The Theatre is a mid scale theatre that aims to provide a mixed range of productions to appeal to a wide audience. This includes drama, dance, music, comedy, children’s theatre, film, workshops and musicals as well as amateur and community productions. Brunton Theatre works in partnership with a range of performing arts companies to produce and present performances and participatory projects. Catherine Wheels Theatre Company has been resident at the Theatre since 2002. Catherine Wheels produce work in association with Brunton Theatre and work closely with the staff to deliver projects for schools.
Mr John D Brunton, son of the Brunton wireworks founder, died in 1951 leaving a bequest of £700,000 to the people of Musselburgh. He specifically stated that the money be used to provide halls for the use of the community. The Town Council decided to add money of their own so that they could group their administrative offices within the building. Several enthusiastic amateur drama and operatic societies performed in Musselburgh at this time, and so at an early stage it was decided that the Brunton Hall complex should include a fully equipped theatre.
Brunton Hall was opened by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1971. Designed by Rowand Anderson, Kinimouth and Paul, the building is an example of late 1960’s civic architecture.
By the early 1990s Brunton Theatre was in need of an upgrade so in the Spring of 1996 the Theatre closed for refurbishment. With funding from East Lothian Council, Scottish Arts Council and the European Regional Development Fund, the Theatre fully upgraded and a reopened a year later. The enhanced facilities include a new fly tower, restaurant, audio description booth, lift and wheelchair gallery.
The Theatre Trust commissioned Glasgow based glass artist, Deborah Campbell to design the glasswork around the Theatre. The design is based on the Musselburgh Fisherman’s Walk with fish, creels, seaweed and waves forming the background to the design.