Alpha Dance shows get go ahead after council oversight

Monday May 15th 2023


Some of Alpha Dance Academy's performers whose opening show was cancelled at the last minute.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Hundreds of young dancers were left devastated after the first of their summer shows were cancelled with just 14 hours notice.

Alpha Dance Academy was preparing to launch its annual showcase in Musselburgh at the weekend when they were told their venue did not have a licence.

Head of the academy Lorraine Frankitti said the news, which she received on Saturday night, left the school’s 220 dancers, staff and families ‘devastated’ as she described the reason behind it as ‘difficult to fathom’.

The academy has been regular performers at The Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh for more than 30 years – however East Lothian Council had to close the theatre earlier this year after discovering issues with the roof.

Since then The Brunton has been arranging alternative venues for booked acts and had moved the academy’s summer show Dance Across America to the town’s Loretto School theatre.

Lorraine said she received a call from The Brunton manager on Saturday night at 9pm to say the first shows, which were scheduled for 11am, 2pm and 6.30pm yesterday, would have to be cancelled because Loretto did not have a public entertainments licence.

The rest of the shows which were scheduled for this evening and tomorrow, were also facing cancellation but after Lorraine approached the council expressing the devastating impact of what appeared to be an oversight by its teams, a licence was issued to allow the two performances to go ahead.

Lorraine said: “We placed our trust entirely in the hands of The Brunton who took full responsibility for identifying the new location, ticketing and all associated logistical support.

“Whilst at a different location, this was nonetheless a Brunton Theatre performance.

“To find ourselves in a position, 14 hours before our first show, that it was to be cancelled due to a lack of appropriate licence is difficult to fathom.”

And she said: “We have a dedicated group of young dancers who have experienced the loss of many joyful opportunities over the past three years. The thought that yet another one may be lost due to an administrative error entirely outwith our control is devastating.”

A council spokesperson said: “The council’s licensing team worked to process an application for a temporary public entertainment licence as quickly as possible, including carrying out the necessary statutory consultations, and issued the licence on Monday morning.

“This enables performances on Monday and Tuesday evening to go ahead.

“Unfortunately, as it was necessary to have a public entertainment licence in place before performances went ahead, the Brunton reluctantly had to take the decision to cancel the weekend performances and has apologised to the dance academy for the inconvenience caused.

“The Brunton team continues to work hard to liaise with Loretto theatre and other partner venues to secure an alternative date for the cancelled shows so that they can be presented as soon as possible.”

For details of the remaining shows and any future dates go to

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