And the Winner is…KIYT


Though the group only formed recently, it is the junior section of Innerleithen & District Amateur Operatic Society (I&DAOS), which has been entertaining the public since 1908.

KIYT meets weekly and parent Alexina Hamilton said: “My daughter has recently turned eight and has become a member and absolutely loves it. She is amazed by the talents of some of the older kids and as a newer member aspires to be like them – a testament to the skills and confidence that the group has helped these kids to gain”

“The leaders are inspirational and very supportive,” added another parent, Leena Crichton. “Together with the children they have created a magical atmosphere.”

 The Robert Noble trophy was first given to the then Peebles Arts Festival in 1985 by the Robert Noble company of March Street Mills in Peebles. It was to be awarded annually to an individual or organisation who has notably and successfully encouraged young people in Tweeddale to engage with and participate in the arts.

KIYT joins a long and illustrious list of winners that includes Dan Ward and Alison Cameron, Peebles Accordion and Fiddle Club and I&DAOS (winners in 2002).

The trophy was awarded to Nicola Watt, President of I&DAOS by Caroline Adam from Creative Peebles Festival. “I’m delighted to present this trophy to a new organisation which shows that the wealth of artistic performance and activities in Tweeddale continues to grow,” commented Caroline. “The reasons different people gave for nominating KIYT were a perfect fit with the aims for the award stated so clearly by the Robert Noble Company more than 30 years ago”.

Note to editors:


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



Sweet American roots music comes to the Eastgate

The first of two foot-stompin’ American roots bands heading to the Eastgate this summer, The Honeycutters are set to discover just what a strong following they have on this side of the Atlantic following the release of two critically-acclaimed albums.

Hailing from the renowned music capital of Asheville, North Carolina, the band’s sound has been described as somewhere between the country pop of today and the gritty sound of yesterday – a honky-tonk flavoured mix of rhythmic ambition, enchanting melodies and emotive lyrics.

The band’s driving force is the remarkable Amanda Anne Platt, a witty, warm and deeply poetic singer-songwriter described by one reviewer as having “one of those gorgeous, heartache-drenched voices that brings to mind Loretta Lynn or Sheryl Crow”.

There’s a been a real hunger in the UK to see The Honeycutters perform live following the release of two seriously strong albums – Me Oh My (2015) and On the Ropes (2016) – with each winning glowing reviews and finding their way onto many ‘Best Of’ end-of-year lists.

The band come to Peebles on 11 Aug as part of a first ever European tour that coincides with the recent release of their new record, Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters. Very much lyrically driven, the songs blend the band’s old-school country roots approach with shared influences of rock and folk. “I think it’s just about life and all that that entails,” explains Amanda. “Including, but not limited to, death, strangers, birthdays, money, leaving, arriving, seasons, corruption and love.”

The Honeycutters will be followed in September by a very different US band currently tearing up the music scene both at home and abroad. One of the outstanding successes at this year’s Celtic Connections Festival, 3hattrio was born in the Utah desert, the band’s music a delicious coming together of old time Americana, chamber music and jazz.

The Honeycutters perform at the Eastgate Theatre 7.30pm, Fri 11 August, while 3hattrio play 7.30pm, Sat 16 September. Tickets for both bands are £14, £12, £6 schoolchildren, available from Box Office on 01721 725777 or online.


Eastgate Plans Progress

The Big Lottery Fund’s development grant of £45,000 will cover the appointment of a design team to appraise options for the building, agree a preferred solution, develop architect plans to RIBA stage 2, and create a cost plan.  It will also fund extensive community consultation, as well as preliminary discussions with planning. This work is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

All members of the design team have been selected as the result of a set of public procurement processes which began in May, and attracted considerable interest from all the relevant disciplines.   Andy Davey of Simpson & Brown Architects has been selected to head the design team, and will act as lead consultant to the Eastgate’s project group.

Andy Davey joined the Edinburgh-based practice of Simpson & Brown in 1981, and became a partner in 1998.  He has been the architect for a wide variety of projects ranging from the restoration of important public buildings and country houses to the conversion of historic buildings.  As a long-term resident of Peebles, he has a particular interest in the Eastgate, and responded enthusiastically to the appointment: “We very much look forward to working with the Eastgate team on this exciting and challenging project”.

Sir David Younger, Chair of the Eastgate’s Board of Directors said:

We are delighted that the Big Lottery Fund has endorsed the importance of the theatre’s significant contribution both to the people of Peebles and Tweeddale as well as reaching out to communities further afield.  The considerable, and increasing, demands on Big Lottery Fund funding make the process of applying very competitive and so this is a significant achievement.  There is a clear and growing demand for the services and activities already being delivered by the theatre and we look forward to the development of exciting and imaginative plans to see how we can become a bigger and more flexible resource for the people of Tweeddale and the surrounding area.”

