Pilrig Church fire: 'Urgent plea' for rehearsal space by Edinburgh Gilbert and Sullivan Society following blaze

A theatre society in Edinburgh is sending out an ‘urgent plea’ to the community for theatre space after their usual rehearsing space at a church went on fire.

The Edinburgh Gilbert and Sullivan Society is currently searching for a space to rehearse after a fire caused damaged to their original rehearsal space on Monday.

St Paul’s Church on Pilrig Street, the group’s usual rehearsing space, experienced a fire on Monday and the building was closed to user groups for ‘the foreseeable future.’

No casualties were reported and the fire was confined to the main hall.

The Edinburgh Gilbert and Sullivan Society is asking anyone who knows any space in Edinburgh they could use to rehearse in to get in touch as they claim it is ‘a matter of urgency.' (Photo: Kenneth Baird).

However, the whole building is now closed until the various safety checks are complete and the power is restored.

As a result, the society in Edinburgh are sending out an urgent plea for a new space to rehearse for their production of The Pirates of Penzance in March next year at the King’s Theatre.

The whole cast of around 50 rehearses every week at Murrayfield, however, they are looking for a space which would fit around twenty people for their principals practice their lines every Monday at 7.30pm.

The society is asking anyone who knows any space in Edinburgh they could use to rehearse in to get in touch as they claim it is ‘a matter of urgency.’

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Lily Elliot, the Edinburgh Gilbert and Sullivan Society’s marketing manager said: “The last show we did was cancelled last minute due to lockdown so we are really keen to back on stage.

"We’ve been looking for rehearsal space and hopefully we can get something sorted soon.

"It’s key that the principals have somewhere to rehearse properly together. It’s not the type of thing we can do over Zoom.”

Rehearsals for the production are well underway and the society hopes to get a space for rehearsing before they break up for Christmas on December 14.

"It’s a worry if we can’t get the space as it would be a do what you can attempt when we get the whole cast together every week.

"We are really grateful for just any space people can offer which can fit twenty in to sing and dance. It would good if there’s enough space for them to do the walk-ins from the stage but we would just appreciate any space.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Pilrig church said that clean up and repairs will start shortly and they hope to open the church next week.

They said: “Users of the downstairs hall should be able to return once the power is restored, we are keeping in touch with with them.

"The main hall will be closed for the foreseeable future.”

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: "Operations Control immediately mobilised three appliances and other specialist resources to the scene and on arrival firefighters found the roof space of the building well alight.

“A further appliance was mobilised and firefighters extinguished the fire. Crews left the scene after making the area safe. No casualties were reported.

Tickets are currently on sale at the moment for the Edinburgh Gilbert and Sullivan Society Pirates of Penzance.

To find out more, you can visit their website here.

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