The Scotsman 8 August 2023

Helen Enright is sitting in the circle of Glasgow’s Pavilion Theatre and admiring the view. It is a splendid sight. Built by William “Bertie” Crewe in 1904, the proscenium-arch theatre has retained its period features. Check out the ornate tiles and stained-glass windows on the landing; gaze in wonder at a ceiling that – in theory, at least – can draw back to reveal the night sky. Yet for all its Louis XV-style splendour, the Grade-1 listed building also feels intimate. Its 1,449 seats snuggle around in a welcoming curve.

“You feel so connected to the stage,” says Enright. “This is the natural place in Glasgow for comedy shows because of that connection. When someone is standing on that stage, you can see every facial expression – and they can probably see yours.”

She has reason to be proud. As chief operating officer of Trafalgar Theatres, Enright led the team that took over the Renfield Street venue from owners Tim and Nick Martin in April. Until that point, general manager Iain Gordon, who wrote, commissioned or produced the majority of the theatre’s output, had done a rare job of keeping an independent commercial theatre afloat in an era when the big networks, notably the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), call the shots. [READ MORE]

By Mark Fisher

MARK FISHER is a freelance theatre critic and feature writer based in Edinburgh and has written about theatre in Scotland since the late-1980s. He is a theatre critic for The Guardian, a former editor of The List magazine and a frequent contributor to the Scotsman and other publications. He is the co-editor of the play anthology Made in Scotland (1995), and the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide (2012) and How to Write About Theatre (2015) – all Bloomsbury Methuen Drama. He is also the editor of The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls and What Do You Call That Noise? An XTC Discovery Book (both Mark Fisher Ltd).