FROM Robbie Coltrane to Alan Rickman, Glenda Jackson to Gary Oldman, the Citizens Theatre has a special significance for Britain's acting aristocracy, many of whom learned their craft there, but nothing could compare to the affection in which it is held by the people of Glasgow.
News that the theatre is to receive a major revamp will be welcomed across the city.
This is a theatre that actively engages with the community it serves. It is the venue that has given thousands of children their very first taste of theatre, through its programme of Christmas shows. It is also a theatre known and loved for its Victorian quirks of character, and for being unfailingly entertaining, challenging and fun.
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Its fans will be pleased to know that the refurbishment plans do not amount to drastic redevelopment – the famous listed auditorium will not be significantly changed – but that the theatre's existing space will be better used, with revamped backstage areas and much improved front-of-house facilities.
The aim will be to preserve the theatre's character while equipping it for a long and prosperous future.
The Citz is regarded by many as the beating heart of Gorbals, and these changes will ensure it remains so at a time when a wider programme of regeneration in taking place in the area.
With the economy still underperforming, it is a difficult time to raise money. Between now and 2016, however, when the refurbishment is due to begin, the economic forecast is set to brighten and it is to be hoped Glaswegians and the wider Scottish public will heed the call to help preserve this cultural treasure.