Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre company is to move out of its home in the Gorbals for the first time in its 72 year history, from June 2018, the building will be closed for two years for a major redevelopment.
First opened in 1878 as the Royal Princess’s Theatre, the Citizens company have been in their Grade B listed Gorbals home since 1945 – making it the second oldest operational theatre in the UK, preceded only by Leeds Grand which opened 6 weeks earlier.
The building shared an exterior with the adjacent Palace, which featured columns taken from the Union Bank in Ingram Street and several large statues which were the work of the sculptor John Mossman (1817-1890).
The statues represent the inspiration the muses have provided in the fields of Music (Euterpe), Comedy (Thalia), Tragedy (Melpomene) and Dance (Terpsichore). Mossman is also responsible for the statues of Robert Burns and William Shakespeare situated in the foyer of the theatre. As part of the redevelopment the statues will be returning to the top of the building.
The venue has announced two alternative locations that it will perform in during the renovations, the Tramway and Scotland Street School Museum. It also intends to collaborate with other venues and tour across Scotland, with plans to be announced.
The theatre will open its first show at the Tramway in September 2018, with the newly refurbished theatre opening in the autumn of 2020.