Theatre in Wales

The latest theatre, dance and performance news

A UFO in Leith Walk? Someone must be clowning around..     

A BIG top shaped like a flying saucer is to materialise in Leith Walk for this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, it emerged today.

The 11-metre tall silver structure, which boasts pink walls and blue lighting effects, is expected to stun onlookers when it descends on a former tram and bus depot this August.

A spectacular circus troupe from Wales, who travel the country with the venue, will be coming to Edinburgh to perform in the dramatic tent, which will be erected at Shrub Place next to the city council’s social work headquarters.

The tent is being brought to the city by Out Of The Blue (OOTB), the acclaimed arts organisation which has taken over the nearby former drill hall at Dalmeny Street.

It emerged earlier this year that the Victorian building is to play host to a major Edinburgh International Festival production, NutsCoconuts, a hit show from Spain which is being tipped to be one of the hottest tickets in the city this August.

OOTB, which is also behind the long-running Bongo Club venue in the city centre, has also lined up a leading physical theatre group from India to perform in the big top, which has also been compared to a giant jellyfish. Spokeswoman Dana Macleod said: "Our exciting new venture is going to transform the former tram and bus depot on Leith Shrub Place into a cutting-edge venue for this year’s Fringe.

"Its giant saucer-style design, pink walls and blue lighting effects will transform Leith Walk into a sci-fi spectacular and ensure its status as a Festival hotspot this year."

The venue - known simply as The Space Ship - will be heading to Edinburgh with the No Fit State Circus, via major festivals in Bradford, Bath and Cambridge, as well as a string of leading events in Wales.

Marketing manager Stephan Stockton said: "Although our circus company has been to the Fringe before this is the first time The Space Ship has been anywhere in Scotland and we’re really excited about it.

"It creates a stir everywhere it goes, especially if it’s anywhere near a residential area or a lot of traffic, and we’ve had people phoning the police after seeing it to report a UFO landing.

"It’s not a conventional circus tent as the audience aren’t seated and they actually get to follow the action around as it happens."

The site where The Space Ship is due to land in August has been lying vacant for more than five years but is due to be transformed into a £35 million development featuring more than 300 homes, two public squares, a row of shops and new offices.

BL Developments - the company behind the scheme - is also in talks with the council to buy the site of Shrubhill House, its social work department building, so it can be incorporated into the project.

Phil Myerscough, director of BL, said: "We were introduced to Out Of The Blue by the local residents’ association, and were very excited by this proposal for the site. It’s right on the main road, so it should make quite an impact, and it’ll certainly breathe life into what has been a real eyesore for local people for some time."
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Thursday, June 09, 2005back



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