There are over 16,000 performers and nearly 1,799 shows during August 2005,
with 650 in the theatre section alone so variety can be guaranteed. The
ever growing number of fringe venues can seem a daunting prospect - never
fear! Though the Fringe Programme isn't as helpful as it used to be. There
are nearly 300 listed locations but it's no longer possible to look under
the venue section and see what is on at each one. It may save paper but
it makes planning your festival going much harder. Removing the venue
number from the individual shows' entries is another innovation I wish
they hadn't introduced, I frequently have to help people find venues which
have several possible names but they all only have one venue number. Is
there a plan to confuse the punter or are they just unable to see it from
the new Fringe goers point of view?
Most Fringe venues are temporary theatres so make sure you bring your
own Fringe adaptable spirit. It's a good idea to see a number of shows
in the one venue if you are short of time, travelling through festival
crowds from venue to venue can eat up valuable seeing and hearing time.
Disabled festival theatre goers will still need to check if they can get
into the performaces spaces though I have noted here these venues accessibilities
- temporary theatres can have stairs with no lifts, though venue staff
may be able to assist if alerted. And there is one production you can
have in your own home, Homemade - Signal to Noise (costs from £80)
18 - 28 Aug, phone 07914 629 851 to arrange.
Here is a list of some of the noteable fringe 2005 venues based on the
acts they will be showing and information on their accessibilty.
For Variety Venues with a strong mix across
Assembly Rooms (venue 3)
54 George Street. 0131 226 2428.
Quality shows with some of the highest profile performers this festival.
Not the cheapest tickets but you can expect to get your money’s worth
– memorable performances with good seating, and a variety of stages. All
Assembly venues box offices sell tickets for the Pleasance venues as well
as their own shows. Most spaces are wheelchair accessible. Check programme
or phone for details. This venue also runs Assembly at St George's
West (venue 157) Shandwick Place, disabled access Stafford
St, and the new venue Assembly at Assembly Hall, (venue 35)
at Mound Place wheelchair acessible via Lawnmarket.
The Big Top at The Out Of
The Blue Tramworks Shrub Place, Leith Walk. 0870 126 1771.
A new venue in a big top run by the Out of the Blue, Bongo Club will host
circus and physical theatre. Not far front the Pend. Bar and fully accessible.
C Venues - C (venue
34) Chambers Street, C Too (venue 4) St Columba’s by the Castle
on Johnston Terrace, C central (venue 54) Carlton Hotel on North
Bridge and C Electric (formerly the Odeon) on Clerk St, C Electric
will be housing all C O2 (or C Oxygen) (venue 202) shows. 0870 701
There are four C venues this year, It would have been five but they lost
one in July so all C o2 (or C Oxygen) (venue 202) shows will be at C Electric
at the same times as they are in the Fringe programme. With children’s
shows, music, comedy and theatre, it’s a must for festival goers. If you
get confused and wind up at the wrong one – don’t panic! All have high
standard shows from up-and-coming performers. But just to be clear, keep
record of the above information as some are 10 minutes walk way. All have
licensed bars/ café’s. C is the only venue full acessible though advance
notice apperciated, for all other C venues wheelchair users should phone
prior to visit as access can be difficult to some spaces or areas.
Gilded Balloon at Teviot (venue
14) Bristo Square. 0131 668 1633.
Without out a doubt, the Teviot has a wealthy offering this fringe. With
seven performance spaces, public, private and outdoor bars, as well as
cafés and restaurants, it is almost a festival unto itself! Not to be
missed! Most venues fully accessible, call for details, has disabled rest
Pend Fringe (venue 7)
Gateway Theatre, Elm Row. 0131 317 3939.
Host to some of the best international student theatre, this is one to
watch if you are interested in checking out hot new talent. Though it's
off the main drag you'll also find out about Scottish Theatre from the
Resource Centre based in the courtyard. Both are near the new
venue The Big Top at The Out Of The Blue Tramworks.There is also a small
café. Wheelchair accessible,
(venue 33) 60 The Pleasance, Pleasance
Dome (venue 23)1 Bristo Square. 0131 556 6550.
These bustling venues have some of the fringe’s brightest stars and funniest
shows. There are many great performance spaces each overflowing with all
kinds of entertainment. Food and drink are served all day. They sell tickets
for Assembly and Underbelly as well as their own. The Dome is fully accessible,
the Courtyard is disabled friendly staff are willing to help but ask that
enquiries 0131 556 1513 be made before booking.
