Bond star Connery backs Byre Theatre campaign


SIR Sean Connery has backed a campaign to save Scotland’s only five-star theatre after it went into administration.

The Byre Theatre in St Andrews closed its doors last week after running up debts following a decision by the former Scottish Arts Council to cut its funding.

Bond icon Connery, who re-opened the 80-year-old venue in 2001 after a refurbishment, said this week: “The Byre is a wonderful venue and it would be my hope that a way can be found to keep it open.”


The Bond star re-opened the St Andrews theatre nearly 12 years ago
The Bond star re-opened the St Andrews theatre nearly 12 years ago


Following refurbishment in 2001 it was re-opened by Connery who, at the time, described it as “money in the bank for the community”.

The theatre’s board said ticket sales had been good but were not sufficient to cover overheads and staff costs.

More than 4,000 people have signed a petition to save the venue with presenter Kirsty Wark, and River City star Tom Urie also in the campaign to re-open the Byre.

One option is for the building, owned by Fife council, to reopen under the umbrella of Fife’s cultural body, the Fife Cultural Trust.

The trust already operates theatres in Dunfermline, Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy and Lochgelly, and may be able to secure financial support from Creative Scotland, the Arts Council’s successor.