture as a whole, it is positive that we can offer some funding to help venues navigate these extremely challenging times. I’m also encouraged to see that this funding will help venues across many different parts of Scotland where they form such an important part of the cultural life of local communities.

Jude Henderson, Director of the Federation of Scottish Theatre (FST) said:

We welcome the announcement of these emergency awards to performing arts venues across the country. The funds will help to support the vital work they do in serving communities, providing employment and showcasing Scotland’s world class theatre and dance offer, much of which is created by our members.

Donations of any size are invaluable to enable The Brunton to survive, thrive and continue to bring a programme of arts and entertainment to East Lothian and beyond. Donations can be made via The Brunton’s website www.thebrunton.co.uk  (https://bit.ly/3hgrDkX).

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About Us

Meet Dave – Senior Usher

“Our role is to make sure that from the moment a visitor walks through the door until the moment they leave we are there to make their visit a great one.”

Although Dave has trained as an astrophysicist, he made the switch to hospitality and has a wealth of experience, enjoying 20 years in the South West of England, managing a club with over 500 members.

Dave joined The Brunton in 2013 and enjoys supporting the arts and the variety that comes with his role, meeting new people every day and delivering an experience that makes them want to return.

“Working at The Brunton is so different every day. We can be hosting a wedding ensuring guests have a day to remember, a conference, a dance show, educational events, a live band, live theatre, a screening from London and 100 other things I have forgotten!”

Whilst the curtain is down for now, Dave, his Front of House team and many other colleagues are working hard to ensure that everything is ready and waiting for the day that The Brunton can reopen its doors.

Whilst The Brunton always takes measures to ensure the health and safety of staff, visitors and audiences, additional measures will be in place to ensure that everyone can return to a welcoming and safe environment.

 Some of these measures include hand sanitising stations, perspex screens, contactless payments and the safe management of the public in The Brunton.

An avid follower of football and cricket, especially Manchester United and Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, Dave is also familiar to many of The Brunton’s community from his other role as the starter at the world famous Musselburgh Links Old Golf Course. A busy man indeed!