Props and Costume Solutions in Edinburgh

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Budget, Business Skills, Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Spilt coffee down your only white shirt?

Halfway through the run and your only costume getting stanky?

Broken that priceless antique lamp which is central to your show? 

Have no idea where to go to replace it and don’t wanna spend all your petty cash in one go?

And no time in your day to travel too far from the City Centre?  

Don’t panic!  Here’s a list of the places you should hit up for all your props and costume needs!


W. Armstrong & Son

The Best Vintage Shop in Edinburgh, nay the world!  For all your costume needs!  Find everything through the decades and specialist costumes as well.  As I’m sure you can imagine it gets pretty rammed during the Fringe and they go through stock incredibly fast, but don’t worry.  They have 3 different stores around town so if you can’t find what you’re looking for in one simply hit up the others.  The real vintage stuff can be expensive but there’s plenty of faux vintage to.  The main problem with costume shopping here is that your personal budget is bound to take a serious hit to.

81-83 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2HJ – 0131 220 5557

14 Teviot Pl, Edinburgh EH1 2QZ – 0131 226 4634

64-66 Clerk St, Edinburgh EH8 9JB – 0131 667 3056


Nicholson Street, Clerk Street, South Clerk Street Charity Shops

There are so many charity/thrift shops on the walk from South Bridge out towards Cameron Toll you could easily while away an afternoon perusing them.  Despite being in the centre of town they are all reasonably cheap and cheerful and fantastic places to look for both costume and props.


Stockbridge Charity Shops

Slightly further out of town (although not hugely, I’m a firm believer that to walk anywhere in Edinburgh only takes a maximum of 20 minutes) a more bespoke range of thrift shops can be found on Stockbridge High Street.  Although they can be a little more expensive than others, they tend to have a more diverse stock due to the fact that they are a little out of the way.



If your based in the UK then you will know Primark only too well!  The Target of the UK, it’s by far the cheapest place to buy basics or fashion clothes in Edinburgh.  They have a pretty great range including womenswear, menswear, childrenswear, accessories, shoes and a home section.  So, if you’re just looking for a couple of spare t shirts to make it through the run this is your place! You could always get some t-shirt transfer paper from the nearest Poundland and iron on your show details!  Or write it on in Sharpie.

91 – 93 Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2ER


Unicorn Antiques

Looking for specific antique items, look no further than Unicorn Antiques in New Town.  It’s crammed full with so much stock that on sunny days (or at least in dry weather) it spills out onto the streets so it’s impossible to miss.

65 Dundas St, Edinburgh EH3 6RS


Ali’s Cave

A treasure trove of anything and everything you could ever ask for in New Town! Never a more random selection of items have you ever seen in one place, but they are almost guaranteed to have anything you could possibly need for your show along with a load you never knew you needed!

139-145 Lothian Rd, Edinburgh EH3 9AD



It may look like a tacky souvenir shop from the outside, but inside you will find an enormous supply anything and everything from homewares to collectables at rock bottom prices and just round the corner from Assembly Gardens and Teviot Square.

37-41 Nicolson St, Edinburgh EH8 9BE


Edinburgh Bargain Stores

Similar to Ali’s Cave but based in Old Town.  It has the added bonus of having Party Zone, the costume shop, and Edinburgh Fabrics, a great haberdashery, just next door.

5-9 St Patrick Square, Edinburgh EH8 9EZ


Theatre Stuff

A specialist props and costume hire house down in Leith, a little further to travel but generally they will have exactly what you need or at least know where you can find it.  Worth giving them a ring or dropping them an email before making the journey down to the shore.

22 West Harbour Road, Edinburgh, EH5 1PN – 07734 693534 – Visit their Facebook page


The Lyceum and The Traverse

The two major producing houses in the city the Lyceum is Edinburgh’s REP Theatre and the Traverse specialises in new writing shows.  They’re tech teams obviously tend to be super busy in the fringe but they do have excellent props stores in City and are generally more than willing to support fellow artists, especially in an emergency, so drop them a phonecall or an email if you are really struggling to find what you need!

Royal Lyceum Theatre, 30b Grindlay Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9AX – Administration Department: 0131 248 4800 /

Traverse Theatre, 10 Cambridge Street, Edinburgh EH1 2ED – Administration Department: 0131 228 3223.


Amazon Prime

Yes, prime will work! Either get it delivered to your digs or have a chat to the box office at your venue and ask if they can accept a parcel for you.  They are always in so probably a better shout than leaving one of your team at home waiting in for the delivery whilst everyone else is out having fun.  Unfortunately Edinburgh is yet to be on Prime Now so you will have to wait 24 hours rather than 2, but maybe next year!


Ask your venue

A lot of venues around Edinburgh are in crazy old buildings filled with unfathomable amounts of weird and wonderful items.  I once worked in a café in which we found an elephant foot made into a chair in the basement!  I know it’s a longshot if you’re looking for something specific but if there is a small chance they have something you need it beats having to traipse around the city looking for it!


