Carlops Celebrates Musical Connections

Folk music fans are expected to flock to Carlops on Saturday 20 July when the village hall will be filled with the sound of modern Scottish folk music performed by harpist Rachel Newton and fiddle player Lauren MacColl.

Horse McDonald head and shoulders

Creative Peebles Festival 2019 Programme Announced

Edinburgh may hog the headlines when it comes to arts festivals in August, but art lovers don’t have to head to the capital to experience all sorts of activities next month. Running for ten days from Friday 23 August to Sunday 1 September Creative Peebles Festival 2019 celebrates the wealth of creative talent found locally, shining a light on the work of artists, musicians, arts groups, film makers and craftspeople found in this most artistic of towns.

This year’s festival offers not just a host of indoor performances and workshops but also opportunities to explore the often surprising history, architecture, nature and landscape of Peebles through an expanded programme of walks, talks and tours.

Young Artistic Talent in the Spotlight

Actors, musicians and dancers will take centre stage in a selection of events that begins with Tweed Theatre’s youth performers presenting a new production of Willie Russell’s Blood Brothers on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 May. A play version of Russell’s famous musical, it tells the story of twin brothers, separated at birth, who meet up later in life and become best friends.

Between these two performances, on 4 May, Stride Young Dance Company will perform to music written and performed live on stage by members of Nomad Beat Community Music School who have, in turn, taken inspiration from artwork created by Evie Douglas. The project, called Only Connect, part of the Inspiring Life Creative Initiative, explores what happens when art, dance and music connect.

On 23 May, the Eastgate presents the world premiere of Twisted Tales – a collection of three, one-act plays about nasty children devised and performed by the drama students of Peebles High School.

Finally, in All the Stars, the junior pupils (aged 5 – 11) of the Fiona Henderson School of Dance bring the month to a close by performing their now traditional annual dance extravaganza on 25 & 26 May.

This specially choreographed show will display all the new steps the pupils have learned over the past year in a variety of theatrical dances in ballet, tap, modern, jazz, acro, Irish, street and Highland.

Tickets for these and other events during May are available from Box Office on 01721 725777, or online at

Volunteer usher Laura Day

Give a Little, Change a Lot – Article by Laura Day

Give a Little, Change a Lot – Article by Laura Day

Tell us about your organisation/project:

Next month marks two years since I became a volunteer usher at the Eastgate Theatre, in Peebles.  The Eastgate truly offers something for everybody; whether you’re a film fanatic, avid artist or devoted dancer, there will always be an activity that you are guaranteed to enjoy while helping with the comfort and safety of the audience.

Why do you volunteer and what do you get out of it?

Despite attending classes and events at the Eastgate for many years, I didn’t realise the extent of the role of the volunteer until I began volunteering myself.  I chose to volunteer because I wanted to give something back to such an excellent community organisation that has been providing Peeblesshire and beyond with enjoyment for so many years.  The benefits of volunteering are universal; however, I truly believe that the Eastgate is one of the best places to offer your services – the friendly atmosphere and encouragement you receive from staff and fellow volunteers of all ages makes the Eastgate a place where I’m proud to part of the volunteer team.  I’ve loved interacting with the public, many of whom enjoy engaging in conversation; and being able to experience all sorts of different performances in the auditorium has helped widen my horizons.

Would you encourage others to get involved and why?

For anybody considering volunteering, the Eastgate Theatre offers an enriching and enjoyable experience; you will join an approachable, helpful and enthusiastic community that is passionate about promoting local events and offering excellent customer-service.  You’ll develop vital transferable skills such as communication and team-working, as well as building your confidence, and can use your Eastgate experience as part of your Duke of Edinburgh qualification or to strengthen your CV.  Regardless of age or experience, you can apply to join the volunteer team today!

How would someone get in touch if they wanted to volunteer with your organisation?

