The Stand takes over Assembly Rooms

Fringe coup for Edinburgh comedy club

The Stand comedy club is to move into Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms next year, ousting the operation that has run Fringe shows there for 30 years.

The long-time festival tenant, also called Assembly, has been forced out of the historic venue on George Street this year while controversial refurbishment works are taking place. And now the city council has said it won’t be back next year.

The company had been a bitter opponent of the council’s £9.3million plans, protesting vociferously against the loss of performance spaces following the facelift and offering to do the work itself in return for long-term security.

But now, in a major coup, The Stand will have tenancy of most the building during the 2012 Fringe, the city council has announced.

Councillor Deidre Brock, convenor of Edinburgh’s culture and leisure committee said: ‘Salt ‘n’ Sauce Promotions [the company which owns The Stand[ have put forward some very exciting plans for their use of the Assembly Rooms during the summer festival period, and we look forward to working with them in the years ahead.’

The club, run by Tommy Sheppard, has promised a varied programme of comedy, music and theatre.

The Stand will run four spaces in the building, which will reopen just before next year’s festival, including the large Music Hall and Ballroom. Two other former theatre spaces will become shops, although no tenants have yet signed up,

Sheppard – who is also opening a Newcastle comedy club this autumn – said that Fringe shows would continue to be staged at his permanent venue during August

As part of the refit, the listed building’s Supper Room will be converted into a Jamie Oliver Italian restaurant.

Assembly has moved its operations to George Square - behind the Gilded Balloon Teviot - this year.

Published: 29 Jun 2011

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