Who are we?
Established in 1995, theSpaceUK specialise in producing live performance. Our theatres have become widely recognised as the home of award-winning theatre and new work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. We host the largest and most diverse programme at the Festival, offering an array of new writing, theatre, dance, music, children’s and family shows, comedy, drama, sketch, cabaret, opera, a capella, exhibitions, events and stand-up comedy shows. Our passion is relentless and our expertise extensive as we offer the Festival's most progressive and original platform.
theSpaceUK rightly won our venue award of 2019, down to its variety of work and all round passion for diversity. More than just LGBTQ+ it hosted shows tackling racism, disabilities and more. It was open, fresh and at times, a tough medicine but exactly what was needed. No area of theatre was off limits and all ceilings were broken. theSpaceUK has leaped forward and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Taylor Crockett, Managing Editor, ScotsGay Magazine
Our Fringe programme
Our focus is on programming a wide range of performance genre. We support established theatre as well as seeking out and giving new and developing work an opportunity to blossom on the Edinburgh stage. We have a strong belief in the ethic of the Fringe as a platform for the unknown artiste and focus very much on advising, promoting and developing the acts that perform with us. The awards won over the years at our venues - many by unknown or new acts - reflect this pedigree. But you don’t have to be told you're the best or brightest to simply get it on and see where it goes on the Fringe… quite often that journey surprises many! And our role is to give all that opportunity to simply find out!
We have 24 years experience of running venues in Edinburgh and our continued approach is to offer the most suitable environments for companies to present their work. We offer an unparalleled level of support, both technically and personally, and are focused on the development of the companies we work with. This is illustrated by the sheer number of companies who return to work with us year after year and by those who have progressed to become notable professionals across the performing arts industry worldwide.
Your First Fringe?
Relax, you are in the right place! Crucial to our success has been the nurturing and time we spend working with new companies to the Fringe. We have a hugely established platform for bringing new work to the festival. We understand the vulnerability of the first time show and have vast experience in giving you the best possible platform. Our testimonials are a testament to the level of support we give to our shows, so don't worry if you are a little worried about bringing your show to Edinburgh, we will hold your hand through the process - from first phone call to the Edinburgh stage.
Our approach is to offer the most suitable environments for companies to present their work. We don’t put theatres in dusty halls on anonymous side streets or venues in buildings that have creative restrictions or unreasonable limitations on what audiences can and can’t do. We give performing companies an affordable, safe and totally professional platform to showcase their work. And, for their audiences, we create a polished environment with easy access to bars and restaurants that complement their experience.
We use an array of fabulous buildings in Edinburgh and are complemented by our companies, the media and our audiences on our ability to create wonderfully welcoming and comfortable venues for all.
From our beautiful and historical theSpace @ Venue 45 buried in the side of the Royal Mile to the incredibly smart 8 performance spaces at our hub at theSpace @ Surgeons Hall known as THE destination venue at the modern Fringe to our quite unrivalled venues on the Royal Mile, Niddry St and North Bridge which offer 5 star air-conditioned comfort and the very best locations in town - far from the typical Fringe venue where restrictions on creativity are abound and audience comfort far from a priority.
We give performing companies an affordable, safe and totally professional platform to showcase their work. And, for their audiences, we create a polished 'sense of occasion' environment with easy access to smart bars and restaurants that simply compliment their fringe experience.
We offer companies unrivalled locations right at the centre of the Fringe, with all our theatres located on busy fringe thoroughfares for audiences. With some 11 theatres on or adjacent to the heart of the Fringe on the Royal Mile and 7 more spaces at our fabulous hub at theSpace @ Surgeons Hall. We boast 8 box offices, all located centrally where thousands of theatregoers gather daily. Show posters, flyers and tickets are available in all these locations and with some 150,000 audience members passing through our box offices each August we simply offer unparalleled access to Fringe audiences. Added to this, our unrivalled branding and marketing presence across the city gives our venues and our companies optimum visibility.
The Edinburgh Fringe is not just about awards and reviews. It’s primarily a platform for performers, producers, directors, technicians, set designers, stage managers and more to gain invaluable experience in working in the dynamic environment of a daily working theatre. Our ongoing relationships with Performance Arts departments in schools and universities from across the globe (many of whom return year after year) is a testament to our commitment to work closely with developing and progressive young artists. We are hugely proud to be the only venue to have hosted a 'school' winner of the converted 'Fringe First Award' in the 70-year history of the Festival. (Mulberry School for the 'Unravelling', 2009)
We are very passionate about promoting the very essence of the Festival as a platform for developing art. We take great pride in our technical know-how and theatre design, something many of our companies have been very complimentary about – see what some of them had to say. On a logistical front, we generally offer straight hire rentals – we feel this gives the company clarity in its budget and in essence when a show sells well the company or talent receive the benefits – not the venue! These are also ‘All Inclusive’ – which basically means the fee we quote covers everything – oh and we do not charge extra for inclusion in the venue brochure/website!
The strength of our platform has been driven over the years by those who come and perform under our banner, many have progressed to become leaders in their own fields and on a global level. Similarly, those who set-up a church hall way back in 1995 to host a handful of shows had little idea where the journey would take them. A strong element of under/postgraduate students from Bristol University / Old Vic Bristol became the basis for where theSpaceUK is today. All are uniquely passionate that the Fringe as a platform for all and are equally driven by an intention to give every level of talent a platform to showcase work to the best of their ability.