Friday, December 19, 2008

Ayr Gaiety Theatre

A good deal of my time over the past week has been spent considering Ayr Gaiety, our wonderful old variety theatre, which is threatened with closure, and by extension arts provision, or lack of it, here in South Ayrshire. I'm on the committee of a fairly newly formed arts association called the Ayrshire Arts Network. We are hoping to represent a gathering of all the arts and arts practitioners across all three parts of Ayrshire, but I suspect it was despair at the relative lack of interest in the arts and culture of any kind in South Ayrshire itself that initially brought us together. We are by no means elitist. But we are saddened that some of our elected councillors can see no further than golf and whisky when it comes to tourism provision and the economic wellbeing of the area. Not, mind you, that I have anything against golf or whisky - the latter particularly! But as far as touring shows, interesting plays, and genuine arts events of all kinds are concerned, you could be forgiven for thinking that there had been a dreadful cataclysm and the whole of South Ayrshire had simply broken off and fallen into the Firth of Clyde. The potential Gaiety closure is in the nature of the stone that starts an avalanche. For years they seem to have been selling off the family silver for short term gain. But now, I think the council itself has been surprised at the strength of feeling generated by the proposal. Watch this space for further developments!

1 comment:

Catriona said...

I think what gets me is all the time and effort the council put in into trying, and almost succeeding in getting city status for Ayr. How in the world can you have a city with no cultural centre? And no, the Town Hall, as lovely as it is, does not count. All the other theatrical outlets have been progressivley shut down so what is left for the people of South Ayrshire? A trip to Kilmarnock or Glasgow perhaps? The attempt to close the Gaiety is so short-sighted as to be farcical.