During week thirteen of refurbishments at Ayr’s Gaiety Theatre Worksmart’s joinery team uncovered a secret on the fourth floor.
The team are in the process of creating a fourth floor lighting booth and office space as well as configuring the new ventilation system. While lifting floorboards for the ventilation contractor our joiners discovered a secret staircase. A staircase which could have forever remained a secret as it did not feature in any architect drawings and the removed floorboards were originally to remain intact.
Project Manager Frank Ross describes: “After making the discovery our team went under the floorboards where you can see where seats used to be. The rows go on for some height.” The discovery is no doubt the “gods” of the early twentieth century in the theatre – the highest seats were the cheapest to accommodate the poorest patrons. The theatre is said to have held 1200 bodies across the pit, dress circle, upper gallery and four boxes and in September 2016 The Gaiety will re-introduce tiered pricing (premium, standard and economy) to ensure the livelihood of the theatre.
The ventilation system is now being re-routed thanks to the unearthed secret which will be boarded up once again and preserved for years to come. Spookily, in the same week contractors in Perth uncovered secret rooms during a £16.5m restoration of Perth Theatre…