For more information about becoming an Eastgate Theatre volunteer, please contact:

Volunteers Co-ordinator – Cath Shepheard –


Heroes Arrive in West Linton – Aerial Acrobatics, Dance Theatre and Circus Skills

Heroes is the humorous journey of two performers, Tony Mills and Beverley Grant, as they navigate their way through the unforgiving world of idols, superheroes and celebrity culture.   It will be performed at Newlands Activity Centre, Romanno Bridge at 4.30pm on Saturday 23 March as part of the Eastgate Theatre on the Road programme.  Heroes will then tour to 16 other theatres and venues across Scotland between Tuesday 26 March and Saturday 27 April 2019.

Heroes delves deep into of the worlds of idols and idolisation, celebrity and celebrity culture and heroes and superheroes; investigating what characterises a celebrity, who society’s hidden superheroes really are and why we are compelled to idolise them.

Asking some profound universal questions with humour, straight talking and lots of graceful, intense and symbolic aerial and circus movement, the performers examine what it really means to be labelled a celebrity, why some will stop at nothing to achieve it; and the process of being thrust into the spotlight and the dramatic and ruthless fall from grace that often results.

Building on the success of their last collaboration, a dance duet called Sprawl, Tony Mills of Room 2 Manoeuvre and Jennifer Paterson of All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre, are joined by talented dancer and aerialist Beverley Grant.

The advised age for Heroes is 7 years+ Tickets for the performance at Newlands Activity Centre on Saturday 23 March are £8, £6 for under 15s and £25 for a family of 4.  They are available now from Eastgate Theatre Box Office 01721 725777 or or from Newlands Activity Centre on 01968 660980.

The Heroes tour has been made possible with funding from Creative Scotland and support from The Work Room, The Brunton Theatre, Platform and Irish Aerial Creation Centre.

For more information, please contact Maggie Mackay, Marketing Manager, Eastgate Theatre, Peebles EH45 8AD. t. 01721 725777, e.


Oh Boy!…Its Buddy Holly

Songs include all time favourites such as That’ll Be The Day, Peggy Sue, Heartbeat, It Doesn’t Matter Anymore, Raining In My Heart, Oh Boy! – and many more.

Producer Simon Fielder was an actor in the original touring and West End show.  He said: “Buddy Holly was pivotal in my development as a guitarist and songwriter. Buddy’s music has touched the heart of millions around the world and influenced many famous artists such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Brian May and many others. This year is especially poignant and will be a show to remember.”

The Buddy Holly and The Cricketers show features authentic arrangements, driving rhythms, energetic performances and skilled musicianship that has audiences dancing in the aisles. It has been delighting audiences for 26 years and has been performed around the world.  The show stars some of the finest actor-musicians in the UK including Jason Shaw as Buddy and was endorsed as Britain’s most popular Buddy Holly act when the show appeared on BBC One’s The One and Only, with Graham Norton notably commenting that they were “Buddy Brilliant”

Buddy Holly and the Cricketers Eastgate Theatre, Peebles Friday 8 February at 7.30pm. Tickets are £18 available now from Box Office on 01721 725777 or

For more information contact Maggie Mackay, Marketing Manager t: 01721 725777 e:

Round the Clock Entertainment at the Eastgate

The Eastgate bursts into 2019 this Sunday (6 January) with three very different blockbuster films.   At 2.30pm Ralph, of Wreck it Ralph fame, returns to Break the Internet in the critically acclaimed sequel.  At 5pm Jake Gyllenhaal and Cary Mulligan star in Wildlife a moving film about a family trying to hold itself together.  At 7.30pm the extraordinary Mike Lee exposes the Peterloo massacre – one of the one of the bloodiest episodes in British history.

On Saturday 19 January the Graham Institute in West Linton is the first venue for Eastgate on the Road, a series of special events devised and presented by local community organisations and individuals working in partnership with the theatre.

The West Linton event is Adventures in Film, a celebration of all sorts of extraordinary outdoor adventures.  The evening features the world premiere of a film specially created by youngsters from West Linton, based on a day they spent at Broomlee Outdoor Education Centre, a series of short films about people doing very strange things then a presentation by local adventurers Ed and Marion Shoote who pack everything they need onto a couple of bikes and then cycle the world.  Adventures in Film is at the Graham Institute, Lower Green, West Linton EH46 7EW at 7pm on Saturday 19 January.

