City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Assembly Rooms Fringe 2014 Programme Launched


By Vivien Devlin - Posted on 23 May 2014

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A fortnight before the complete Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme is launched, the Assembly Rooms has been quick off the mark to reveal their ambitious and exciting line up of shows.

The statistics: over 1,000 performances. 200 + performers, 170 shows with an eclectic range of drama, comedy, music, cabaret, musicals, children’s shows and Spoken Word Conversations.

In 2013, George Street between Hanover and Frederick was closed to traffic to stage the Famous Spiegeltent outside the Assembly Rooms, with al fresco bar and restaurant.

In August this year for the first time, St. Andrew Square will be a Garden of Entertainment in partnership with Essential Edinburgh. Performances will take place in the Famous Spiegeltent and also a new platform for comedy and music, the Stand in the Square. The garden will offer Fringe-goers fine hospitality in the Aperol Spritz terrace as well as food and drink outlets promoting Scottish produce, Deuchars beer, Glengoyne whisky and Edinburgh Gin.

So what are the highlights which are sure to be hot tickets this summer? Warmly recommended is “Bette Davis Aint for Sissies” which was at the Fiddler’s Elbow pub last year. I gave a 5 star review for this sassy, sparkling performance by New Yorker Jessica Sherr portraying the Oscar winning Hollywood actress. Jessica perfectly captures the look, voice, wit, humour and mannerisms of Bette’s bold, brash personality with sophisticated style. This so deserves to be seen by a huge audience at the Assembly Rooms.

David Hayman stars in ‘The Pitiless Storm’, a dramatic monologue set the night before the referendum, about a trade unionist facing potential political change in Scotland.

‘The Trial of Jane Fonda’ is the true story of Jane Fonda’s anti Vietnam War actions that helped end the conflict, starring leading American actress, Anne Archer.

Ruby Wax, the bubbly comedienne presents an informative yet humorous view of psychology on how to cope in our fast paced 21st century society. "Sane New World" is based on her recent book. Another feisty lady is Elaine C Smith who presents a one woman show with stories, songs and stand up comedy.

Scott Capurro has shocked and delighted Fringe audiences since 1994 for his outrageously camp and unpolitically correct humour. See another hard hitting performance in “Islamohomophobia Reloaded.”

Winner of Pop Idol in 2003, Michelle McManus has since enjoyed a successful career as a singer and TV presenter. Appearing at the Stand in the Square, her show "Reality the Musical", Michelle will chat about her life and times with a few songs along the way.

At the Famous Spiegeltent, La Clique – the exotic, burlesque Cabaret which has been a sell out in Edinburgh over several years and toured the world is back in town. “Fast, rude, funny, fantastic” said the Sydney Morning Herald.

Take the Kids to see "Dr. Bunhead’s Secret Science Lab" for a fun but educational display of experiments and fire-throwing stunts. "Brave Macbeth" is a colourful introduction to Shakespeare complete with witches and sword fights.

Spoken Word is an impressive line up of well known writers, TV presenters and politicians for a series of lunchtime talks: Lucy Worsley on A Very British Murder, Jay Rayner describes the highs and low of being a Restaurant Critic. Mary Beard shares her passion for all things Ancient Roman.

With many Fringe venues scattered around Teviot Square, Cowgate, Grassmarket and the Pleasance, The Assembly Rooms presents a mini Festival of entertainment in the heart of the New Town.

Illustrated here is Tommy Sheppard, Assembly Rooms Fringe Director introducing the programme this week at Le Monde Hotel, George Street: “Over the last two years we have redefined the geography of the world’s largest arts festival by bringing it back to the centre of town. Now that process accelerates with a new open air venue in St Andrew Square just moments away from the Assembly Rooms.”

250,000 tickets are now on sale. Pick up a brochure or browse the Assembly Rooms Fringe 2014 on line. www.arfringe.com

(Photo credit Tommy Sheppard photograph by Trudy Stade).