You can’t keep a good theatre down.
And after four years of public outcry, the curtain is finally back up at the Gaiety.
In among the politics and doubts about its readiness for showtime, hardy volunteers have stuck to their task.
And their long hours were rewarded on Friday night whenthe gala performance of Cinderella took to the stage – and reminded everyone just what they’d been missing.
The clamour for a re-opened Gaiety has been in the air since it closed its doors in 2009.
Back then, South Ayrshire Council put up the shutters and raised the white flag of surrender in their bid to keep the theatre open.
And the emotion was evident as a packed house roared its approval for every joke, song and slapstick panto moment as the Gaiety dusted off her costume.
The theatre has long been regarded as one of Scotland’s best variety venues.
And its rise from potential rubble has only been made possible thanks to the huge effort from a team of passionate volunteers.
Theatre chief, Vince Hope, confessed: “This is the culmination of years of hard work to get the Gaiety back on its feet. These volunteers aren’t being paid – their dedication comes from a love of this theatre.
“It’s been a process which started with our shop in Ayr High Street and has resulted in re-opening the theatre.
“Everyone has pulled together over these last couple of months to make it happen and it’s been an incredible effort to get to where we are right now.”
The Gaiety’s return has been boosted by a top panto production which left the opening night capacity crowd in raptures. Star performances throughout the cast ensured rave reviews for a theatre that knows its return is very much in the spotlight .
And not just in Ayrshire but around the whole country.
The Gaiety Partnership, thegroup now in charge of the controversial building, are pledging to make the theatre a “sustainable long term project” far beyond Cinderella and her magical midnight ball.
And if the early signs are anything to go by, they certainly have the public’s full support. Vince added: “The panto is sold out through Boxing Day and we only have limited tickets for the shows after that.
“The response from the people of Ayrshire has been absolutely fantastic and I’m sure that will continue.
“First and foremost, what we need to do is re-establish the Gaiety as a place where people can come to be entertained.
“The rest will follow on from that as we put in place the next stages of the theatre’s redevelopment.”