Edinburgh Festival Fringe: More than 2000 shows confirmed as event expands for 75th anniversary

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Captivate Edinburgh-based theater company will be taking over the Rose Theatre, at the west end of Rose Street, for this year’s Fringe.

Organizers have revealed that 1281 shows have been registered for the event in the last month alone.

More shows are set to be announced early next month, while the Fringe is not due to publish its official program until 7 July.

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The Fringe, which will mark its 75th anniversary in August, featured 3,841 shows in 323 venues in 2019, the last event to be staged before the Covid pandemic.

The current tally of 2074 shows has been confirmed amid growing evidence of the Fringe’s expansion out of its Old Town and southside heartland, where venue operators are also planning full-scale comebacks this summer.

New venues will include the old Royal High School on Calton Hill. where the latest incarnation of the pop-up Pianodrome venue will host shows, including performances by musicians Esther Swift and Sean Logan, and a theater show inspired by 19th century German piano star Clara Schumann.

An Edinburgh-based theater company has announced it will be taking over one of the main venues in the New Town this August.

Captivate has formed a new partnership with Danish director, dancer and choreographer Peter Schaufuss over the Rose Theatre, at the west end of Rose Street.

Schaufuss has previously announced that he is reviving the former St Stephen’s Church in Stockbridge for a new production of Hamlet which Ian McKellen will be starring in.

Other New Town venues will include the Freemasons Hall on George Street, where stage and screen star David Hayman will be appearing in a new play about Robert Cunninghame, the 18th century author and poet.

The venue will also be playing host to the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, the cult band formed by authors Mark Billingham, Val McDermid, Chris Brookmyre, Luca Veste, Doug Johnstone and Stuart Neville.

The Royal Scots Club, on Abercromby Place, will be hosting performances of Neil Simon’s play Barefoot in the Park and a play honoring the victims of the 1879 Tay Bridge disaster.

Gilded Balloon has also confirmed plans to expand to Leith, where it will stage shows at The Pitt market.

Elsewhere, Summerhall’s line-up will include a new murder mystery musical – Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder! – which focuses on the hosts of a true crime podcast and the whodunnit they are plunged into when their favorite author is killed.

Its theater line-up will include In The Weeds, a Hebridean thriller about a marine biologist who falls in love with a sea monster.

Summerhall’s program will also include gigs by Auntie Flo, Tune-Yards, James Yorkston, Sacred Paws, Withered Hand, Talisk and Rura.

Other Fringe shows will pay tribute to the legacy of singers and musicians Amy Winehouse and Mark E Smith, frontman of The Fall.

Among the more unusual venues confirmed so far is Mono Restaurant, on South Bridge, which will be playing host to Drag Queen Wine Tasting, which is promising “three wines and a snack, with a dash of mischief, a dollop of humor and a twist of glamour.”

French duo Fergesson will be turning the words of celebrated Edinburgh author Robert Louis Stevenson into songs at the French Institute on the Royal Mile.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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