Peebles Outdoor Film Festival kicks off at the theatre on Friday 25 Jan and runs until Sunday 27th Enjoy breath-taking films, inspirational speakers, outdoor sessions and drop in clinics across the entire weekend.

A series of three classic one act plays make up the new Drama and Lunch season in February and March.  This season, following a healthy light lunch in the Anne Younger Studio at 12.30pm, the audience will be invited to take a seat in the auditorium to enjoy a professional production, by Rapture Theatre, of a classic one act play.  This plays in this series are The Twelve Pound Look by JM Barrie on Wednesday 13 February, The Browning Version by Terence Rattigan on Wednesday 6 March and A Kind of Alaska by Harold Pinter on Wednesday 27 March.

Music in Peebles continues to light up Sunday afternoons with 2.30pm concerts of classical music.  The first is on Sunday 13 January when the Navarra String Quartet plays Vasks, Ravel and Schubert. On Sunday 10 February wonderful violinist Gina McCormack presents the first concert since her appointment as Patron of Music in Peebles.  She will be joined by Nigel Clayton on piano and recent graduates from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

On Saturday 9 February at 2pm 4 – 10 year olds (and their grandparents) are invited to enjoy W-hat About? a dance/music/theatre piece about colliding cultures, crossed communications and fears that have to be fought to capture joy and the magic that is in a memory.

Add to these the film celebration of John Buchan’s The Thirty Nine Steps on Sunday 10 March from 2pm and the presentation, by Peebles Players, of The Zombie Knights of the Eildon Hills on Tuesday 19 March at 2pm and there is no reason why cold winter nights should deprive anyone of a huge variety of entertainment between January and March.

For tickets or more information about these or any of the evening events at the theatre please telephone the Eastgate Theatre on 01721 725777 or look online on


For more information, please contact Maggie Mackay, Marketing Manager, Eastgate Theatre, Peebles EH45 8AD. t. 01721 725777, e.




 Eastgate Development Plans – Update

In autumn individual customers, local arts groups and local companies helped raise the sum of £70, 000 allowing the Eastgate to access enough finance from a range of public funding sources to transform the theatre auditorium.

On Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 January between 2 and 5 pm you are invited to visit the theatre where there will be an opportunity to test sample seats, see artist impressions of options to  bring the side galleries into full use and talk with representatives from the Project Design Group about these designs, the planned time table for the work and the ambition to move onto the next development phase –  staged improvements to the ground floor foyer and café areas.

For more information contact Maggie Mackay, Marketing Manager t: 01721 725777 e:

Eastgate Theatre Entrance

A Look Back at 2018

The year began with more than 1000 people packing the theatre over a January weekend as the Peebles Outdoor Film Festival served up a dazzling weekend of adventure films, inspirational speakers including explorer Benedict Allen (who would later make headlines across the world as he disappeared in Papua New Guinea) ocean adventurer Ollie Hicks and ultra-athlete Jenny Tough.

The festival also highlighted a selection of local heroes – adventurers of all ages living here and doing remarkable things, adding to the range of local community activities showcased throughout the Eastgate year.

Both the Tweeddale Society and Music in Peebles entertained packed audiences and Tweed Theatre struck gold with one comedy about pole dancing, another about elderly women escaping from a retirement home and five sell out pantomime performances starring evil Baron Trumpton.

These were just a few of more than 200 events – ranging across professional drama for children and adults, live music in all sorts of styles, blockbuster films and on screen relays of productions from the National Theatre, Royal Opera and Royal Ballet.

On the four Wednesdays in April the Anne Younger Studio was filled with audiences enjoying Bite Sized Entertainments – a light lunch following by a performance.  This new strand in the programme this year featured performances by an author, a story teller, a soprano (singing Schumann) and the violinists of Riddle Fiddles.

