Corn Exchange, Haddington confirmed as new venue for Brunton Theatre Trust

Brunton Theatre Trust are delighted to announce that they are taking The Brunton to Corn Exchange in Haddington, as well as venues in Musselburgh.

The Trust have taken an initial short term lease on the Haddington town centre building, to trial the venue as a performance space for a range of professional events, from tribute bands to dance, comedy, children’s shows and theatre. During this pilot, they will be engaging with local hospitality businesses to enhance the evening out experience, and seeking feedback from audiences.

The Brunton brand is built on delivering high quality events with a high quality customer experience, and the team are committed to extending this experience to Haddington. The Trust have engaged professional staging company, Black Light to install a bespoke, sound, lighting and staging design. This will be complemented by technical equipment from The Brunton building in Musselburgh.

Audiences can expect comfortable seating and a professional sound and lighting experience.

There is also free car parking behind the building and excellent public transport on the doorstep.

The programme of events, originally intended for The Brunton’s Venue 1 that has been moved to Haddington, begins on Friday 6 October with the well regarded band, Magic Queen. Following this, more music with, Talon – Best of Eagles, The Story of Guitar Heroes, Buddy Holly and the Cricketers; Crown Ballet with The Nutcracker and Gilded Balloon’s Big Fab Comedy Show. Additional programming will be added over the coming months.

Brunton Theatre Trust will also take over managing community hires for the Corn Exchange and look forward to working with community groups to enable access to this space. Anyone wishing to discuss hiring the venue should email .

Michael Stitt, Chair of Brunton Theatre Trust said:

“We are excited by this opportunity to enhance the audience experience at the Corn Exchange and to build on The Brunton’s successful brand, delivering high quality professional arts and entertainment events, in Haddington, the heart of East Lothian. We are dedicated to bringing the very best theatre, music, dance, comedy, children’s theatre, screenings and entertainment to East Lothian, sharing it with as many people as possible. Whilst we are very disappointed not to be able to do this at The Brunton in Musselburgh at the moment, we are determined to drive forward with this vision and not to be defeated by the issues with the roof at The Brunton building.

The Corn Exchange is an additional venue for us, adding to the programme we are building at Loretto School Theatre and Northesk Parish Church.

Whilst we do not know at this stage, how long we will be out of The Brunton building in Musselburgh, we are committed to transferring our professionalism to presenting our shows at these wonderful, alternative venues.”

East Lothian Provost, John McMillan, said:

“Situated in the heart of the town, the Corn Exchange is a valued local resource for Haddington. East Lothian Council, working with Brunton Theatre Trust, has an opportunity to reopen the Corn Exchange as a vibrant destination for arts and entertainment events. This will offer the wellbeing benefits of attendance at, and participation in, a range of cultural activities as well as bringing economic benefit to local Haddington businesses. A warm welcome awaits locals, East Lothian residents and visitors from further afield to come and experience these fantastic live events in Haddington.”

The extension of The Brunton to the Corn Exchange, Haddington, is in addition to the successful programming of music, theatre, film and comedy at Loretto School Theatre and Northesk Parish Church, in Musselburgh and for larger events, Musselburgh Grammar School.

To assist bookers from the west of the county to get to Haddington, Brunton Theatre Trust will organise bus transport from Musselburgh, for the first few events. This will also enable bookers to enjoy dining at The Bistro at The Brunton, before their events. Ticket holders will be contacted to see if they wish to take up this service. The Bistro at The Brunton remains open as usual.

Tickets for The Brunton’s events at Corn Exchange, Haddington and Musselburgh venues can be booked at .

Reservations can be made for The Bistro at The Brunton on 0131 653 0608.


Brunton Theatre Trust in discussions about possible new venue

It has been confirmed today (19 July 2023) that The Brunton Theatre Trust (BTT) is in discussion with the Council regarding the proposal for a temporary lease of the Haddington Corn Exchange as a venue for performances and public use from September 2023 for an initial six months period.

East Lothian Council Leader, Norman Hampshire, said: “In March this year the performance areas of The Brunton had to close following building inspections which identified structural issues. The council’s Arts Service team, working closely with the Brunton Theatre Trust, were able to utilise alternative venues to continue some of the programming which has been greatly appreciated by their customers and audiences.

“The BTT is currently working with Loretto School to house its film screenings and smaller scale theatre and dance performances in the school’s theatre and they are also presenting concerts in partnership with Northesk Church. However, it has also been recognised that a larger space for performances would also be desirable due to the Brunton Hall Theatre and Venue 1 being closed for use.

