New Meccano-style venue created for Edinburgh Fringe

The new pop-up Fringe venue will be unveiled at the Pleasance this summer.
The new pop-up Fringe venue will be unveiled at the Pleasance this summer.
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A new “flat-pack” pop-up theatre venue is to make its debut at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer.

A new “flat-pack” pop-up theatre venue is to make its debut at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer.

The Pleasance Theatre Trust has bought the new “Meccano-style” venue for its main courtyard site in the south side of the city.

It has joined forces with a leading theatre design firm, Triple E, to create the bespoke new venue, Project 33.

It will host up to eight shows a day in Edinburgh in August after being showcased for the first time at the Association of British Theatre Technicians trade fair in June.

The venue, which will be built up to a height of 14 ft, will also be used as a new rehearsal and performance space by the Pleasance at its base in London.

The new Pleasance venue has been announced 11 years after another promoter, Underbelly, created a venue shaped like an upside-down purple cow for the Fringe. It has returned every year since and has also hosted shows for Underbelly in London and Hong Kong.

Anthony Alderson, director of the Pleasance Theatre Trust, said: “For 33 years, we’ve crammed the most fun we could find into the maximum number of spaces.

“This year we’ve taken a plunge and invested in a brand new, state of the art modular theatre designed specifically for the courtyard venue and which we think provides really exciting opportunities for the work of the Pleasance Theatre Trust both in Edinburgh in August and in other places throughout the year.

“Eight shows each and every day will have a bigger and better space than we could previously offer them, and audiences will have a chance to experience not only the bright minds on stage but the bright minds that conjured up this modular theatre.

“The design and its possibilities are very exciting and will give us opportunities to expand our thinking for the venue and for the Pleasance generally.”

David Edelstein, managing director at Triple E, said: “The history of the Pleasance is all about making the most out of found spaces and exploiting available sites for performance with the tightest of budgets.

“The Pleasance has never commissioned a bespoke venue before, but Anthony Alderson was immediately enthusiastic when I explained Project 33, which we will build and hand over at the ABTT show.”