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Theatre Royal ready for panto season

A major milestone has been reached in the history of Scotland's oldest working theatre.

The Theatre Royal, in Dumfries, will re-open its doors on Wednesday following a £2 million refurbishment.

This afternoon, the bust of Robert Burns was returned to its rightful place, before the first performance. Lori Carnochan reports:

Return of Burns marks major milestone at Theatre Royal

The bust of Burns has been returned to the Theatre Royal Credit: ITV News Border

A major milestone was reached today when the bust of Robert Burns was returned to the Theatre Royal in Dumfries.

It was removed almost two years ago to allow for a £2 million overhaul and expansion of Scotland's oldest working theatre.

"We took Rabbie out because we didn't think he'd be safe when all the work was happening so he went to the Globe, Burns' favourite pub.

"Over the years we noticed he had sustained a little bit of damage shall we say so we decided that since we're going to have a nice new theatre, Rabbie should get a bit of a facelift too. Now that we're just about open for panto we felt he needed to be back."

– Anne Aldridge, Master of the Guild of Players
The refurbished Theatre Royal Credit: ITV News Border

The theatre, which was built in 1792, has a new glass atrium, a refurbished stage and seating area, a new bar, workshop, rehearsal studio and toilets.It came close to permanently closing in 2011, before The Holywood Trust stepped in with a £1 million grant.

Dumfries and Galloway Council gave £455,000 and other fundraisers were then able to raise the remaining £550,000 to carry out the works.

Inside the theatre Credit: ITV News Border
The new workshop Credit: ITV News Border

The theatre will officially open on Wednesday 2nd December with "Beauty and the Beast" pantomime.

Bust of Burns returns to Theatre Royal

The bust of Burns being moved before refurbishment Credit: ITV News Border

The bust of Robert Burns is being returned to the Theatre Royal in Dumfries after it was moved to allow for refurbishment.

The theatre, which is Scotland's oldest working theatre, has undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment.

Robert Burns was one of the early patrons of the theatre and his bust was moved to his favourite pub whilst work was carried out.

The theatre re-opens on December 2nd with the pantomime Beauty and the Beast.

Grand-daughters appeal to find 'sick' masked robbers

Police in Dumfries are looking for two masked robbers who tied up an elderly woman in her home and stole a large quantity of jewellery and money.

The incident happened in the small village of East Cluden in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The woman was unharmed, but her grand-daughters say she's been left distressed by what happened. Lori Carnochan reports:


Dumfries woman, 76, tied up and robbed in own home

East Cluden where the robbery took place Credit: ITV Border

Police Scotland are appealing for witnesses after a 76 year-old woman was robbed and tied up within her home address in the early hours of this morning.

The woman was asleep in her home in East Cluden Village when she was woken by two men in her bedroom just after midnight.

They tied the woman up and proceeded to search the property and steal a significant quantity of jewelry and cash before leaving the house in an unknown direction.

The 76 year-old woman, who was unharmed, managed to untie herself before seeking assistance from a neighbour.

“Although unharmed, this was a very distressing experience for this elderly lady and it is important that we trace the men responsible as soon as possible.

"I would like appeal to anyone who may have any information as to who is responsible. These men need to be apprehended as they have preyed upon a vulnerable lady within her own home.

"I would like to reassure the community that despicable crimes like this are rare and we all must do what we can to trace these men as soon as possible.

"Any information you may have, no matter however small you feel it is, may make all the difference as part of our broader investigation."

– Detective Chief Inspector Colin Burnie

The two suspects are described as white, well spoken, possibly with English accents and aged between 30 and 40. At the time of the incident their faces were covered and the suspects were wearing dark clothing.

Please call police at Dumfries using the 101 number if you have any information, alternatively you can call CRIMESTOPPERS on 0800 555 111 where anonymity will be maintained.

Men in court accused of vandalism wearing 'Anonymous' masks

The men were said to be wearing Anonymous masks. Credit: PA

Three men have appeared in court at Dumfries after it was alleged that men with “anonymous-style" masks damaged the door of a house in the town and threatened the occupants.

Declan Carlton, 19; Kyle Dawson, 21; and 18-year-old Cameron Hogg, all from Dumfries, appeared in private before Sheriff Scott Pattison.

They appeared separately on petitions alleging contravention of the Criminal Law Scotland Act.

Carlton was also accused of contraventions of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

No plea or declaration was made in either case and Carlton and Hogg were allowed bail while Dawson was remanded in custody.

Flood Warning issued for Whitesands in Dumfries

High river levels are likely to inundate parts of the Whitesands car park this morning (Sunday) with peak levels at around noon.

Levels will stay high during the high tide due around 1:30pm to 2pm, with more heavy rain due across the region later in the afternoon and evening.

This will likely cause more extensive flooding of the Whitesands and Mill Green, and possibly to other adjacent areas but it's not clear yet to what extent.

Source: SEPA

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