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The show will go on thanks to one of Scotland’s oldest institutions

by Sarah Fairley

Friday, March 18th, 2016

Surgeons' Hall 1Cast and crew members of Scotland’s longest-running show have been given a new home after its 40-year run came to an end.

The team behind Scottish cabaret Jamie’s Scottish Evenings are enjoying a new lease of life thanks to the new Slàinte Scottish Experience at Surgeons’ Hall.

Now the dancers, pipers and musicians will be entertaining visitors from around the world in the spectacular setting of the historic Playfair Building, in one of Scotland’s oldest institutions.

Bill Barclay, who comperes the event, joked: “After a successful 40 year run we thought the Jamie’s Evenings were getting on a bit. But our new home has been around for more than 500 years, which makes us feel like spring chickens!”

Millions of visitors to Scotland have enjoyed the Jamies’ Evenings in the King James Thistle Hotel over the past four decades. However, the proud tradition came to an end because the hotel is due to be demolished as part of the redevelopment of St James’ Centre.

So, the team which runs the various buildings owned by the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSE) stepped in, relaunching the Scottish experience night in the spectacular setting of the Playfair Building.

Bill added: “Oh what a venue. I mean you just have to look around – it is incredible. The guests will have a great night here. The show has got everything in it including jokes, dancing, pipes, Scottish music, great fiddle playing and a lot of Scottish history.”

Scott Mitchell, Commercial Director at Surgeon’s Hall, said he was delighted the talented group of performers will continue to entertain guests across the globe – with the added bonus of being in one of Scotland’s finest venues.

Surgeons’ Hall expects to welcome around 16,000 visitors a year to the Slàinte Scottish Experience, which will run regularly from May to October, providing a taste of Scottish cuisine, history and culture.

It is the latest development of the RCSE Commercial Enterprises, which makes the most of the institution’s impressive buildings, to help safeguard the College’s globally important work.

Mr Mitchell added: “When we heard Jamie’s Evenings were coming to an end something clicked into place and we realised there was an important opportunity for the Royal College – and a fantastic service for visitors to the city.

“There is an undoubted demand because for 40 years visitors have been flocking to these evenings in a hotel function suite. Think how much more amazing that experience will be in the unparalleled setting of our Playfair Main Hall.”

Gordon Patullo, leader of the band for the Slàinte Scottish Experience and ex Jamie’s cast member is delighted to be given the chance to continue to provide top quality entertainment for guests.

He added: “I was involved in Jamie’s Scottish Evenings for a number of years, and I am greatly looking forward to being part of the Slàinte Scottish Experience. The cast is made up of fantastic entertainers with a wealth of experience who will ensure the guests have a brilliant time.

“The venue is phenomenal, tourists and visitors from around the world will definitely be excited by the building and we have made a few changes to the show to take it forward, which I know will keep them entertained.

“There are lots of different elements to the performance, but it’s always lively and entertaining. We are hoping that everyone will have a fantastic time and that there will be lots of smiles by the end of the night.”

The Royal College is one of the most august institutions in Scotland. It provides education and assessment for medical students, surgical trainees and consultants and supports research to advance standards of care for the future.  Surgeons trained and assessed through the College take their life-saving and life-changing skills all over the world.

The college’s Commercial Enterprises promotes, sells and manages all commercial activities held within the College Campus, which include the four-star, 77-bedroom hotel, Ten Hill Place. All profits support the charitable aims of the College which are education, assessment and advancement in surgery.

The nights will officially open to the public in May with tickets priced at £65 per person. This includes the show, dinner, a taste of whisky at the Address to the Haggis and unlimited wine, beer and soft drinks.


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Private: Sarah Fairley

Sarah Fairley delivers an impressively wide suite of digital services to clients of Holyrood PR, the leading public relations agency in Edinburgh. At every stage her focus is on making sure that content shared on blogs, YouTube and social media platforms like Twitter and LinkeIn delivers real business value to clients of the Scottish PR agency.

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