Free Festival Venue Information for Performers

Laughing Horse @ Espionage (venue 185)

4 India Buildings, Entrances on Victoria Street/Cowgate - Click here for location Map

Venue & Performance Space Specifications

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Laughing Horse first managed Espionage in 2008, in what quickly become the flagship free venue of the entire Fringe - in it's first year it was recognised as one of the Fringe's best new venues by The List magazine, and has been called "The Free Fringe's own mega-venue". In it's unrivalled position right next door to the Underbelly, with esp1.jpg (46585 bytes)entrances on Victoria Street and Cowgate, this venue is always busy right through the day, and has been full to capacity in all rooms on many days during each Fringe! The venue is located a few seconds walk off of the top end of the area of the Royal Mile that is used for performances and flyering, which leaves shows at Espionage easy to promote and achieve full houses at Midday, 1am or or any time in between. Espionage was also the home to the first ever free show to be nominated for the  Edinburgh Comedy Awards (formerly the perrier Award) in 2010.

There are Five bars, across five floors, and four separate performance spaces. On the ground floor (which is also the top floor) is a lounge bar giving an area to relax between shows, and in 2010 a succesfull new performance space was added.  Beneath this on 'level -1' is a relaxing bar which doubles as the main information point for shows, with programmes and staff on hand to help people find the shows they want to see. On 'level -2' is the next  main performance space Kasbar, then on '-3' is performance space Pravda, and '-4' performance space Mata Hari; by this performance space is the entrance from Cowgate.

The venue is open daily from midday to 5am, with shows being performed from midday to around 1am, and after this is the free Festival nightclub, with free entry until 5am. All performance spaces benefit from a continuous supply of background music fed through each rooms sound system that can be used for music between shows, without having to supply CD's and the venue is fully air-conditioned.

Performance Space: Kasbar

Kasbar is a sumptuously decorated Moroccan themed room, with low 'cave' style ceilings and ideally atmospheric for performances.

Stage - A corner stage area on the flat, with audience on two sides. Around 6ft x 10ft maximum stage space. No wingspace. 

Seating - Capacity is 100 including standing round the bar, with seating for 45. This has been used each year for shows that sold out and good site lines can be achieved with audiences of up to 100 including standing room. 

Lighting - 1xFixed Par Can to Flood light the stage. Additional Lighting can be supplied by companies and fixed as required.

Sound - The room is supplied with an 4 channel mixer (2xXLR Mic, 4xphono/Jack and USB inputs ), 2xCD Players, 2xMicrophones and 2xmic stands, house music system for music between shows. 

Audio Visual - No AV equipment is available, but the room can be used with screens and projectors supplied by the performance group.

Storage - There is storage space at the venue for props and equipment, stored in a shared room with other groups, and a locked  office which valuable items can be stored in.

Bar - The bar in the room can be open or closed, or even used in performances such as the 2008 performance 'Shakers' where the production took place in and around the bar and whole room.

Performance Space: Pravda

Pravda is a Russian themed room, with low ceilings and arches, with a larger area suited to bigger comedy shows, music, cabaret or theatre pieces. 

Stage - A large stage area on the flat, with audience in front on the same level or slightly raised to the right. The standard stage area is 12ft x 6ft, and this can be made deeper by removing some rows of chairs.

There is a large backstage area (which can be accessed from stage or via the bar, and also a separate performers area for entrances through the audience, which is linked to the backstage area)  

Seating - Capacity is 100 with 80 people seated. 

Lighting - 1xFixed Par Can to Flood light the stage. Additional Lighting can be supplied by companies and fixed as required. Disco lighting is fitted and programmed, and this can also be used.

Sound - The room is supplied with a 6 channel mixer (2xXLR Mic, 4xphono/Jack), 2xCD Players, 1xDVD player, 2xMicrophones and 2xmic stands, house music system for music between shows. 

Audio Visual - There is a DVD AV system installed, with a large screen (made of 4x42" plasma screens) located on the wall behind the raised seating area.

Storage - There is storage space at the venue for props and equipment, stored in a shared room with other groups, and a locked  office which valuable items can be stored in.

Bar - There is no bar in performance space, but one is available on the same level in the area where audience wait for the next show. 

Performance Space: Mata Hari

accessible.gif (3336 bytes)Mata Hari  is another atmospheric space, with a spy/James Bond/Mata Hari theme - more low ceilings and arches - it is on the lowest level of the venue near the Cowgate entrance. This room can be accesed with no stairs and is fully accessible to wheelchairs from the Cowgate entrance. However there are no disabled toilet facilities in this venue. 

Stage - The stage area is on the flat, traverse style, with rows of seating on three sides. The standard stage area is 10ft x 5ft, and this can be made deeper by removing some chairs.  The DJ booth can be used as a small backstage area. 

Seating - Capacity is 75 with 55 people seated - more people can view the from the two arched entrances if desired (one entrances is usually curtained off). We have managed over 130 people in to see a show in this room - though that was a bit tight!. 

Lighting - 1xFixed Par Can to Flood light the stage. Additional Lighting can be supplied by companies and fixed as required. Disco lighting is fitted and programmed, and this can also be used.

Sound - The room is supplied with a 6 channel mixer (2xXLR Mic, 4xphono/Jack), 2xCD Players, 1xDVD player, 2xMicrophones and 2xmic stands, house music system for music between shows. 

Audio Visual - There is a DVD AV system installed, with a three 42" plasma screens, one on each side wall, and also one on the rear wall.

Storage - There is storage space at the venue for props and equipment, stored in a shared room with other groups, and a locked  office which valuable items can be stored in.

Bar - There is no bar in performance space, but one is available on the same level in the area where audience wait for the next show. 

Performance Space: The Lizard Lounge

The Lizard Lounge is at the back of the main bar of the venue as you enter off of Victoria street, and it is separated by a wall and a door installed for the Fringe.   

Stage - The stage area is on the flat, with fixed seating around the sides of the venue, with some small stools and tables.  The standard stage area is small, 6ft by 6ft and there is no backstage or wingspace.

Seating - Capacity is 40 with 35 people seated.

Lighting - 1xFixed Par Can to Flood light the stage. Additional Lighting can be supplied by companies and fixed as required. 

Sound - The room is supplied with a small   mixer (2xXLR Mic, 2xphono/Jack) and amplifier, with a CD Players and microphone/mic stand.  

 

Audio Visual - No AV equipment is available, but the room can be used with screens and projectors supplied by the performance group. Though bear in mind this is a small room.

Storage - There is storage space at the venue for props and equipment, stored in a shared room with other groups, and a locked  office which valuable items can be stored in.

Bar - There is no bar in performance space, but one is available on the same level just outside the room 

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Espionage Images:

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Advertsising on Victoria Street Over 250 people queuing up to get in to a show in Mata Hari

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Kasbar Kasbar
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Alan Carr in Kasbar Pravda
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Pravda Onstage in Pravda
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Outside the Main Entrance Onstage in Mata Hari and using Plasma Screen

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