AskDefine | Define pleasance

Dictionary Definition



1 a pleasant and secluded part of a garden; usually attached to a mansion
2 a fundamental feeling that is hard to define but that people desire to experience; "he was tingling with pleasure" [syn: pleasure] [ant: pain]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A pleasure ground laid out with shady walks, trees and shrubs, statuary, and ornamental water
  2. pleasure

Extensive Definition

Pleasance is a street in Edinburgh, Scotland, which is the location for one of the largest and most popular venue at the Edinburgh Fringe, hosting mainly comedy shows. In 2006 it consisted of two multiplex venues: the Pleasance Courtyard (situated on the Pleasance), and the Pleasance Dome (situated on Bristo Square). Both these venues are owned by Edinburgh University Students' Association and used as student union premises normally.
Pleasance operates the venues from mid July to the end of August each year. Traditionally this is by arrangement of a split deal, whereby Pleasance keeps 40% of the box office receipts, against 60% to the company producing the show.
In 2007 there were 21 different performance spaces marketing under the umbrella of Pleasance. It has not yet been announced how many spaces there will be for the 2008 Edinburgh fringe festival.
  • 10 Dome
  • Above
  • Ace Dome
  • Attic
  • Baby Grand
  • Below
  • Beside
  • Beyond
  • Cabaret Bar
  • Cavern
  • Cellar
  • Grand
  • Hut
  • Jack Dome
  • Joker Dome
  • King Dome
  • Palm Court,
  • Pleasance One
  • Pleasance Two
  • Queen Dome
  • Upstairs
These spaces range in size from the 700 seater Pleasance Grand to the Cellar and Joker Dome, which each seat 50 people.
Pleasance is famous for spawning such acts as Frank Skinner, Graham Norton, Paul Merton, and Al Murray.
In addition to the Edinburgh venue, Pleasance also has a sister venue in Islington, North London, which operates throughout the year. This is named Pleasance Islington, previously Pleasance London.

Pleasance Dome

The second series of venues under the Pleasance Theatre branch in Edinburgh, used for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Pleasance Dome attracts comedians, actors and musicians to its spaces, used for the rest of the year by Edinburgh University.

Student Usage

Through the rest of the year the Pleasance is home to the societies and sports offices for the Edinburgh University Students' Association (EUSA) and Edinburgh University Sports Union (EUSU). Further north along the pleasance is the university sports centre, which now houses a state of the art gym, completed in 2004.
Although not as widely publicised as during the Festival period, the Pleasance continues to run a series of evening entertainments throughout the year. These range from a variety of student run plays and productions, through outside promotions, to regular weekly entertainments such as Comedy Network, live folk music, and a popular pub quiz which runs on Monday nights.


Pleasance Theatre London was founded in 1995 by Christopher Richardson, in the Pleasance Courtyard. In 2005 Richardson retired as director of Pleasance, leaving Anthony Alderson to succeed him. The Pleasance Theatre London is situated on North Road London

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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