Student transforms parents' house into new Fringe venue

THE Fringe is no stranger to odd performance venues - but one young woman has found a place which will make audiences feel right at home.

Art student Hannah Reade, 22, is set to turn her parents' Pilrig Street house into an unofficial Fringe venue.

Luckily, they are fully supportive of the plan.

"I just told them I was doing it and that they'd have to get used to the idea," said Hannah, a former Leith Walk Primary and James Gillespie's pupil who is currently studying at Dartington College of Arts in Devon.

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"I held a small film festival in the house in October last year. There were about 40 people in my front room, but most of them were friends. Only one member of the public turned up."

Despite the poor public turnout, Hannah has used the event as a template to stage her own mini Fringe.

She is even turning the family's kitchen into a mini cafe with homemade soup, scones and jam on offer. Should the venue become too overcrowded, she is prepared to expand out into the garden.

The Living Room kicks off next Tuesday with an opening tea party, where guests are invited to turn up dressed as their favourite piece of furniture or kitchen utensil.

There then follows a night of Brazilian percussion, theatre and slideshows culminating in a performance arts piece and a musical rendition of old British folk songs. Highlights later in the week are set to include percussion, painting and yoga workshops, film presentations, theatre, spoken word performances and yet more partying.

Hannah's parents, Susie, 56, an occupational therapist and part-time student at Edinburgh College of Art, and Rufus, 58, a tour guide, are set to help out with the shows.

Hannah added: "Ultimately, I want people to get people together and become friends.

"All of the shows are free but we will be asking for donations which we will split between the performers and I'll also give a little bit to my parents to cover their expenses.

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"We've not spent a great deal of money putting these shows on. The biggest expense was when I told my dad we might have 40 people in the front room and he ran out to get more scatter cushions.

"There's room for another 20 people in the kitchen, which we're going to convert into a small cafe, and if it gets really busy we could probably find space for more in the garden.

"I've not really asked the neighbours what they make of it but there's nothing for them to worry about.

"It's going to be very gentle theatre. It's not like we're going to be partying for a week."

Most performances - staged between 2pm and 9pm - last up to an hour.

• The Living Room will be held at 40 Pilrig Street from August 17-20. For the full programme visit

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