Roxy Grant and Traverse Move

Aug 30 2013 | By More

£30K for 200 seat Roxy and O’Loughlin drops bombshell

By Thom Dibidn

Orla O’Loughlin dropped a bombshell for Edinburgh theatre-lovers at the end of Thursday’s BBC2 documentary on the Traverse’s 50th anniversary.

The Traverse’s Artistic Director is looking to move the theatre away from its current home on Cambridge Street, she told Sue Perkins, having outgrown the building which has been its home for 20 years.

O’Loughlin said: “I absolutely think it is time [for a move] – quite how that is made manifest, there are a number of possibilities being explored. But certainly the future is going to be about regeneration and change and the place re-imagining itself.”

Which does not mean that the theatre is looking for a completely new home tomorrow, although the Scotsman reports that one of the options being discussed is a site earmarked for a new cultural hub near Edinburgh College of Art.

In a separate move, the Assembly Roxy has taken a step towards permanence, with a £30,000 grant from Creative Scotland to support building improvements and upgrading of equipment to create a permanent 200 seat theatre.

The building on Roxburgh Place was previously known as the Roxy Art House – and before that Lady Glenorchy’s Church and the Roxburgh Halls. It was bought by Assembly after its previous owners the Edinburgh University Settlement went into administration in 2010.

Assembly is currently looking to recruit a permanent site manager and has instigated a three year plan for the theatre. The first step is to make the building completely weathertight, upgrade the upstairs theatre and improve technical equipment.

William Burdett-Coutts, Artistic Director of Assembly Theatre, said: “Assembly Festival is the longest running of the multi-venues at the Fringe – over 33 years of operation we have built a reputation for excellence. Year-round we are a Scottish charity keen on deepening our contribution to the arts ecosystem in Edinburgh beyond the festival, and we’re so pleased to have secured this funding to allow us to better support artistic charitable companies in Edinburgh and for those from further afield to present in Edinburgh.”

The BBC2 documentary on the Traverse’s 50th anniversary is available on iPlayer until 10.29pm, Wednesday 4 September 2013:


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