Ayr’s Gaiety Theatre is prepared to reopen after lockdown restrictions were eased on Monday, January 24.

This removed the limitations on indoor public events, such as those in the town’s popular theatre.

Jeremy Wyatt (pictured far right), chief executive at the Gaiety, told the Advertiser: “The last two years have been hard, but The Gaiety is emerging stronger than we were. Jamie and the Unicorn was a completely new panto and gained the best feedback from audiences and critics we’ve ever had.

“The whole sector has been on a knife edge and only survived due to support from government, and in our case, from generous donors.

“Although we were able to retain a full staff team and provide work for well over 100 freelancers, many people have struggled with no income at all.

“Some have left the industry and others are going to take a long time to recover. We are really proud to have been one of the organisations recognised for supporting as many people as possible through the pandemic.

“That includes many of the community groups for whom we were able to secure funding as well as the many freelancers we’ve employed.”

He also added the benefits this could have socially for those in Ayr and the wider community.

Mr Wyatt continued: “The Gaiety has been part of Ayrshire for 120 years and in that time it has meant, and still does mean, a lot to our community.

“So the key benefit has to be that we can all once again have the sort of great night out that only live theatre can provide.

“We are already planning for this year’s pantomime, Sleeping Beauty. We know it’s going to be a fantastic show so of course we hope that the theatre will be full for the complete run.

“We are naturally looking forward to welcoming back audiences to the theatre. The shows we put on during October all went down really well with audiences and we know most people are keen to return.”

“Although it does seem as if things are finally getting easier, we are of course maintaining measures to keep everyone safe including enhanced ventilation, additional cleaning and asking everyone to follow the legal requirement to wear a mask for their whole visit.”