Eden Court Theatre is a real gem of a theatre and is only a stone’s throw away from here. As an all in one venue serving not only Inverness but the whole of the Highlands, it’s a community theatre, arts centre and cinema. With it’s striking modern building situated on the banks of the River Ness, people come from far and wide to see a huge range of shows, from comedy to drama to music and dance.
It originally opened in 1976, with an 80-foot wide stage with a motorised centre which can be adapted for different performances or moved back to reveal an orchestra pit for 60 musicians. The horseshoe shaped auditorium comfortably seats 830 or for smaller scale performances, with the upper tiers dark, it has the feel of a more intimate theatre. The theatre is sited in the grounds of what had been the official residence of the Bishops of Moray. Built in the nineteenth century for Bishop Robert Eden, the house was incorporated into the new arts centre.By the turn of the century it was apparent that the existing buildings were no longer adequate. Eden Court was successfully attracting visitors from all over the region not just to watch but also to take part in community events and the arts education activities on offer. Following a major appeal and two years of closure Eden Court reopened in November 2007 as the one of the best equipped arts centres in the country. The Victorian Bishop’s Palace and 1976 theatre, both Grade A Listed, were retained and two new extensions added providing a second theatre, two new cinemas, two dance and drama studios and three floors of purpose built dressing rooms, into what is now the biggest arts centre in Scotland.
Whatever your taste in arts, you’ll find something of interest at Eden Court Theatre. In the last few years I’ve enjoyed the ballet, cinema, concerts and comedy acts. In one year I managed to see performances by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Proclaimers, Michael Macintyre and a number of great films. It’s also a great spot for meeting people, with a comfortable cafe overlooking the riverside open all day.