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SMH&VTS Exhibition & Show 2007  Tivoli & Area Improvements (Oct. 2013)  (NEW) All SMH&VTS Glasgow Gatherings and photos.

 

TIVOLI "OPEN DOORS DAY" 10th September 20

It was a great pleasure attending this 'Open Day'. On a personal level it was great to see the theatre come alive and to join the guided tours of the building. The sad side was just how rundown the
backstage, dressing rooms, theatre and stage manager's offices etc had been allowed to deteriorate. It was difficult to imagine they were the same places that existed when I last worked there. I couldn't
even picture the gathering of people in that room when we showed Alex Findly's 8mm films! or the general tidiness of the Stage Managers room. Likewise the Theatre Manager's room. This must surely
have been the tidiest and best kept room in the theatre. The positive side was how well the inner theatre has been retained and will mostly require a good paint job, getting the colours back to the original
scheme, new carpets etc. However the backstage and dressing room areas will require complete rebuilding and modernising to meet present day Health & Safety Rules. For the same reasons the gallery
(God's) will go and a new 'open' area with rehearsal and meeting rooms in it's place. This will reduce the theatre seating to just over 700, which is a shame but will probably be enough for today's
audience sizes.

I was caught up in the fantastic enthusiasm of the Tivoli Restoration group and came away feeling very satisfied that the Tivoli is in good hands and there is every chance that the theatre will reopen. On
a previous page I asked if the Tivoli would ring to music and laughter again and on this day I experienced this and with the excellent talent of all the artists, professional and amateur who put on a good
3-4 hours of 'live' entertainment, proves that there is plenty of talent to keep filling the theatre. With around 2,500 members of the public attending the day and most showed their enthusiasm for the event
that was the equivalent of two 'full' houses during a twice nightly show.
If most of these people were to tell their friends and relations about the theatre and the Tivoli Group's aims, that would generate a lot of much needed publicity. 

 I watched in particular, the reaction of younger people as they entered the theatre and enjoyed the expression of amazement on their faces as they found themselves in such a fine old theatre, which they
probably didn't know existed in their own City. Most of them actually sat down and watched the live shows and I am sure that even the artists were amazed at the enthusiastic applause they received at
the end of each performance. The stage isn't really set up for performances and, of course, there are no dressing rooms for their use and there was an amateur feel the way each artist or group appeared
but once they started their acts the professionalism of the old acts and the enthusiasm of the new and younger groups really shon through and it was easy to imagine how more professional everything
would have looked if stage curtains and a sound system was available. However, there was no doubt that within the restrictions everyone involved made a fantastic effort. I don't recall all the names and
apologise to those whom I miss but it was nice seeing and hearing the remainder of the late Jack Sinclair band, who's sound was exactly what I remember from the Scottish shows at the Tivoli and what
could be again. The group of youngsters who put on a selection from Oliver, with a great performance from the lad who played Fagan and had the talent and courage to start singing within the audience
with 'You Got To Pick a Pocket Or Two' before joining the cast on stage for other tunes. The group of two lads and females from the Aberdeen Arts Centre who performed songs from a music show. The
23 strong Aberdeen Barbershop group who sang numerous fine redentions of the oldies. A 16 strong group who sang songs from the musicals. And not to forget the chap who sang the 'Doric' songs
with great effect. It is good to know that this local type of entertainment is still popular and carrying on the traditions of Robbie Shepherd.

All this entertainment, and for free. If anyone missed the point of what the open day and the many great performances was all about then they should not have been there in the first place. But if you
enjoyed the day and live within the Aberdeen area perhaps you could consider joining the Tivoli Group in some capacity and help make their aims and drams come true and give back Aberdeen it's long
lost 'People's Theatre'

The rude wakening comes when the costs of the final goal of reopening the theatre is looked at. Around £7 million. It's quite frightening, but as with most things this sum isn't required instantly and
the immediate aim is for the Tivoli Group to find enough to actually 'own' the building, when numerous grants of various sorts will be open to them. The Tivoli 'Theatre Of Varieties' was always
considered the 'People's Theatre' and generated warm shows that brought in people from many miles around Aberdeen, coming in by train and bus, filling two houses a night for generations of people.
More and more it looks possible that the Tivoli will become alive and not only entertain northeast audiences again but become a source for new 'local' talent who may go on to become future U.K. and
International entertainers. Such venues have been missing for far too long.

I wish the Tivoli Group every success and hope to be able to attend the very first public opening.

Any additional information would be most welcome. reidcrcwdr@aol.com

 

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                                   (Tivoli Steering Group)  
Doors Open Day 2006 (4 Pages)  Doors Open Day 2007 (11 pages)  Doors Open Day 2008  Johnny Beattie Party 2006  Fay Lenore Dedication 2007  Gerard Kelly Dedication 2008  Cormac & Sharp Dedication 2009
                                   John Shearer Dedication 2010   Dean Park Dedication 2011  Sydney Devine Dedication 2014   
SMH&VTS Exhibition & Show 2007  Tivoli & Area Improvements (Oct. 2013)  (NEW) All SMH&VTS Glasgow Gatherings and photos.

 

 

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