Assembly Release Full Plans for George Sq HubDate: 3 May 2011
Assembly Theatre, one of the Edinburgh Fringe's biggest venue operators, has confirmed plans to move from its long-standing home at the Assembly Rooms in the city's New Town to a new hub on the East side of George Square on Edinburgh's Southside.
As previously reported, Assembly have moved from their home of 30 years due to redevelopment of the Assembly Rooms by Edinburgh City Council. Venue boss William Burdett Coutts, who mounted an online petition and campaign against the plans with endorsement from a number of the venue's high profile alumni, has since said that the venue's move to Edinburgh University properties at George Square was "long-term".
Assembly's new base will comprise three Spiegeltents in George Square Gardens - the Bosco Tent with space for 180 audience members, the Dans Palais seating between 250 and 275 and the Teatro Spiegeltent with a capacity of 400.
Around George Square there will be four indoor venues: George Square Theatre (520), two theatres in the David Hume building and temporary theatre spaces numbered One (275), Two (160) and Three (122).
In addition Assembly Theatre will also continue to present work at Assembly Hall, the meeting place of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland at the top of the mound, which boasts three spaces.
Speaking about the venue's plans Burdett Coutts said: "After 30 years on the Fringe, Assembly is going through a massive re-invention brought about by the closure of the Assembly Rooms as a festival hub. The effect of this had been to threaten the future of the organisation, but we are delighted to say that thanks to the support of Edinburgh University and their belief in Assembly we are moving from George Street to George Square.
"In our new world we are creating a new festival hub around the gardens and spaces around the square, which will work in conjunction with the Assembly Hall. This is a massive challenge to the organisation but is founded on the ability of our great festival team to build something new."
George Square Gardens has played host to a number of Fringe venues, with Australian promoters The Famous Spiegeltent and Underbelly's Hullabaloo both occupying the site in recent years. George Square Theatre has previously been an Edinburgh base for musicals, operated as Musical Theatre at George Square by Chris Grady and last year by C venues as C plaza.