Prince Andrew’s Right Royal Welcome At Eden Court

Eden Court Theatre yesterday welcomed HRH Prince Andrew, The Earl of Inverness to the newly re-developed building officially drawing to a close the fundraising appeal that he launched 5 years ago, almost to the day. As patron of the Eden Court redevelopment fundraising appeal, HRH Prince Andrew last visited Eden Court when he officially launched the appeal, which raised £2.2 million towards the cost of redeveloping the Highlands major arts venue.

The Prince enjoyed an extended tour of the new building with Theatre Director Colin Marr, Provost Bob Wynd, Chair of Eden Court Board, Ian Morrison and Nicola Walls, the architect of the newly redeveloped building.

During his tour, The Earl was shown the brand new cinema facilities, where he met and chatted to Eden Court’s Film Programmer, Paul Taylor. The Royal visitor also dropped in on Eden Court’s SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority) Higher Dance class, where he met the pupils and class teacher.

Prince Andrew and the Royal party then proceeded to Studio 2, where ‘Magic Stars’ drama class for young children was in full swing. After spending some time with the children, and enjoying a short preview of the class’ upcoming show ‘The Tough Princess’, the party moved to the main stage of The Empire Theatre, where Eden Court and Scottish Ballet technical staff were constructing the set for Romeo & Juliet, which begins at Eden Court on Wednesday evening.

Prince Andrew’s tour of Eden Court concluded in the restored Bishop’s Palace, with a short reception where he met and talked to major donors, sponsors and local dignitaries.

Unveiling the specially commissioned oak sponsor panel at the conclusion of the tour, Prince Andrew hailed the redevelopment a fantastic success, and paid tribute to the energy, enthusiasm and vision of the staff, board and architect.

Highland Council Convenor Sandy Park commented: "The Highland Council has always been a strong supporter of Eden Court and we are delighted to have been a major partner in its redevelopment and expansion. The highlands now has a truly twenty-first century theatre facility to be proud of and I’m confident audiences and participants will continue to enjoy it for decades to come."

28 May 2008