Mark Bogod gives us his pick of the Fringe’s diverse venues; taking in ghosts and football stadiums along the way.
This tiny theatre just off the Royal Mile is notable for being the oldest student-run theatre in Britain (since 1980). Situated in a converted Victorian church, the theatre is named after Edinburgh’s first mental health hospital nearby. During the fringe, students relinquish their control and the theatre becomes venue 49 – although the Improverts, the university improv group still perform nightly and are the Fringe’s longest running improvisation show.
Royal Lyceum Theatre
A wonderfully ornate proscenium arch theatre, the Royal Lyceum was designed C.J Phillips, who designed over 40 British theatres in his time, in the 1880s. In the 1960s, it played host to one of the festival’s most iconic productions, Beyond the Fringe. It is also said to be haunted by Ellen Terry, the leading Shakesperean actress of the late Victorian age, who appeared in the Lyceum’s first show, Much Ado About Nothing.
Easter Road Football Stadium
This football ground in Leith has been home to Hibernian FC since 1893 (the first match being a friendly against Clyde). It forms one of the most unusual venues of this year’s Fringe, playing host to A Field of Our Own, a play which recounts the founding of the football club by Irish immigrants in 1875.
The Kirk of Canongate at the eastern end of the Royal Mile is of historical interest for a number of reasons. Built at the end of the 17th century with a distinctive Dutch-style gable at the front, it is the parish church of the Scottish Parliament, Holyrood House and Edinburgh Castle, and the economist Adam Smith is buried there. It was also where Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall got married five years ago. A variety of baroque and folk concerts are set to take place at the Kirk during this year’s festival
Scottish National Gallery
This enormous neo-classical building in the heart of the city had its foundation stone laid by Prince Albert in 1850 and houses works by El Greco, Botticelli, Monet among countless other paintings within the Scottish national collection of art. Aside from its temporary exhibitions, the museum will play its part in the Fringe by playing host to Phil Jupitus, who everyday will be sketching a work of art (there or at one of the other big Edinburgh museums) on his ipad in front of anyone who wants to come along!