Bedlam memories wanted

Jan 11 2016 | By More

Academic seeks info on 2001 campaign

Detailed information on the successful Save the Bedlam campaign of 2001/2002 is being sought from those who took part in it, or were involved.

The research is part of a major 4th year history project by Edinburgh university student Fergus Deery, provisional titled  35 Years of Bedlam: Edinburgh University Theatre Company.

The Bedlam Theatre. Photo Thom Dibdin

The Bedlam Theatre. Photo Thom Dibdin

Deery says that he intends to conduct the most thorough exploration of the Company’s archives since Dr Roger Savage’s history of 1991.

He is engaging in extensive research into the Bedlam archives, but is now  looking for anyone who was around during the ‘Save the Bedlam’ years to try and get a bit more information on what happened.

The campaign took place in 2001 when a developer approached the University to buy the land on which the Bedlam stands. It had bought the site behind the theatre and wanted to knock the Bedlam down to build a hotel.

Hotel complex

The University were keen to sell and, obliged to rehouse the EUTC, the University told the developers they would have to build a new theatre space for the student theatre company either within the hotel complex, or somewhere else in central Edinburgh.

However the proposed new theatre was unsuitable for the company, the time the EUTC would be homeless was not revealed and, significantly for the Save the Bedlam campaign, the university appeared unaware of the extent of the EUTC activities year-round.

The campaign focussed on highlighting the importance of the Bedlam to the student community and the extent of the EUTC’s activities.

Planning approval to demolish the Bedlam was eventually refused and a subsequent application from the developer had been modified to exclude the land on which the Bedlam stands.

Deery, who is recording the progress of his research on his blog, told Æ: “I’ve made great headway with my research, but more outside input is always welcome.

“My initial appeal was intentionally vague so as to encourage as broad a range of people as possible to get in touch – company alumni, members of the press, local archaeologists, city councillors, etc.”

Deery can be contacted via email at
He is on twitter as @FergusDeery
Fergus Deery’s blog:


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