C venues creates, programmes and operates theatre, performance and exhibition spaces at temporary arts venues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe each year. Our aims and our purpose are cultural and educational. We seek to create a platform on which to showcase the best artistic and creative work at the Festival Fringe. At the heart of what we aim to achieve is to create an environment where the best creative work can flourish, where people can learn from each other and develop their skills and mutual understanding, where diversity is celebrated, where participants and audiences are enriched culturally, and where participation is accessible and inclusive for all.
Our curated programme, encompassing drama, dance, physical theatre, musical theatre, music, mime, circus, cabaret, comedy, children’s and family shows and visual and performance art, makes C one of the most active venue producers on the Fringe, with multiple shows, events and exhibitions taking place in our venues each year. Alongside a broad theatre-based programme incorporating drama, new writing, physical theatre, musical theatre, and children’s theatre, C has developed a speciality programming immersive, interactive and site-specific theatre, and in hosting cabaret, music, circus theatre, physical comedy, performance art and cross-genre work, discussion sessions and events involving performance, visual and literary arts. Creative work shown at our venues has come from and toured to cities around the world, and has been featured in the Fringe First, Total Theatre, Musical Theatre Matters and other awards.
Established in 1992, we have created performance spaces in locations as diverse as exam halls, hotels, churches, masonic lodges, Craigmillar Castle, the former New Victoria cinema, the SoCo Old Town gap site, and landmark buildings such as India Buildings on Victoria Street. Our venues include both some of the original Fringe venues from the first days of the festival and some of the newest Fringe venues in the city. Our original and atmospheric venues include our Royal Mile historic Fringe venues C aquila at the Roman Eagle Lodge on Johnston Terrace and C cubed in the Celtic Lodge on the Lawnmarket. Our newest venue C viva on George Street features space for our largest shows and an atmospheric cellar space excellent for cabaret and music. Our venue C south at St Peter’s, Lutton Place offers facilities for aerial performance, fully accessible performance spaces and dressing rooms, and site-specific, found and outdoor performance spaces.
The nature of our project dictates that our income is not guaranteed. We operate without major sponsorship or funding. We take a financial cost on projects with artistic merit. We seek to keep ticket prices affordable for audiences, and the costs of participating reasonable for performing companies. Any surplus from our operation is invested into supporting our cultural and educational aims.
C venues is and always has been a volunteer-focussed organisation. We operate our volunteer programme in line with guidance from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, Volunteer Scotland and Volunteer Edinburgh. We are working with Volunteer Edinburgh to ensure that our volunteer programme offers the best possible opportunities and potential outcomes to our volunteers.
We are a founder member of Edinburgh’s Association of Independent Venue Producers, working to promote best practice at the Fringe. We support and participate in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society’s strategies to promote good practice including the Venue Best Practice Code, the Company Code of Conduct, the Best Practice Guides for engaging volunteers and workers, the Fringe Venue Access Award and the Scottish Green Arts Initiative.