Perth Theatre and Concert Hall have launched their Jan – Jun 2023 season, with a new Theatre Subscription and a bold new look. As well as everything that audiences experience on the stages, there has been lots going on behind-the-scenes which the venues are now ready to share!

Nick Williams, Chief Executive reveals all!

Since re-opening in Autumn 2021, we’ve been working hard to re-establish relationships with audiences – to communicate more clearly and widely, to be more responsive to preferences and motivations, and to take every possible opportunity to re-engage with them directly.

Emerging from the pandemic, everyone has been craving a connection; to culture, creativity and each other. There is nothing we value more than being able to hear and share audience experiences of the venues and our work. We welcome every opportunity to enjoy a friendly chat - front of house, pre- and post-show, when audiences pop in to purchase their tickets or are putting our recently re-opened Perth Theatre Café to the taste test.

However, in reconnecting with audiences, we also recognised the need to work to rearticulate who we are, how we do what we do and why it matters. In June, we began the process of rebranding from Horsecross Arts to Perth Theatre and Concert Hall. Building on many, ongoing conversations with communities, alongside quantitative and qualitative surveying and evaluation, we hosted a series of in-depth focus groups. These involved over 30 respondents from all walks of life, some of whom have been attending the venues for 60 years, others who only moved to Perth last year, and everyone in between.

From this participation, we gained a clearer understanding of our audiences’ appetite for change, their experience of our buildings and programming, our fundraising and marketing efforts, our customer service, pricing structures, how we compare to other venues locally and nationally, and most importantly, what we bring to the local area. We learned about where we need to improve but also, through their encouragement, how we can, and should, do more to champion our contribution to the communities we serve and Scotland’s rich cultural ecology.

In parallel, we recruited our partners, Bright Signals, who undertook staff and stakeholder consultation, analysed results from 5000+ show survey respondents and booking patterns across all programme strands for the past five years, in addition to conducting wider sectoral and cultural research.

The results of this six-month process (so far) are the visuals and descriptors you see today. Our new identity has been designed to help communicate who we are in an impactful way. It honours our heritage by taking inspiration from the original High Street entrance of Perth Theatre and incorporates shapes and symbols inspired by the fabric of both buildings – from the bricks, windows and stage structures through to the acoustic panelling and beams of light that bring our performances to life. We are also keeping an eye on our exciting future and want to ensure our output is energising and imaginative. The process has seen us develop and embrace bright, new, custom colours to help you easily identify each venue and programming strand, and animation to drive greater engagement with our digital output. We’re proud to stand out from the crowd.

However, this is not an overnight transformation, it is curtain up on the first phase of an exciting new chapter for Perth Theatre and Concert Hall, and we want you to be part of the story.

Following today’s reveal across our new brochure, emails, social media, web and within our venues, we are thrilled that the legendary Perth Theatre Season Subscription – on sale now - returns in the spring. Much loved amongst our communities and with national acclaim from audiences and artists alike, we look forward to engaging past subscribers, current attenders and those yet to discover the joys of live theatre with our fresh take on series programming. Pick and mix from a selection of popular classics, timeless comedy, mind-boggling mysteries and uplifting musicals and save money the more you buy.

This Tuesday, 29 November, we also launch our new individual scheme, Friends of Perth Theatre and Concert Hall. We know our generous supporters share our belief in the transformative power of the performing arts and you can join them by pledging as little at £5 per month to receive a range of exclusive benefits in return. Your generous donations enable audiences to discover their new favourite play, hear that inspirational piece of music for the first time at our world-class venues and help us tour our work widely across Scotland and beyond. More importantly, this support furthers our life-changing learning and engagement programme, from developing the actors of tomorrow as part of the oldest Youth Theatre in Scotland, to delivering free cultural and intergenerational activities, including classical concerts for schoolchildren, dance classes for people with Parkinson’s, writing workshops to improve mental health and wellbeing, and musical workshops for care home residents.

From January, expect to see more changes within our buildings followed by digital development in the spring. Then, before we know it, we will be launching our autumn 2023 season alongside more exciting programme announcements – watch this space and please continue to support, spread the word, and share your feedback with us every step of the way.

With your help, we can continue to create life affirming, shared experiences that ignite the imagination and make living more meaningful.