Ask other companies

Is there a show on at the Fringe similar to yours who you could potentially borrow props from?  Maybe even in your venue?  Just ask if you can borrow them.  The worst thing that could happen is they say no.  The best?  They agree to lend it you!  Just be sure to reward their kindness with some co-promotion through your social networks or a round at the bar!


So, save your budget by shopping smart! 


Remember the fringe philosophy: BEG, BORROW AND STEAL!


Tried all of these options and still looking?  Get in touch!  We’d love to help!

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Welcome to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Business Skills, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Marketing

Welcome to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019.

 Welcome to the largest Arts Festival in the world.

Welcome to the Jungle!

With thousands of companies and tens of thousands of performances it is difficult to understand what works.  How do you stand out from the crowd?

Well, NEVER FEAR! The Arts Business is here!

All this month we will be exploring different types of shows and how to sell them out, from flyering to Facebook, PR to TwitteR and ideas to Instagram.

Ready to make 2019 the best Edinburgh Fringe Festival yet?

Join us for the Ride as we embark on our first co-production: A Little R and R, with Show Up Productions.


We’d love to include you in our articles, so let us know if you have any unique marketing or business techniques you’re using to promote your show at: or in the comments below!

After all! What is art without a little collaboration!

So get in touch! We can’t wait!

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What is Your Target Audience? The Checklist

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Business Skills, Marketing

Whenever I begin a marketing plan I always start with what the target audience is. Who exactly is this show or exhibition for?  And are there any products and merchandise I could develop to go with the it that my audience would also enjoy?


Earlier today whilst trying to figure out the target audience of a large-scale dance company I thought to myself, do you know what would be really useful? A checklist!


So here it is:



  1. Demographicsdefined as the statistical characteristics of the population, think about equal opportunities forms, basically everything you fill out on there relates to your personal demographic.  Obviously you don’t need to filter everyone of these down to one answer but you do need to consider each one.


  • Age – simply how old is the intended audience
  • Gender – Is your work more predominantly targeted towards men or women or unisex?
  • Sexuality – Heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual?
  • Marital status – Single, Widowed, Married, Separated, Divorced?
  • Nationality – not simply where they are from but how your audience refer to their nationality
  • Education – what level of education they have attended and what qualifications were obtained
  • Income – simply how much is earned whether weekly, monthly or annual.  You may also be interested in what kind of expendable income they have
  • Occupation – what is their job?
  • Religion
  • Social Class – working class, middle class, upper class.  I also like to include aspiring upper class.
  • Number of Children



  1. Geographics – pretty simply where the audience is located, but there is a little more to think about than that.


  • Location – where do they live?
  • Area Type – city centres to the middle of the countryside?  What is in their area? What amenities do they have access to?
  • Climate – what is the weather like there at a specific time of year? Particularly important when considering international touring.  Think about the temperature when your going.  Think about any potential extreme weather conditions.  This will prevent you touring an outdoor theatre show around India during monsoon season.
  • Cultural behaviours – What are the local laws? Are there any traditions to be respected? What is the culture like? I.e. Don’t take Magic Mike on tour to Morocco or Ru Paul’s Drag Race to Dubai.
  • Available resources – What do they have available? What kind of community spaces are there?  How do they live?  You’d be unlikely to take a piece revolved around telling stories on facetime to the Scottish Highlands where you wouldn’t be guaranteed mobile signal.



  1. Psychographics – This is where we begin to understand the target audience’s personal preferences, how are they living their life?


  • Lifestyle – how people live their lives
  • Interests – your target audience’s likes and dislikes
  • Hobbies – what do they enjoy doing in their spare time?
  • Beliefs – what are there politics? Left or Right wing? Are they environmentally conscious?
  • Personality – what they are like.  Introvert or extrovert? Analytical? Sociable? Relaxed? Easy going? Lover of Sarcasm? Bit of a hipster?



  1. Behavioural Patterns – this is analysis of the decision-making process which goes on when making purchases.


  • What do they buy and when?
  • How often?
  • What leads to purchasing decisions?
  • How do they use their purchases?
  • Responses and attitude to purchases



So now you have your checklist it’s easy to create a profile for your target audience:


Women aged 25-35 from UK educated to degree level (demographic), sociable extroverts who have a healthy lifestyle and like painting (psychographic) lives in 20 mile radius of Birmingham, West Midlands (geographic) and attends galleries and specialist exhibitions at least once a month, frequent theatre and cinema goers (behavioural)


You’ll soon discover with a detailed checklist like this one it’ll be much easier to create bespoke marketing campaigns tailored to appeal to the exact group you’re looking for!  Why not give it a go? Let me know what your next project is and who you think your target audience is.


If you think I’ve missed anything then let me know in the comments below and I’ll update as necessary!

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