Founded in 1995 as ‘Venue 45’, theSpaceUK or as commonly known these days as theSpace Venues has developed into one of the festivals most popular independent theatre producers. We now produce the largest and most diverse programme on the fringe and are very proud to produce and work with an array of award winning shows year on year.
Some examples include Elsa Mctaggart (Three Weeks Editors Award 2012) Playpen Productions for ‘Picture House’ (Daily Mail Drama Award to encourage and reward new acting talent 2012) Blueswater for ‘Blues!’ (Spirit of the Fringe Award 2012) Creatures (Three Weeks Editors Award 2011) Bareback Productions for ‘Bare’ (Scotsman Fringe First 2010) Mulberry School for ‘The Unravelling’ (Scotsman Fringe First 2009) making them the only school ever to win a Scotsman Fringe First. Fiddy West Theatre for ‘Territory’ (NSDF awards for best emerging show and best ensemble 2009, 2010) Little Bulb TC for ‘Crocosmia’ (Scotsman Fringe First 2008) and Z Theatre for ‘Ofsted the Musical’ The Guild of Great Britain Award for New Writing in 2004
A decade at theSpace:
Fourth Monkey, the London production house returned with more sell out shows, 4.48 Psychosis and The Elephant Man were the pick of the six they showcased, in fact we hosted 178 sell out shows in 2012, that’s up 23% on 2011. Congratulations to ‘Elsa Mctaggart’ who won the prestigious Three Week Editors Award, to ‘Picture House’ for winning the Daily Mail Edinburgh Festival Fringe Drama Award to encourage and reward new acting talent’ and ‘Blues!’ for winning the very popular Mervyn Stutter award ‘Spirit of the Fringe’. We were also very proud to host 178 sell out shows in 2012, up some 18% on 2011.
We welcomed more expansion in 2011 with the launch of our new venue at ‘theSpace on North Bridge’ and ‘SpaceCabaret’. Shows with Lorraine Chase, Kev Orkian, Sharron Matthews, Phil Hammond, The Boy with Tape on his face, Charlie Chuck and Helen Lederer made it a year to remember for SpaceCabaret. Our theatre programme continued to flourish with record audiences. Many congratulations to our award winning and nominated shows, 17 of the 30 shows nominated for the National Student Drama Awards performed at a Space Venue.
2010 saw 2 new theatres added to our portfolio, theSpace on Niddry (V9) and theSpace @ Symposium Hall (V43). Niddry was a huge success with a ‘sold out’ run for hit show ‘The Clockwork Orange’ and physical theatre show ‘BARE’ winning the prestigious Scotsman Fringe First Award. They were also shortlisted by ‘The Stage’ for ‘best actor’ and picked up various on-line awards for best ensemble. ‘Creatures (theSpace @ Jury’s Inn) by Susan Harrison won the ‘Three Weeks’ Editors Award, praised for her razor sharp wit and apt social observation the show was called “smart and original absurdist comedy” by the judging panel.
We launched our new multi-space venue at theSpace @ Surgeons Hall,
the venue made a huge impact hosting a diverse programe of multi genre performance. Fiddy West Productions (Territory) made a clean sweep on the Award front winning both the National Student Fringe Drama Awards for Emerging Artistes, Best Actor and Best Ensemble.
‘Gritty and powerful… from one so young this is frighteningly accomplished.’ (Matt Brereton, The Scotsman)
Our new venues at theSpace on the Mile celebrated in style with Little Bulb Theatre Company and their show Crocosmia winning not only a prestigious Scotsman Fringe First Award (this award recognises outstanding new writing), but they also won The Total Theatre Award for Best New Graduate Company.
Mendhi Nights won critical acclaim, gaining full feature coverage from the English nationals and several 4/5 star reviews. Sell out shows included 45 Minutes (5 Stars), Asbo! the Musical (Z Theatre) and Black Comedy by Peter Schaffer. The Selfish Crocodile (5 Stars) sold out 18 of it’s 23 shows in the theatre performing in front of nearly 2000 audience members during it’s Edinburgh run.
Another year of sell out shows and award nominations, many congratulations to Tale on Fire Theatre Company who’s show ‘Sing a Song of Blackbirds’ was nominated for the Best Ensemble, The Stage Awards for Acting Excellence. Award winning Z theatre company again brought their mixture of new writing and musical collaborations – notably ‘JFK the Musical’ This was our first year at theSpace @ Jury’s Inn, healthy audiences and solid reviews made for a good first year in our development space.
A BBC online daily diary brought the media spot-light to our venues. Troika’s performance of ‘Edith Piaf’ led the way, a huge success gaining 4/5 star reviews from both the local press and national broadsheets.Blunderbus Theatre Company returned to Venue 45 with a version of the children’s show ‘Elmer the Elephant’. The 23 show run sold out.
Winners of Great Britain New Writing Award – Several shows received 4/5 star reviews from the Scotsman Newspaper, as well as critical acclaim from The BBC, The Guardian, Metro, Three Weeks and Fest Online. One in particular, ‘Ofsted the Musical!’ performed by Z theatre company and written by 20 year old student David Byrne, was awarded The Writers Guild of Great Britain Award for a New Writing. The show, a total sell out, helped make this the most successful year yet at Venue 45.