“Following the completion of the use of the Corn Exchange by NHS Lothian as Covid-19 vaccination centre the building is being assessed for use by the BTT for some of their forthcoming performances with the possibility that these may begin at this venue later this year. In addition, through the BTT, the Corn Exchange would once again be available for wider public use and community events when not required for performances which I know will be widely welcomed.

“On behalf of the Council I would like to thank all the staff and the Trustees at the Brunton for their hard work keeping things going during this difficult situation. I would also like to assure everyone that the Council is well aware of the importance of the Arts to the quality of life in East Lothian. ”

Michael Stitt, Chair of Brunton Theatre Trust said:  “Everyone is telling us that arts and entertainment in East Lothian is hugely important to them, and we are listening – the shows will go on! The Brunton Theatre Trust, with support from East Lothian Council, managed to secure in an incredibly short period a range of local venues enabling much of our programming to continue.

“We have created a Festival Fringe programme for August, with events taking place at fantastic venues across Musselburgh: Loretto School Theatre, Northesk Parish Church, Musselburgh Racecourse, Lothian Suite at Musselburgh Links and Musselburgh Grammar School. The Trust are currently finalising the details of their Autumn programme, which includes cinema, live theatre, concerts and a pantomime. Full details will be available soon.

“Our team are skilled at hosting amazing experiences across various venues. Our technicians have set up professional sound and lighting in numerous alternative venues and our Front of House staff will be there to ensure the fantastic customer experience that people have come to expect from The Brunton.

“The Trustees are extremely fortunate to be working with an agile and highly capable Brunton staff team. Without their dedication and support over recent months, much of this extraordinary programming would not have been possible. The shows have gone on because of them and our wonderful partner organisations who have stepped into to offer us space and support.

We will continue to work with East Lothian Council to find a venue to host our larger scale events until such times as the return of The Brunton Hall is known – discussions around the potential use of the Corn Exchange in Haddington provide exciting potential for a new venue for The Brunton in the centre of the county. Meanwhile the Brunton building is still open for customers to visit our box office counter and to spend time enjoying snacks, lunch or pre event suppers at The Bistro at The Brunton.”


Musselburgh rallies to support Brunton Theatre Trust

Following the shock news of the temporary closure of performance spaces at The Brunton, the Theatre Trust reached out to venues in Musselburgh, East Lothian and beyond to source alternative spaces for their packed programme of community and professional events.

The Trust has been heartened by the response from venues from Musselburgh, into Edinburgh and across East Lothian offering support and space.

“This is not a scenario we could have imagined, just two weeks ago, but we now have performances taking place at Loretto School Theatre, North Esk Church, Musselburgh Grammar School and Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh. Where possible we are keeping our events in Musselburgh, as that is the home of The Brunton. It is no small task liaising with venues and companies to make sure their needs can be met and the staff at The Brunton have all pulled together with incredible versatility and creativity to overcome obstacles and forge new partnerships.

The Brunton is at the heart of cultural and community life in Musselburgh and is of vital importance to the town. It is recognised that attendance at and participation in the arts has a positive impact on wellbeing.”

Michael Stitt, Chair of Brunton Theatre Trust

Loretto School have linked with Brunton Theatre Trust. Their Theatre is situated off Millhill and is an ideal space for a lot of the community dance school bookings due to take place at The Brunton this spring. Musselburgh Amateur Musical Association’s show will also take place at Loretto School Theatre.

“When we heard the news about Brunton Theatre, our first concern was for the dance school families and community performers. We were very concerned at the thought of disappointing these families, so are absolutely delighted that Loretto School have come to our rescue. Their theatre set up is also ideal for some of Brunton Theatre Trust’s professional programme.”

Councillor Andy Forrest, Trustee of Brunton Theatre Trust

Brunton Theatre Trust has programmed a Christmas candlelit concert into North Esk Church for many years and this relationship is being further developed with the Bite-sized Concerts at Lunchtime series taking place there. Soup and a sandwich will now be served in the Church Hall with the concerts taking place in the Church.

“North Esk Church has a lovely, special atmosphere. The acoustics work really well for solo recitals, chamber music and larger ensembles, as well as other music styles. It is just over the road from The Brunton, so easily accessible for our audiences.”

James Waters, classical music programmer at The Brunton

Finding a venue to fit the large capacity of Venue 1 has been trickier, but thanks to the quick responsiveness of FES and staff at Musselburgh Grammar School, the Trust can now start to move some concerts into that school. Feedback from audience members who went to the A Vision of Elvis concert was very positive. The hall has flat seating with a raised stage, so good sightlines. For future concerts interval refreshments will also be available.

