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
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
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
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 / email@example.com
Traverse Theatre, 10 Cambridge Street, Edinburgh EH1 2ED – Administration Department: 0131 228 3223.
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!