Theatre Alba sparkles
beguiles and touches your heart.

  • Duddingston Kirk Manse Gardens

    Fringe Venue 121 – You Owe Yourself A Duddingston Day –



    …the tension and drama are heightened in a way that no other venue could achieve.”

    … well worth the effort” – THREE WEEKS

    the most captivating and enthralling spaces to experience a theatre performance.”


    Early and Late Outdoor Theatre

    The gardens provide marvellous nooks, crannies and dramatic spaces for Theatre Alba’s popular daytime promenade shows for children and families. 

    The Marquee  is home to short plays,  usually comedies or plays with a lighter theme.

    Evening performances ” for grown ups” begin in the light of early Scottish evenings, quickly moving into the gloaming  (twilight), when the failing light invokes intense dramatic moments.



    Outdoor Theatre Duddingston Kirk Manse Gardens Venue 121



    Natural  Amphitheatre

    The space known as  “the Glebe”,  the flat grassy area surrounded by trees and shrubs with the splendid Duddingston loch as a backdrop, is used to stage full length dramas.



    Nature Gets In On The Act

    After the interval break, darkness is complete  and theatre lighting pierces the scene and audiences are often treated to natural events, that compliment the action of the play:

    Imagine owls flitting in the branches, geese rising noisily from the loch, birds  chattering in the trees or a soft mist creeping in as though ordered by a celestial director – all of these have been reported in the past.


    Duddingston Venue Cherry Orchard 2011

    “… the richness of the trees, the effect of the gathering darkness, the sight of the full moon rising over the loch, and sailing between the branches. ”  (Joyce McMillan, Scotsman)

    “as a spectacle – moths, midges, bats and all – it doesn’t get much better than this.” (

    ***** Five Star Review  by Mark Jeffreys
    St Joan ( 2008)

    “… As the sun sets in the closing scenes of the play, the tension and drama are heightened in a way that no other venue could achieve. Don’t let the rain put you off, take a raincoat and enjoy every minute of this superb show. Everyone will be talking about it after the Fringe is gone.”

    Daytime Kids Adventures

    edfringe kids show 2014

    We’ve been delighting children and adults of all ages for at least ten years, with our daylight walkabout family shows.

    The garden’s plentiful twisting paths, trees, flowering shrubs, gates and clearings is the perfect place to hide, surprise,  fascinate and entertain.

    Featuring costumed characters like bouncy Tumshie,  the man-sprite who plays guitar, sings and leads the way to new spaces where the story unfolds.

    ” Theatre Alba Children’s shows never disappoint…”
    Primary Times ****

    Discover More About Fringe 2015  Shows 
    – Baba Yaga
    – Double Bill – Something Unspoken (rated PG)
    – The Good Doctor


    How to Get There

    By Bus
    Via No. 42  – to Duddingston Village – Approx. 20 minutes
    Some useful city stops to know about for the Fringe:
    Stockbridge , George St, George IV Bridge, Potterrow, Summerhall.
    See other bus routes on the map ( Right-click on map image and Save, to download)
    (Lothian Buses has a useful mobile APP) BY CAR: Postcode for GPS EH15 3PX









    A Duddingston Day at the Fringe

    A Duddingston Day during the Fringe can take in

    Beautiful Gardens, Nature-watching, Good Food , Great Theatre

    Eat & Drink

    Set your taste buds tingling with lunch, dinner or a snack and some Real Ale at the nearby Sheep Heid Inn (Gastro Pub )  ( Yelp reviews). Literally a stone’s throw away.

    Sightseeing & Birdwatching at a historic loch

    Enjoy a little tour around the pretty village, the historic Kirk and church surrounds, or watch the birds on the loch nature reserve which is part of the Royal Park of Holyrood.  This is the loch that features in the famous Scottish painting ” The Skating Minister”. It’s a slower, relaxing, quiet interlude from the leaflet-thrusting armies in the High Street in the centre of the city!


    Take in one of the afternoon Fringe shows over in the Gardens.

    The Family show which is best appreciated if you are between 4 and 11 years old. But like all the best children’s shows- hugely enjoyable for adults too.
    The show moves around the gardens like a conducted tour or crocodile-fashion parade,  except there will be a strong storyline, colourful characters such as witches, a mouse , a cat, a dog,  clues to solve along the way and all with breezy, playful music. MORE…..

    The Marquee
    An actual Marquee tent creates the space for the afternoon plays, usually comedies or dramatic comedy. The intimacy of the small space adds that extra something powerful to the experience.
    The 2015 show is a ” Double Bill” two short plays “Smoking is Bad for You” and “Something Unspoken” .

    Evening Outdoor Theatre in the Main Playing Area ( with seating)
    After your early dinner ( recommended to book your mealtime for before 6pm )  and leave plenty of time to order and eat as food is cooked to order.  Now you are all set to take in the unique, spectacle of an outdoor play in the garden.

    For 2015 the hilarious and touching play is ” The Good Doctor” by Neil Simon

    Make sure to bring something warm to put on for the cooler evening and light waterproof, just  in case  there is a shower.   The No. 42 bus  runs back and forth from the city centre. MORE…

    In the rare event of the show being rained off tickets can be exchanged for another date.


    Free off-street parking is accessed via Duddingston Road West.
    From Holyrood Park, drive to the end of  Old Church Lane and turn right. Almost immediately on the right there s a signposted entrance to the car park. Disabled spaces are available and the route from the car park to the Marquee and Main Playing Areas are wheelchair accessible.