Roxy Art House (venue
115) 2 Roxburgh Pl. 0871 750 0077.
In what was Pleasance over the road, this year round venue brings performers
from extraordinary places with striking shows and local artists to make
a mix which feels creative! Good for music too. A bar/cafe with good food.
Well worth a visit. Disabled toilets, Wheelchair access to main hall only.
(venue 20) 34 Hamilton Place 0131 226 5425.
Degenerate 3, Scotland's only International Disability Festival is based
here with film, book and music events as well as theatre. Cafe and bar.
Traverse Theatre (venue
15) Cambridge Street off Lothian Road. 0131 228 1404.
Dedicated to new writing, this theatre offers top-notch shows from around
the world. Food and drink are served throughout the day in the very busy
Traverse bar where Fringe goers, some famous faces among them gather.
They have 3 other venues each with one show in them. Main Traverse building
61) Cowgate, entrances on Cowgate and Victoria Street and
Baby Belly (venue 88) The Caves South Niddry Street off Cowgate.0870
With an exhilarating atmosphere and a powerful programme, make sure you
visit the Underbelly at least once this festival. It has a rainbow
of performances and boasts the best music in the fringe. There are four
licensed bars that are open late and a café with food available. There
may be difficulties with wheelchair users, but guide dogs are welcome.
Help is available, please phone 0131 622 6566 in advance. Baby
Belly situated deep underground Edinburgh’s Old Town, these medieval
grottos have a spooky atmosphere. If you like diverse performances and
ambience all three have an interesting selection to choose from. Cave
II has no wheelchair access, whilst Caves I & III have a 5yrd ramp and
a couple of steps.
Top Specialist Dance and Physical Theatre Venues.
Aurora Nova at St Stephen's
(venue 8) Big church at end of St Stephen's St. 0131 558 3853.
The main venue for physical theatre with a cafe unfortunately can be hard
for disabled to access (lots of stairs) call 0131 558 3468 to see if they
can help, they's like to.
Dance Base (venue 22)
14 - 16 Grassmarket and Dance
Base at Fan Attic (venue 232) 0131 225 5525.
An inspiring new building which is Scotland's National Centre For Dance
and the new venue Fan Attic promises a cabaret setting.
(Venue 81) Citrus Club, Grindlay Street. 07708 280 016.
This is small venue which contains a real international flavour and can
have some must-see shows, this year they have moved along Grindlay St
from their pervious base. Good disabled access.
Top Specialist Music Venues - Some are in striking
buildings and some of these also have shows in other sections.
Acoustic Music Centre
(Venue 123) St Brides Orwell Place. 0131 346 1405.
Sixty concerts a mix of mainly Scottish with International at this full
acessible, converted church venue. Snacks and bar.
The Bongo Club (venue
143) 37 Holyrood Rd. 0131 557 2827.
The Bongo Club moved to its new year-round home in 2004. This cosy little
venue has an interesting line-up throughout the festival. With a broad
range of shows and a few special guest appearances, it’s one to start
booking tickets for. Cafe/bar. Wheelchair accessible for main performance
Queens Hall (Venue 72)
Clerk Street. ) 0131 668 2019.
Mix of music, theatre and comedy in this converted church venue which
has cafe and bar. Fully accessible.
Reid Hall (Venue 201) Reid
Quad, Bristo Square 0131 662 8740.
A mix of folk, roots and classical music in this C19 concert hall. Bar.
St Andrew's And St
George's (Venue 111) 13 George St. 0131 225 3847.
A wide variety of concerts in the evening and afternoon in this C18 Church.Tea/coffee
and snacks at time of performance. Accessible.
T on The Fringe venues
include Liquid Rooms (venue 173), Edinburgh Corn Exchange (Venue 244)
(both accessible), Cabaret Voltaire (venue 139) (some accessibility).
Top Specialist Comedy Venues. These venues
not so easy for disabled but there is lots of comedy at the big more accessible
venues too, .
Edinburgh Comedy Room (Venue 9) The Tron, Hunter Square 0131 226 0000.
Specialises in stand-up with a bar, listed building and two flights of
stairs so restricted access.
The Stand Comedy Club (Venue 5) York Place and The Stand Comedy Club II
© Thelma Good July 2005 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com