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|Posted: Fri May 18, 2012 9:35 am Post subject: New Assembly Rooms stops traffic
|Road closed for outdoor bar and Spiegeltent
|The street outside Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms is to be closed to traffic during the Fringe to make way for a terraced outdoor bar and a wooden Spiegeltent.
The move comes as the company behind The Stand comedy club takes over the 225-year-old venue following a controversial £9.3million refit.
Venue boss Tommy Sheppard was keen to emphasis that the ‘continental-style’ bar would fit in with the Georgian architecture of the street, adding that the area will ‘increase the critical mass of the whole venue, ensuring the Assembly Rooms re-opens with a bang.’
The Assembly Rooms has already announced its programme, with comedy highlights including Stewart Lee, Russell Kane and Stewart Francis.
The Spiegeltent will host shows including the popular La Clique cabaret, Celtic band Shooglenifty and The Balkan Elvis.
The venture has the backing of the council and traders in George Street, who were hit by the closure of the Assembly Rooms last year.
Andy Neal, chief executive of business group Essential Edinburgh said: ‘In the past year trading figures were down in the area in August, which is usually a key month for businesses because of the boost the festival brings.
‘Last year we suffered through the lack of a major festival hub in the area. That is why we have provided a significant investment in this project, and lobbied hard to support it.’
William Burdett-Coutts, whose Assembly Theatre had run Fringe shows at the venue for 30 years before it closed for refurbishment, has previously complained that using the name Assembly Rooms Fringe for the new venture could lead to confusion with his own operation, now operating out of George Square.
Chortle News Bot