Nostalgia: Theatre change is sign of times

A production of The Lightning Plebiscite in 1990
A production of The Lightning Plebiscite in 1990
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IT was announced this week that councillors were set to approve plans to turn the former Theatre Workshop in Stockbridge into flats and a restaurant.

Having been earlier placed on an “at-risk” register, officials ruled there was “little chance of saving it” after campaigners failed to raise enough money to save the property.

The workshop in St Stephen's Street in 1977

The workshop in St Stephen's Street in 1977

But its rich and inspiring history lives on.

Among the many plays produced by the group was The Lightning Plebiscite, which was staged at Leith Theatre in May 1990, commemorating the loss of Leith’s boundary and independence when it amalgamated with Edinburgh in 1920.

A giant giraffe made for the Children’s Theatre Festival in 1975 proved popular.

Hidden inside the 15ft creation were two actors, who ended up taking it to Hamburg for an international event.

The giant 'giraffe in 1975

The giant 'giraffe in 1975

The workshop attracted star names, such as then television favourite Keith Chegwin, when he met some children in 1982 as his show Swap Shop was being filmed at Calton Hill.

More than 200 youngsters joined Keith for the broadcast, and they also performed a short play about Greyfriars Bobby.

Earlier, in 1968, a window display designed by the theatre workshop proved a draw for a fascinated toddler on Princes Street.

Keith Chegwin with members of the workshop in 1982

Keith Chegwin with members of the workshop in 1982

A child enjoys a Theatre Workshop display in Princes Street in 1968

A child enjoys a Theatre Workshop display in Princes Street in 1968