This first phase of work will provide the information, plans and costs required for an application for capital funding to the Big Lottery Fund and other funders before the end of 2017.  If these are successful, the aim is to complete the project in 2019.

Lady Boys Sashay to Peebles

Flamboyant mainstays of the Edinburgh Fringe each year, the Lady Boys are currently touring with their brand new show, Who Runs the World! It’s a cabaret show like no other cabaret performed by glamorous showgirls like no other showgirls – all are male Thai nationals (apart from Trever who is from Lancashire).

The entertainment never lets up as the seductiveness of Hollywood and the stylish glitz of Las Vegas meet the great traditions of classic British music hall. With more songs and big-scale musical production numbers than you can point a painted lip at, the Lady Boys pay tribute to a host of stars ranging from Beyoncé, Rhianna and Nikki Minage to Gloria Gaynor, Boy George, Pitbull, Tom Jones, Queen Latifah and many more.

Throw in 450 designer-inspired, hand-sewn costumes plus the Lady Boys’ trade-mark feathers, and it’s a show that has to be seen to be believed.

The Lady Boys of Bangkok bring their euphoric bubble of laughter, beauty, glitz and music to the Eastgate Theatre on Wednesday 12 July, with shows at 5.30pm & 8pm. Tickets £20, £18, available from Box Office on 01721 725777, or online.


Eastgate Hosts National Artists’ Residency

Rough Mix is led and curated by Magnetic North’s artistic director Nicholas Bone who has developed a distinctive and widely-respected approach to developing new work and creating links between artists and art forms.

This year’s Rough Mix sees a core group of five experienced artists from across Scotland, plus two Borders-based early-career artists – Felicity Bristow and Sue Scowcroft. Between them, the participants have expertise in visual arts, writing, film-making, dance, music, theatre and contemporary art.

With support from the National Theatre of Scotland, Rough Mix offers two prioritised places: one for an artist identifying as deaf or disabled, and one for an artist from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background.

The artists are resident at the Eastgate Theatre for two weeks from 19 June, and are accompanied by additional performers, including Peebles-based actor Scott Noble.

“We are delighted to be the first venue in the south of Scotland to host this innovative national residency,” commented Caroline Adam, the Eastgate’s General Manager. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for local artists as well as those from around Scotland to observe and participate in the process of creative work.”

Each experienced artist brings an idea or starting point for a project, or a new approach that they are interested in exploring, with the emerging artists having practical involvement in the creative work. This exciting residency ends with a work-in-progress showing on Friday 30 June.

The Crackling Tale of an Electronica Pioneer

Developed by Blood of the Young at Glasgow’s Tron Theatre and live-scored by electronic sound artist Anneke Kampman, Daphne Oram’s Wonderful World of Sound is a journey through the amazing life of one of the great, unsung composers of the twentieth century.

In 1942, a 17-year-old Daphne attended a séance which inspired her to forge a career in music, later becoming the first director of the most famous electronic music studio in history – birth-place of many of television’s early sci-fi themes, including Doctor Who.

Daphne began her BBC career as a ‘music balancer’ during the war, turning down a place at the Royal College of Music to do so. After her promotion to studio manager in the 1950s, she began pestering the BBC to follow the lead of French broadcasters and provide a facility for the production of electronic sound.

She teamed up with a like-minded studio manager and between them the pair used borrowed test oscillators and tape-splicing techniques to produce sounds that had never been heard before on the BBC. Daphne’s nagging paid off, and in April 1958 she co-founded the Radiophonic Workshop in the BBC’s Maida Vale Studios.

In a remarkable career spanning more than 30 years, Daphne worked with opera singers, classical composers and rock and roll stars. A true pioneer, she released records, influenced the teaching of music in schools, wrote a book on her personal sound philosophy and always sought to innovate – often as the only woman in that professional environment.

Daphne Oram’s Wonderful World of Sound is performed at the Eastgate Theatre, 7.30pm, Wednesday 31 May. Tickets £14, available from Box Office on 01721 725777 or online.

Dazzling Danes Descend on the Eastgate

 A band to discover and truly savour, the dazzling Danish folk/roots foursome Basco tell stories about loves won and lost with an intoxicating mix of high-speed reels and sweet, melancholy tunes full of texture and layers. Although in truth, a lot of their songs are also about sex.

With members also hailing from Sweden and Australia, Basco’s material is nearly all original, stealing frivolously from Scandinavian, English, Celtic and American idioms to create what the band describes as “a kind of organic, soupy stew – full of vitamins and anti-oxidants”.

