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The Counting House

Laughing Horse Free Festival Venue

The Counting House

Fringe Venue 170 - Click here for map
38 West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DD. Phone: 0131 667 7533
Food  Wifi  Licensed
Open from 11:00 to 02:00
All ages until 9pm, then 18+ only

A Free Festival venue since 2007, The Counting House is a popular and busy multi-room venue with four performance spaces. The venue forms a complex with the 32 Below and The Pear tree offering a busy, vibrant Fringe hub that is just across the road from Fringe central, and around the corner from The Gilded Balloon and Pleasance Dome



The Counting House is part of a complex of venues which including the Pear Tree and 32 Below, making this a hub venue with four bars, six performance spaces plus food and an outdoor courtyard.

In the Counting house the Ballroom is the main room, and home to large Fringe productions and big name shows - and we use a managed queuing system organised at the venue for evening shows to manage the large crowds, along with several general Front of House staff being on hand, and a technician on hand.

Numerous high profile shows have taken place at the venue, and it is a popular venue. The venue provides queue management and extra staff to help with audiences, with the venue manager being nominated and winning the 'best person at the Fringe' in the British Comedy Guide Awards.  Yes, this is a free venue with a front of house team for shows.

As well as with the facilities The Counting House itself has a long Fringe history past even the Free Festival, previously being a Gilded Balloon venue, and hosting numerous shows including Eddie Izzard's final Fringe show.

The venue is located on West Nicolson Street, in the heart of the area of Edinburgh most associated with the Fringe, and is only a 2 minute walk from Fringe central, The Gilded Balloon, Assembly George Square, Pleasance Dome, Hero's Bus and Underbelly venues. It is also on the main route between those venues and the Pleasance Courtyard and many other smaller venues, and close to our other free venues in Southside.

The venue is ideal for all types of performance, with a small intimate rooms for solo performers, and the larger and very grand ballroom for bigger names and larger productions.

Performance Space: The Ballroom

The Ballroom is located upstairs at the venue, alongside The Lounge performance space, and the Lounge Bar. It has a large high ceilinged room, with a covered dome in the centre - suitable for larger theatre productions and big comedy or cabaret shows. It has a large raised stage, and backstage area, making it the prime free room at the Fringe, with a better spec than many paid venues.

For large evening shows the venue provides queue management for this space, with a holding area downstairs and audiences brought in to the room, and escorted out at the end of each show. 

- Stage: 4.5m (wide) by 3m (deep)  stage, raised to 50cm with steps. Large backstage access with access from stage centre and left.

- Seating: Capacity 150 people comfortably seated, in rows - 180 is absolute maximum capacity.

- Lighting: Fully programmable lighting rig. Venue has tech run through and info to help productions use this - also presets for simple lighting.

- Sound: 8 Channel Mixer, Cables for MP3 players, 3 Mics, Cables and Mic stands. Performers own sound equipment can be added easily

- AV: There is a projector and screen in this room.

- Storage: There is a very small storage room for equipment in the venue.

- Bar: There is no bar in the room.

- Access: The performance space is located up a flight of stairs so is not wheelchair accessible. 

 

Performance Space: The Lounge

The Lounge is located upstairs, alongside The Ballroom and the Lounge Bar. It is a rectangular and intimate performance space - made larger in 2017. Ideally suited to solo/due stand-up and theatre performance.

- Stage: 3m (wide) by 1.5m (deep)  stage, raised to 10cm. No backstage or wing space. 

- Seating: Capacity 65 seated.

- Lighting:  2xFixed Spotlights to Flood light the stage.

- Sound: 4 Channel Mixer, Cables for MP3 players, 2 Mics, Cables and Mic stands. Performers own sound equipment can be added easily

- AV: There is a large TV screen in this room.

- Storage: There is a very small storage room for equipment in the venue.

- Bar: There is no bar in the room.

- Access: The performance space is located up a flight of stairs so is not wheelchair accessible. 

Performance Space: The Attic

The Lounge is located upstairs, alongside The Ballroom and the Lounge Bar. It is a rectangular and intimate performance space - made larger in 2017. Ideally suited to solo/due stand-up and theatre performance.

- Stage: 3m (wide) by 1.5m (deep)  stage, flat on floor. No backstage or wing space, but small area for prop storage on stage behind curtain.

- Seating: Capacity 35 seated, plus a few standing.

- Lighting:  2xFixed Spotlights to Flood light the stage.

- Sound: 4 Channel Mixer, Cables for MP3 players, 2 Mics, Cables and Mic stands. Performers own sound equipment can be added easily

- AV: There is a no AV in this room.

- Storage: There is a very small storage room for equipment in the venue.

- Bar: There is no bar in the room.

- Access: The performance space is located up two flights of stairs so is not wheelchair accessible. 

loungeplan.jpg (14292 bytes)

Performance Space: The Loft

The Lounge is located upstairs, alongside The Ballroom and the Lounge Bar. It is a rectangular and intimate performance space - made larger in 2017. Ideally suited to solo/due stand-up and theatre performance.

- Stage: 3m (wide) by 1.5m (deep)  stage, flat on floor. No backstage or wing space, but small area for prop storage on stage behind curtain.

- Seating: Capacity 35 seated, plus a few standing.

- Lighting:  2xFixed Spotlights to Flood light the stage.

- Sound: 4 Channel Mixer, Cables for MP3 players, 2 Mics, Cables and Mic stands. Performers own sound equipment can be added easily

- AV: There is a no AV in this room.

- Storage: There is a very small storage room for equipment in the venue.

- Bar: There is no bar in the room.

- Access: The performance space is located up two flights of stairs so is not wheelchair accessible. 

loungeplan.jpg (14292 bytes)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Counting House Images:

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The Ballroom (with old paintwork)

The Lounge

   

The Attic

  

The Loft

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General Venue Images