Traverse Theatre Edinburgh, Location, Phone, Cambridge St Arts venue photos, Address, Architect

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh Building

Theater on Cambridge St, Scotland: Scottish Capital Arts Building

post updated 25 July 2021

Contact: 0131 228 1404

Address: Traverse Theatre, 10 Cambridge Street, Edinburgh, Scotland

Date built: 1992

Design: Nicholas Groves Raines Architects

The Traverse Theatre is reputed to have the longest bar in Edinburgh, though this feature doesn’t strike you as you step down into the space, nor does it feel gimmicky.

Traverse Theatre Edinburgh building
photo © Adrian Welch, 2007

Traverse Theatre Edinburgh

Traverse Theatre – Building Description
The Basement ceiling lets it all hang out, service ducts fully exposed. The palette is fairly dark with an accent on dark green. The theatre and bar sit in the basement of the postmodern Saltire Court, dressed with Old Red Sandstone. This imposing building facing the Castle, by Campbell & Arnott Architects, filled a notorious gap site that was destined for an Edinburgh Opera House.

The Traverse is accessed down wide, concave steps to the ‘rear’, facing the Usher Hall and Lothian Road. With two theatres and café bar in basement the result is generally acclaimed as a success, part of the Arts grouping with the Lyceum and the Usher Hall. The theatre seating has a reputation for being the most flexible in the UK and is rather spartan.

Try faed”>Andrea Faed‘s Blue Restaurant upstairs (Edinburgh Restaurants) for some restrained but fresher architecture.

Traverse Theatre – Production
Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre is Scotland’s new writing theatre and started in 1963: it consists of two theatres. The Traverse has had many award-winning productions and a certain reputation for producing quality contemporary theatre, commissioning and supporting writers and facilitating script development workshops, rehearsed readings and public writing workshops.

The Traverse Theatre aims to produce several major new theatre productions plus a Scottish touring production each year. The Traverse is unique in Scotland in its dedication to new writing. Traverse Theatre Company productions have been seen worldwide including London, Toronto, Budapest, Oslo, Stockholm and New York.

During the Edinburgh Festival the Traverse Theatre is one of the most important venues, regularly picking up coveted Fringe Firsts and Herald Angels, with world class premieres playing daily in the two theatre spaces. The Traverse flagship education project offers young people in schools the opportunity to work with theatre professionals and see their work performed on the Traverse stage. In addition the Traverse Young Writers group meets weekly. The Traverse’s two theatres offer contrasting styles and settings.

The Traverse Bar Café caters for around 300 people.

Traverse Theatre email: [email protected]

Traverse Box Office, Cambridge Street, Edinburgh EH1 2ED, Scotland, UK.

Traverse Theatre Box Office: 0131 228 1404

Traverse Theatre – Guided Tours:
Visit the Theatre, the stage, the dressing rooms and where the sets are built.
To book your own Guided Tour of this Arts facility call 0131 228 3223.

How to get to The Traverse:
This Arts venue is based just west of the centre (& Castle), a few minute’s walk from Princes Street, off Lothian Road by the Usher Hall.

The former Traverse Theatre is located away from Lothian Road in the Grassmarket and was refurbished by Buredi in 2005.

Adjacent building : Saltire Court, Castle Terrace
Campbell & Arnott Architects

Office building with symmetrical frontage onto Edinburgh Castle; obviously a sensitive site hence the not-strictly-contemporary styling, but much loved already by locals. Saltire Court connects directly into the Traverse Theatre building. Old red sandstone towers and framing from Gatelawbridge and light sandstone is Stainton stone, both from Scottish Borders. This site lay empty for years prior to this, due to the shelving of the Edinburgh Opera House scheme.

Adjacent to the Traverse Theatre are the Usher Hall and the Royal Lyceum Theatre:

Usher Hall – classic space refurbished for Edinburgh Concerts
Royal Lyceum Theatre – home of one of Scotland’s premier theatre companies

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Comments / photos for the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh Building design by Nicholas Groves Raines Architects page welcome