Basco often join forces in Big Basco with three horn players, known for their work with Denmark’s Radio Bigband and the Odense Symphony Orchestra; a coming together of folk, jazz and classical music in one rather magical mess.

Currently on a UK release tour for their new album, Interesting Times, Basco play the Eastgate Theatre on Sat 10 June – a chance for Borders audiences to experience a band that one recent music festival described as having “arrived as complete unknowns and left as deservedly conquering heroes”.

Not that that’s the case in the band’s home country where they have been busy gathering awards ever since their first album, The Crow in the Walnut Tree, was nominated for Debut of the Year at the Danish Music Awards 2009. A follow up album in 2011 helped the band scoop Singer of the Year, plus nominations for Album of the Year and Live Act of the Year at the same awards, while a third album, released in 2013, saw band member and cittern maestro Ale Carr collect the hugely prestigious Artist of the Year.


Basco play the Eastgate Theatre, Peebles on Saturday 10 June. Tickets £14, available from Box Office on 01721 725777 or online.

Peebles on a Postcard

All drawings should be on card (max 10.5 x 14.8cms), with free, postcard sized boards now available for collection from the Eastgate Theatre. Just return the completed drawing to the theatre by Friday 11 August 2017 to be part of the Big, Big Peebles Draw challenge.

The postcard drawings will then be exhibited at the Eastgate Theatre during this year’s Creative Peebles Festival from Monday 14 August until Friday 8 September, after which three of them, chosen by the public, will each be awarded an art prize.

During the exhibition, visitors will also be invited to bid to buy their favourite pieces with the results of the silent auction revealed by the Eastgate on Sunday 3 September (the final day of this year’s festival). All proceeds from the auction will go towards developing the festival in 2018.

Held from 24 August to 3 September, the Peebles Creative Festival (formerly Peebles Arts Festival) sees this small but incredibly creative town celebrate the work of its many artists, art groups, musicians, poets, film makers, craftspeople and more. As well as indoor performances and workshops, the festival also offers opportunities for locals and visitors alike to explore the fascinating history, architecture, nature and landscape of Peebles through a series of talks, walks and tours.


Star Turn as American Classic Comes to the Eastgate

Well known to audiences from her appearances in the likes of Rebus, The Night Manager and Batman Begins, Sara has also recently appeared on the West End stage in Hay Fever, and played opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Proof.

The latest production from Glasgow’s Rapture Theatre, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? marks something of a homecoming for Sara as she takes on a role perhaps made most famous by Elizabeth Taylor who appeared opposite Richard Burton in the Oscar-winning film version of the play 50 years ago.

Often considered the finest work by one of the greatest American playwrights of his generation, Albee’s play centres on a marathon night of drinking, debauchery and duplicity that ensures when Martha and her middle-aged professor husband George invite an unsuspecting young couple, Nick and Honey, around for a nightcap.

As the drinks flow – spiked with vicious humour, acerbic wit and verbal sparring – and night turns to morning, searing secrets are exposed. A scathingly funny and at times brutal portrait of relationship dysfunction, the work is an intimate, visceral experience.

The play is part of Rapture’s ‘Iconic Season’ of productions that celebrate some of the most formidable, complex and flawed characters ever to feature in American drama. In addition to Sara Stewart in the lead role of Martha, Rapture’s production also features Robin Kingsland (as George), Rose Reynolds (Honey), and Paul Albertson (Nick).

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is performed at the Eastgate Theatre, Peebles, 7.30pm Sat 13 May. Tickets £14 available from Box Office on 01721 725777 or




Eastgate Café is Dementia-Friendly – It’s Official

The Food Buddies project aims to develop peer support for people living with dementia in the Borders around all aspects of food and keeping well. The project works with staff in catering establishments to make them aware of symptoms of dementia, and how to help and communicate with people to ensure they have a comfortable experience when eating out.

The project is run by national organisation Outside the Box whose Borders Development Worker Jan Laing said: “We are delighted to work in partnership with the Food Foundation to further strengthen the reputation of the Eastgate Theatre café as an accessible venue with warm, welcoming staff. Staff training has gone beyond the café and the theatre has committed to incorporate dementia-friendly features in any future redevelopment of any part of the building.”

Eastgate Café Manager Mikuni Uehara added: “I think we are already well known as a fully accessible café, welcoming everyone from people with buggies to those using wheelchairs and muddy bikers. We are proud to add dementia friendly to the café description. It has been very useful to work with Food Buddies, with café and theatre staff learning a lot of useful tips from the training.”

After their light lunch, a packed audience was entertained by a performance of easy listening music by the Gerard Dott Trio featuring Gerard on clarinet, Robbie Tatler on double bass and Lorraine Mulholland on piano.