A long-established dance school was forced to turn its studios into a theatre after the closure of The Brunton.

For more than 50 years, Morag Alexander School of Dance has held its annual show at the theatre on Ladywell Way; it was the first show performed on the newly opened stage, in 1971.

The dance school, which is based on Bridge Street, has continued to perform every year, including during the Covid-19 pandemic, when the theatre recorded the dancers rather than have them perform before a live audience.

A spokesperson for the dance school said: “Pupils and teachers were truly devastated to hear the news of [The Brunton’s] sudden closure a few months ago.

“With multiple shows already booked to perform throughout the year, Loretto School stepped in to offer an alternative venue so these shows could go ahead as intended.”

However, the dance school was forced to locate another alternative venue for its shows when Loretto was no longer able to host them.

The spokesperson said: “After exhausting many possible options and at such short notice, the decision was made to convert [our] main studio into a theatre, equipping it with professional lighting, sound, curtains, wings and seating.

“As pupils had been working on their dances since February, the school felt they simply had to provide a stage for their performance in front of an audience, which proved to be the correct decision as the run of shows was a huge success.”

The musical theatre performers, aged five to 18, delighted the audience with a showcase of scenes from The Jungle Book, Matilda and Hamilton.

Pupils aged three to 18 then gave 12 performances in the space of six days, dancing to music from Harry Styles, Pinocchio and Oliver! in styles ranging from ballet to hip hop.

The spokesperson added: “Well done to all the performers for doing so amazingly well and for making themselves and their teachers proud.

“The school would like to thank the parents/guardians who have been so incredibly patient throughout the past few months; East Lothian Council, who were able to grant a temporary entertainment licence at short notice; and the Brunton Theatre for the hire of lights and some seats for the audience.”