Recycled pop-up venue to be created for Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019

A pop-up venue made entirely of recycled materials is to be created for this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The first ever venture of its type, the 30-capacity venue will be part of a programme staged by the Pleasance, one of the event’s biggest promoters and producers of shows.

The “Greenhouse” will be operated in the grounds of Dynamic Earth, the visitor attraction near the Scottish Parliament building.

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The “immersive” venue is being specially designed, developed and programmed for the Pleasance by a St Andrews-based theatre company, Boxedin, in response to the amount of waste generated at the Fringe each year.

Greenhouse is a new eco venue
Greenhouse is a new eco venue

It will feature a line-up of nine shows each day addressing some of the biggest issues facing the planet, as well as an education programme of talks and workshops “centred around our relationship with the environment”.

All sets, props and the structure of the venue will be built in the grounds of Dynamic Earth from found and recycled materials. The pop-up venue has banned the use of posters and flyers to publicise its shows, with digital marketing campaigners being relied on to attract audiences.

All the materials used to create it expected to be recycled or donated to artists after the Fringe comes to a close.

Highlights of the Greenhouse line-up include From the Wind Show, which will tackling Scotland’s relationship with renewable energy, and Daphne or Hellfire, and an “eco-feminist drama” exploring trees, family and female liberation.

Dynamic Earth

Shallows promises to tackle the rise of eco-terrorism, Symbiosis will feature five storytellers opening a treasure chest of tales that the audience will choose from and The Voices We Hear will be set in the aftermath of an environmental apocalypse.

Boxedin artistic director Oli Savage said: “I’ve been coming to the Fringe for many years and absolutely love it.

“But it was only when the company put on a couple of shows last year that I really noticed how much waste was generated by it. I’m sure there was paper recycling around the Royal Mile, but as a participant I just didn’t notice it.

“A lot of way we interact with our audience is through digital and social media. It is a bit strange how the world of theatre does marketing through posters and flyers. That doesn’t just apply to the Fringe.

“We thought it would be really cool to demonstrate that you could make really great theatre in a way that doesn’t harm the environment, and also possibly has a positive impact on the environment.

“We went away and decided to create The Greenhouse for this year’s Fringe, but would hope to take it to other festivals and events.”

Anthony Alderson, artistic director at the Pleasance, said: “We are delighted to be presenting The Greenhouse as part of our Fringe programme. It represents a microcosm of the festival and sets a challenge and an example for us all to strive towards – an environmentally neutral venue with minimal impact.

“The Pleasance takes reducing its environmental footprint extremely seriously and, along with our bar and catering partners at the Edinburgh University Students Association, constantly making changes to our operation to reduce our environmental impact.”