City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Thoughts On The Usher Hall Upgrades


By Barnaby Miln - Posted on 26 February 2010

Usher Hall staircase

Someone once described the corridors as almost domestic in size. Now with new bar areas for drinkers to congregate there’s more space to move around and with less push and shove this enhances an evening at the concert.

Indeed with a new and exciting spiral staircase and a large lift there’s now nothing to stop folk in the upper circle coming down in the interval to join friends lower down. And when the audience returns after the interval to their unaltered seats, the bar staff can clear up in the knowledge that the thick carpeting will absorb their clattering, even when the softest of music is coming from the stage.

Backstage has been significantly upgraded for performers and the administrative offices relocated within the building. The box office is now immediately behind the glass door into the newly constructed extension to the side, and beyond is a café.

The architect has spoken of its glass exterior as a softener and the positioning of its windows as a compromise with the planners. Upstairs there’s a large hospitality suite which can be sub-divided. The two halves have already been tried out at a recent Royal Scottish National Orchestra concert; one for the concert sponsor’s guests, the other for the RSNO’s guests.

Let’s just get the area immediately outside the hall finished and fully pedestrianised and even the most doubting Edinburgh citizen will be proud of our Usher Hall.