City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

"Big Four" Launch Edinburgh Fringe 2015 Programme

By Vivien Devlin - Posted on 26 May 2015

EdFest Brochure 2015

As we head towards June, it’s only a couple of months before the curtain rises to launch the Edinburgh Festival Fringe again and a world of visitors will arrive in the capital.

In 2014 there were 49,497 performances of 3,193 shows in 299 venues, making it the largest ever arts festival in the world. It wouldn’t surprise me if there are 50,000 performances taking place this year. The Fringe programme will be available from 4th June.

With so many major, well established city centre venues presenting hundreds of shows it makes sense that apart from the complete Edinburgh Fringe brochure, many key theatres such as The Traverse, Summerhall and others, publish their own programmes.

Since 2008, Assembly, Gilded Balloon, Pleasance and Underbelly have shared a Festival brochure and a common purpose under the banner, promoting a diverse range of entertainment – comedy, drama, music, mime, dance, cabaret, magic, circus and children’s shows. The Artistic directors are involved in the handpicked selection and production, investing over £1 million to support talented performers and companies.

Guests at the media launch of the 2015 programme were warmly welcomed by the vivacious Karen Koren, Artistic Director of Gilded Balloon.

“This year is especially exciting for me as it is the Gilded Balloon’s 30th Year. When I started in a little studio theatre in the old town of Edinburgh, I had 7 shows per day in a 150 seater. We grew to 14 venues in the Cowgate before the fire that sadly destroyed our main building in 2002.

Discovering new talent is one of the most exciting parts of the job, finding artists and companies in obscure places, bringing them to Edinburgh and launching them onto the world stage. There is nothing like it.

In this brochure the four of us combined have 654 shows every day for a month starting at 10 in the morning and going on until 5 a.m. the next day. That’s approximately 16,000 shows over the course of the Fringe.

It will be interesting, stimulating, exhilarating, insightful and never boring. I’d love to mention some shows, but I’d miss out some and all of the shows are worth discovering.”

The brochure runs to 146 pages covering “The best comedy, theatre and entertainment” on offer this August. The first show of the day is Rosie’s Magic Horse for children at the Pleasance – 10am. End your day at the Gilded Balloon for a blast of Late N’ Live comedy kicking off the laughs at 1am.

With dozens of premiere productions it is impossible to select the highlights. But as I browse through the programme I am ticking off a few shows that I would love to see: The Hampstead Murder Mystery, Fully Committed starring Marcus Brigstocke, The Lost Art of Lost Art, Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, The Titanic Orchestra (with John Hannah), 64 Squares, Jo Brand....

And a special Diary Date - Saturday 15th August, Gilded Balloon 30th Anniversary Gala event. All-star evening with Alan Davies, Ross Noble, Stephen K Amos, Sean Hughes and other comedy talent.

You can pick up a copy of brochure to read all about what’s on this August at the Assembly, Pleasance, Gilded Balloon and Underbelly.

More on Edinburgh Fringe (5 – 31 August, 2015)