The theatre saw an outstanding array of live music from near and far. The likes of McGoldrick, McCusker & Doyle, RANT, Kris Drever and Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham brought the very best of trad and folk music, while bands such as Celtic Fiddle Festival, Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys, Martin Simpson, Woody Pines, The Honeycutters and 3hattrio (all US), plus Canada’s finest, The Paperboys, sprinkled some international stardust.

The theatre’s programme of festivals continued with a busier than ever Creative Peebles Festival in August, which culminated in an extraordinary 700-strong dance flashmob in Peebles High Street. Tom Swift’s film of the event proved to be a YouTube and social media sensation.

There were also bucketfuls of dance, glitz and glamour when the Lady Boys of Bangkok came to town for two sell-out shows in July. Peebles has rarely seen the like!

November saw two more busy festivals: the read-a-licious children’s book festival attended by more than 1,200 schoolchildren from almost a dozen schools across Tweeddale; plus Rapt in Winter – an annual festival of visual arts and crafts created and exhibited by local artists, galleries, workshops and studios.

In all, across 2016/17, the Eastgate staged more than 250 public events, with attendances up across the board – including for regular classes for the theatre’s participation programme during term time.

Meanwhile, café customers continued to enjoy the Eastgate throughout the year. In April, Food Buddies (Scottish Borders) and local catering social enterprise the Food Foundation announced that the Eastgate Theatre café was the first in the Scottish Borders to be awarded the official designation of dementia-friendly.

Such a positive year serves as background to the Eastgate’s recently announced development plans that will see the theatre begin a fundraising campaign in January designed to lever significant capital funding that will be used to increase the capacity of the building and develop an expanded suite of facilities. Exciting times.


For more information, contact Maggie Mackay, Eastgate Theatre, Peebles EH45 8AD. t. 01721 725777, e.

STUFF – World Premiere


On Friday 19 October the Eastgate Theatre in Peebles presents the World Premiere of STUFF a play by an award-winning creative team that explores the hoarding of memories, emotions and things.

STUFF is the new play by Sylvia Dow, directed by Muriel Romanes and designed by renowned artist John Byrne.  The idea came from a simple poster with the word mess on it.

It led Sylvia to think about the difference between most people who have a lot of stuff in storage and some people with a hoarding disorder where everything has equal value and so everything must be kept.  Muriel was intrigued by the idea and the concept took physical shape when John Byrne came up with a series of boxes each holding its own art installation.

The result is a play that tells the story of Magda (Carol Ann Crawford), her daughter (Romana Abercromby), Magda’s mother (Rosemary Nairne) and the embattled social worker (Pauline Lockhart) trying to navigate her way through the maze of relationships and stuff.

Today the Council is coming to clear Magda’s house. She must find a way to deal with the constant shifting of stuff in her house and her head, as she revisits the past and struggles with the present to find a way to face the future. Told with humour and tenderness this will resonate in its view of our attachment to things, and our need for attachment to each other.

Sylvia Dow says hoarding has become sensationalised but hoarders are people like anyone else and “have the same kind of inner life” Muriel Romanes adds “I happily admit to being a hoarder, I think we are all hoarders in little ways”

Syvian Productions STUFF opens at the Eastgate Theatre in Peebles  on Friday 19 October following a four day residence.  It then tours the Borders before heading out to tour across Scotland until 7 November.


The Borders dates are:

Eastgate Theatre, Peebles, EH45 8AD

19 Oct 7.30, £14/£12/£6, Tel: 01721 725777

MacArts, Bridge Street, Galashiels TD1 1SP

24 Oct 7.30, £10/£8, Tel: 01896 756 852

Heart of Hawick, Kirkstile, Hawick, TD9 OAE

25 Oct 7.30, £14/£12, Tel: 01450 360688

Smailholm Village Hall

26 Oct 7.30


For more information, contact Maggie Mackay, Marketing Manager, Eastgate Theatre, Peebles EH45 8AD. t. 01721 725777, e.