Meet the team taking care of the King’s

We asked Capital Theatres' Technical Director and King's Future Project Manager John Robb about his memories of the King's and what impact the theatre has had on his life and career. 

My first experience of the King’s Theatre was in 1990 when I was working with Scotland’s Communicado Theatre Company. They asked me to go and see an Edinburgh International Festival production by Phillipe Genty.

Derives still remains one of the most significantly life changing, theatrical experiences I have had in my 30 years of working in the business. The extraordinary use of the space and the special intimacy of the King’s sparked a love for this venue, and particularly its stage, which I have nurtured ever since.

Trolius&Cressida © Edinburgh International Festival.png
Troilus and Cressida from Peter Stein's 2006 production at the King's © Edinburgh International Festival

A few years later, I was lucky enough to return to the King’s every summer from 1994 to 2019 in my role as Technical Director of the Edinburgh International Festival.

In that time, I had the pleasure of working on many wonderful productions by some of the worlds most acclaimed directors including five productions with the German director, Peter Stein. Stein's Troilus and Cressida, featured a 9 tonne wall which moved up and down the stage throughout the show.

The Glass Menagerie © Johan Persson.png
Cherry Jones & Michael Esper in the 2016 production of The Glass Menagerie © Johan Persson & Edinburgh International Festival

Another show which stays with me is John Tiffany’s Glass Menagerie designed by Bob Crowley. We had to cut two traps into the stage to accommodate access to the performance platforms located in the middle of a large pond of black liquid which reflected the performers, like water.

Then there’s The Bachae starring Alan Cumming and The Toad Knew directed and starring James Thiérrée, the grandson of Charlie Chaplin…there are really too many to mention here and we can’t wait until the King’s re-opens to welcome back many more amazing productions.

The Bachae © Edinburgh International Festival.png
Alan Cumming as Dionysus in the 2007 production of The Bacchae © Edinburgh International Festival

Considering the King’s is now well over 100 years old, and most of the tech equipment dated from the 1950’s, it is extraordinary that the theatre was still able to host such magical and memorable productions. It was certainly getting progressively harder to satisfy the requirements of national and international touring companies whose needs for a far less difficult load in as well as quick and simple scenic rigging systems, were beyond what the King’s Theatre could offer.

The King's redevelopment project will directly address these issues, bringing the theatre into the 21st Century by opening up ease of access opportunities in both the back and front of house. Thanks to this, the King's will reopen as a much more accessible place for companies and audiences alike. 

John Robb & Peter Stein (1).png
John Robb, pictured on the right, receiving instruction from Peter Stein

I am thrilled to be part of this project to ensure that the King’s upholds the role of a popular and important touring venue in Scotland, all the while maintaining her elegance and warmth.

To help us improve the stage house and ensure the King’s is a 21st century venue, please support the King’s Future.

Support the King's Future today

A contribution of any size will help save the King’s.