Leading Edinburgh Fringe operator C Venues is to take over the central India Buildings, just off the Royal Mile, for this year’s festival.
The new venue, to be known as C Nova, will be a replacement for C SoCo, the fire-damaged site which the operator had run for the last five years. It will provide a hub with performance spaces, bars, restaurants, and a press and performer lounge.
Artistic director Hartley Kemp told The Stage: “We like to find buildings that are crying out to be used for arts purposes and use them for the festival. There is a joy in being able to create a home for the kind of exciting work we have been able to programme at the festival in the last few years.”
Companies programmed into the new venue include the Flanagan Collective’s Little Festival of Everything in its own, dedicated studio. Belt Up Theatre has an adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess, as well as the return of The Boy James and Outland. Australian company MKA will perform its response to the 2011 Norway attacks – The Economist.
C Nova’s performance spaces include a subterranean vaulted stone studio, two black-box studios and a high-ceilinged, wood-panelled cabaret bar. Two floors will be dedicated to site-specific and immersive shows, with spaces throughout the building for art displays, one-off performances and site-specific events.
India Buildings is on Victoria Street in Edinburgh’s Old Town and although parts have been used as a fringe venue in recent years, this is the first time the whole complex, including the old central register offices and a language school, has been made available as a venue.
Joss Brushfield, director of West Register which owns the buildings said: “West Register is delighted to support the Edinburgh festival through the use of India Buildings as a venue while we work with CEC on regeneration plans including the development of a new hotel and their refurbishment of the Central Library.”
C Venues will retain its venues at C Central at Adam House on Chambers Street, C Too at St Columba’s by the Castle and C Aquila at the Roman Eagle Lodge. It will also continue to develop its operation at C ECA at the Edinburgh College of Art.