An unexpected splash of art and heritage: Gaiety Theatre, Shimla

Heritage always turns me on, but more than pristinely renovated heritage structures that are essentially inactive, it is particularly exciting to see heritage in use. It was therefore a pleasant surprise to walk into Gaiety Theatre in Shimla and see it buzzing with a group of local artists hard at work. We wandered through the small intimate space watching a range of artworks being created in front of our very eyes.

Gaiety Theatre was first opened in 1887, in Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Year. It was designed as part of the Town Hall complex and was the hub of cultural activity in the city during colonial times. Designed by the well known English architect Henry Irwin, it is a Gothic building and can seat over 300 people. I learnt from another blogger’s post that this is one of six remaining special Gothic theatres in the World! Known for excellent acoustics, the recent renovation of the building is tastefully done and keeps intact the originally designed screen.

Chancing upon the theatre while walking down the Mall Road

Chancing upon the theatre while walking down the Mall Road

The solid stonework is a pleasure to see

The solid stonework is a pleasure to see

Inside

Inside

Artists at work

Artists at work

Niches and artists...

Niches and artists…

The piece I really liked

The piece I really liked

Gaeity theatre is part of the Town Hall complex

Gaiety theatre is part of the Town Hall complex

The art event we came across was being held in one of the side halls and later in the evening we were happy to see a buzzing crowd outside the hall, awaiting the inauguration of the public exhibition of the artworks. The Shimla Summer Festival was just concluding, which hosted several performances in the theatre.

An excited crowd awaits the opening of the exhibition

An excited crowd awaits the opening of the exhibition

 

 

A parting glimpse of the magnificent details of this building

A parting glimpse of the magnificent details of this building

 

 

 

 

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About ramblinginthecity

I am an architect and urban planner, a writer and an aspiring artist. I love expressing myself and feel strongly that cities should have spaces for everyone--rich, poor, young, old, healthy and sick, happy or depressed--we all need to work towards making our cities liveable and lovable communities.

Posted on June 6, 2014, in Arts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Drooling over the Gothic structure and state-of-the-art curvature and architecture, Mukta. It’s very British and m sure the architect in you must be thinking off giving it ur own personal touch:)

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