02/Sep/2014 - Last News Update: 14:06

The unusual venues of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Category: Scotland

Published: 7th Aug 2012 08:09:30

A working office, an allotment, a school, a cafe and on top of a Routemaster bus.

These are all venues at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

With more than 20,000 performers in town - traditional venue spaces are at a premium.

The solution for some acts has been to take their shows outside the four walls of conventional theatre - to keep costs down and to make sure they stand out.

However, there are also artistic merits to performing 'site specific' theatre.

Mark Fisher, author of the Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide, says it is all down to providing a unique experience for both performers and audiences.

He said: "In an era when we're surrounded by televisions and computers and computer games and very individualistic ways of entertainment - one of the things that theatre can do is bridge all of those walls that get erected by pre-recorded media."

Holly Rumble is performing her show One Minute Birdwatching in Princes Street Gardens - the public park in the shadow of Edinburgh castle.

Twice a day she will be joined by audience members to spot birds for 60 seconds. Whenever they see a bird, they shout its name if they know it, or 'bird' if they do not.

Ms Rumble said: "It's a very short audio survey of the birds that are in one particular site at one particular time.

"I have done recordings in the past where there has been one solitary bird for the whole minute but then everyone puts a lot of gusto into that one phrase, which is lovely."

The Hunt and Darton cafe is a pop-up cafe in the centre of Edinburgh. It looks and sounds like a normal cafe, but customers might get more than a cup of tea and a biscuit.

The cafe's creators - Jenny Hunt and Holly Darton - have made an interactive performance space and aim to blend live art with the everyday in this fully-functioning cafe.

Back to school is set in a community centre in Edinburgh. It aims to foster the nostalgia of school days - with the audience members acting as students and the cast taking them through lessons, assembly and even examinations.

The play's artistic director Clementine Wade said: "Back to school is about taking the audience and making them the stars of the show, bringing them back to school - whizzing them through seven years of education in an hour and a half."

This year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe guide is once again filled with these unusual venues - and many more.

Conventional theatre spaces are there too, but it is the quirky venues which catch the eye and have become synomous with that slightly elusive essence - the spirit of the Fringe.

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. The unusual venues of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe [Online] (Updated 7th Aug 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1444906/The-unusual-venues-of-the-Edinburgh-Festival-Fringe [Accessed 2nd Sep 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Donegal to get first Shannon lifeboat in Ireland

    The Royal National Lifeboat Institution in Ireland is to get its first Shannon class boat.
  • Reece Shearsmith: A man of many faces

    Actor Reece Shearsmith takes the lead role in the new four-part ITV drama Chasing Shadows - set in a missing persons field unit that hunts serial killers who prey on the vulnerable.
  • Reece Shearsmith: A man of many faces

    Actor Reece Shearsmith takes the lead role in the new four-part ITV drama Chasing Shadows - set in a missing persons field unit that hunts serial killers who prey on the vulnerable.
  • Ebola outbreak: West Africa food harvests 'at risk'

    The Ebola outbreak is putting food harvests in West Africa "at serious risk", the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warns.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Scylla reef wreck warning after corrosion and storm damage

    Divers have been told not to enter a former warship scuttled off Cornwall and Devon because it has become "simply too dangerous", site managers say.