How to find the perfect fringe venue
When I produced a theatre show two years ago,this is obviously the main thing you need to organise before casting the actors,arranging your rehearsals etc
Firstly you must be as flexible with your dates as you possibly can, I found this was a must when booking a fringe space on minimal/no budget.
I was sent a script by a good friend of mine and I decided,I'll produce and organise this from scratch. There was a large cast involved which is always difficult to organise,especially when te budget is small or profit share,as you can't expect actors to book out their full time for free when paying jobs could be around the corner,so I was as flexible as I could be up to the performance dates.
Sourcing a venue was hard,I looked at areas in central London initially,zone 1, this was mainly because I wanted agents/casting directors/producers to see it,trust me,unless it's a big production with a free bar it's rare to get industry people to travel out if central London,so the closer you get (obviously within your budget) the better. I would advise to look outside the box,there are a lot of incredible spaces around,converted churches,underground halls ,county halls ,open spaces (within council acceptance) and so on,so don't just go for the traditional theatre spaces. Look at 'office party' for example,this was a show within an office. As more and more people are intrigued by this 'new space' style of theatre,the more interesting it is,the more interest you will get.
Of course look at the small theatres and what spaces they offer,a lot of these places will want to push and promote new writing,if you have an original script that you are passionate about,the theatre owners will see that enthusiasm and will back you,I found a lot of places I approached offered me a 50/50 box office split with no down payment. This isn't the best but if it's your first production with no budget it may be your best option.
There is a great alternative venue I know who offered me a lot of support and marketing but I found it was a little far away for industry people to attend , but if you want to start out , take a look at 'The Space' in the London docklands.
A few other great spaces , Hoxton always has some surprising gems. Don't be afraid to go in and speak to owners of random spaces,see if you can strike a deal.
Take a look at the fringe theatre list, but I suggest doing something outside the box and suggesting exciting concepts to those space owners. You never know,you could have another 'mask of the red death'
Good luck and be creative