A night at The Brunton, for many people, also includes pre theatre supper at The Bistro. The Bistro remains open for business and is very much welcoming pre theatre diners as well as daytime customers for snacks and lunches.

“This situation was certainly a shock to our system but we are delighted that Brunton Theatre Trust have managed to keep so much of their programme in Musselburgh, so that our customers can still enjoy pre theatre suppers at The Bistro. We will make sure bookers get to their event on time and if needed will arrange transport to get them from The Brunton to their new venue in Musselburgh.”

Norma Buchan, owner of The Bistro at The Brunton

Rescheduling so many shows is a massive task, but the staff at The Brunton remain upbeat.

“We are grateful for the support and understanding shown to our staff from our customers, as they patiently await updates about events they have booked for. We appreciate that these changes are coming at short notice, however we will not cancel shows unless there is absolutely no other alternative. We are exploring all options possible and do not want to disappoint our customers.”

Lesley Smith, General Manager of The Brunton

Customers can keep up to date with what is happening by following The Brunton on Facebook and twitter, signing up for email bulletins and visiting the website .


Shows are not cancelled

Brunton Theatre Trust is bouncing back thanks to the support of performers, audiences, East Lothian Council and local partners.

The Trust was hit by devastating news that its performance spaces had to shut with immediate effect for structural surveys.

However, the programme of events has NOT been cancelled. The Trust is working hard to source and set up alternative venues for events, within Musselburgh and close by.

This weekend sees much loved Rob Kingsley return to Musselburgh with A Vision of Elvis. This sold out concert will now be performed at Musselburgh Grammar School on Saturday 25 March at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. The Bistro at The Brunton will be open for pre-concert dining with complimentary transport taking diners to the concert afterwards, if required.

The Trust’s very popular Bite-sized Concerts at Lunchtime series will be housed at the beautiful North Esk Church, across the road from The Brunton.

Several local dance company shows are now taking place at Loretto School Theatre. Other venues will be announced as soon as they are confirmed.

Michael Stitt Chair of Brunton Theatre Trust said:

“The Brunton’s programme of events is happening. We are asking audiences to please bear with us as we make arrangements for our events. We are working as quickly as we can. As this situation came about without any warning, some of our events this week have had to be rescheduled to new dates and we will update our customers as soon as we can confirm where and when they will be.

“We are so grateful for the support and understanding shown by the performers booked to come to The Brunton. Brunton Theatre Trust has a long history of staging professional arts and entertainment events out and about around East Lothian and we are now working with our partners to ensure that the shows will go on. Whilst we are devastated at the temporary loss of our space at The Brunton, we are feeling very upbeat about sourcing alternative venues for our programme.”

The Brunton’s performance spaces are within the larger Brunton Hall which is still open for Council services and the Trust’s box office. The Bistro at The Brunton is also still open for business and is a popular spot for lunch and snacks.

Rob Kingsley said:

“I have been performing sold out A Vision of Elvis concerts at The Brunton in Musselburgh for a number of years now. I’m from East Lothian, and I love coming back home. There was no way I was going to disappoint my fans and I’ve been working behind the scenes with the staff of Brunton Theatre Trust to make this happen. We are going to have an amazing show this Saturday at Musselburgh Grammar School, and are asking people support us to make this happen, we don’t want to cancel shows!”

Brunton Theatre Trust will continue to provide updates to bookers of their venue changes, as soon as they are confirmed.


Roofing inspection causes temporary closure of Theatre space

“Brunton Theatre Trust has been advised by East Lothian Council that during planned roofing inspection work, structural issues have been identified within our Theatre space. This means that the Theatre space has been closed temporarily with immediate effect, whilst more detailed inspections are carried out. Audience members and groups with existing bookings are being contacted to discuss the options available.

Further inspection is being carried out in Venues 1 and 2, and the Council will let us know as soon as they can, whether this will have any impact on upcoming planned events in these areas.
The Bistro at The Brunton is unaffected by this and remains open as usual.

We will provide updates as soon as we have them, meanwhile we ask our customers to bear with us, as we work through this complicated situation.
Brunton Theatre Trust is committed to providing a diverse, high quality arts and entertainment programme of events and participatory projects within East Lothian. We will continue to work with our partners in the coming days to explore all options available for our programme, our audiences and our venue bookers to make sure that we continue to do this.”
Michael Stitt, Chair of Brunton Theatre Trust