All You Need to Know About the Edinburgh Festival Theatre


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A historic venue which first opened its doors way back in 1892, the Edinburgh Festival Theatre is a stalwart of the Scottish capital’s entertainment scene. A hugely popular place both for tourists and locals living either in the city centre or in suburbs such as southern Fairmilehead or beachside Portobello, read on for all the information you need about the Festival Theatre and what to expect when you visit.

Tell me all about the Edinburgh Festival Theatre

Found along Nicolson Street on the longest continuous theatre site in Edinburgh, the Festival Theatre is close to the heart of the Old Town and has been known by a number of names throughout its illustrious history. Previously called the Royal Amphitheatre, Dunedin Hall, Newsome’s Circus, the Empire Palace and the Empire, the current auditorium dates back to 1928. Grand and traditional, you can truly feel the electric atmosphere throughout the pre-show chatter and as the curtain comes up.

A significant refurbishment in 1994 brought a new glass facade and a new stage, as well as the current moniker of the Festival Theatre. At more than 2,500 square feet and with a capacity of almost 2,000, the venue is the largest of its kind in Scotland and home to both Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet. It’s also a key venue for the Edinburgh Festivals and the National Theatre, and has been like a home away from home for top West End shows such as Les Miserables and War Horse.

What’s on at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre?

A quick glance at the latest Edinburgh Festival Theatre listings reveals an exciting array of shows and performances. From top theatrical productions to musicals, ballet and dance shows, you can also catch some of the UK’s finest comedians in action. Whether you want to enjoy a timeless classic like Grease, Sister Act or Swan Lake, or a more modern show bursting with fresh new ideas, there really is something for everyone. Whatever you’re going to see, arriving early for a drink with a view out across the streets below and in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat is highly recommended.

Are there events at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre?

In addition to the wide variety of productions which usually take top billing, there are also plenty of interesting events you can also check out. Popular Edinburgh Festival Theatre events include everything from film screenings and talks to spoken word performances and meet and greets. Keep an eye out for workshops and activities you can take part in too for a truly immersive experience, as well as innovative and inspiring shows at the International and Fringe festivals.

Whether you live in the heart of town, a seaside spot such as Prestonpans or west of the city in Kirkliston, the Festival Theatre Edinburgh is one of this area’s top attractions. If you’re looking to move to or within the Scottish capital, don’t miss our Cammo Meadows and Heritage Grange developments for some of the best modern living on offer nearby. If that sounds appealing, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team today.