KING’S THEATRE DOME
Location: Tollcross, Edinburgh
Client: Festival City Theatres Trust
Programme: Completed 2013
This project encompassed the refurbishment of the Category A listed auditorium in this 1906 theatre. Works focused on the restoration and repainting of the Viennese Baroque plasterwork throughout the auditorium. All areas were cleaned and repainted using a colour scheme similar to the original. The boxes were also repapered using a damask pattern paper designed by Timorous Beasties in Glasgow, that was based on the original wallpaper.
The main feature of the works was the commissioning of the renowned Scottish contemporary artist and playwright John Byrne to design a new mural for the large dome in the centre of the auditorium. This would be the fourth dome scheme in the buildings history. These extensive works were undertaken in a very short timescale of seven weeks, when the theatre was closed for its annual dark period. The entire auditorium was scaffolded to allow access to all areas.
A team of specialist scene painters projected the image in sections onto the dome, before adjusting it with computer software to make it fit the dome’s profile. It was then sketched in and painted. Several layers of paint were used to capture all the detail of the original artwork, with much of the fine detail being undertaken by John Byrne himself. Finally the whole dome was varnished to preserve the artwork for generations to come to enjoy.