GRAHAM SUTHERLAND: Historic Areas, a photographic tour with Mike Hume

If you've been by the Citizens Theatre building recently at 119 Gorbals Street, you may have noticed that demolition work is well underway as part of the theatre’s redevelopment.

Graham Sutherland, our Head of Production continues his blog cataloguing the project. Here’s he takes a look at our Victorian theatre machinery with Mike Hume:

Auditorium gallery from back
(Photograph – Mike Hume –

Just before Christmas, we had a visit from Mike Hume, a Scottish ex-pat now based in Los Angeles, who has a wealth of experience in architectural photography of historic theatres around the world (for more information and some amazing photographs see his website at

He has taken some beautiful photos of the bare auditorium, stage machinery and the paint frame before any of the major interventions happen in these spaces. These are magical spaces at the heart of the Citizens Theatre that we want to preserve the look and feel of as much as possible, whilst allowing vital work to be carried out that makes the building fit for the future.

These photographs show the auditorium still largely untouched except for the seating that has been removed. He also got in to capture some of the more inaccessible spaces that the public rarely gets to see.

Mike Hume's architectural photography of the Citizens Theatre

Work on these historic areas of the building will start over the next couple of months, beginning with the temporary propping of the paint frame to allow for the demolition of the adjacent derelict building, then on to piling for the new fly-tower in the basement of the stage-house (both challenging and complex pieces of work that I will cover in future posts).

Mike will be back later in the project to take some more photographs of the work in progress. I can’t wait to see what images he manages to capture next time!

Written by Graham Sutherland for, 19 February 2020. Graham will be continuing to blog about the project in the coming months. 

The Citizens Theatre building is undergoing the first major redevelopment in its 140-year history. The newly redeveloped theatre will restore a historic part of Glasgow’s cultural heritage, enable us to engage more people in our Learning programme, and host a bigger and better programme of productions. For the first time, we’ll be able to welcome everyone to take part in the creative life of our theatre.

We need your help to ensure that the redevelopment is delivered on time, and that we can once again re-open the doors of the Citizens Theatre. You can donate online and are hugely grateful for all donations towards this project.