News: brings World-Class Performances to this year’s Fringe

Today (Wednesday 22 May), a partnership between Assembly, Gilded Balloon, Pleasance and Underbelly celebrates twelve years of working together, with the launch of its new programme for 2019.

The EdFest venues are an integral part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The group grows year-on-year and in 2019 will collectively bring 948 shows (an increase of just under 15% from 2018), from 29 countries to perform in 107 spaces across 24 venues in Edinburgh.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors will come to Edinburgh in August to experience the World’s greatest arts Festival, and EdFest is proud to be at its heart. This year’s joint programme is bursting with big names in comedy, cabaret, circus, music, theatre and spoken word; mixed with ground-breaking new work, home-grown talent, breath-taking international circus and hilarious children’s theatre.

These exceptional performances will not only entertain audiences, but over the month pick up countless awards and receive outstanding reviews.


Assembly Festival
Eddie Izzard: Expectations of Great Expectations

Eddie Izzard returns to Edinburgh with his brand-new Work in Progress reading/performance of Charles Dickens’ classic epic Great Expectations. Eddie’s career spans world comedy tours, international film, TV, and theatre performances, but few know that it was actually acting that was Eddie’s first love.

These warm up shows offer the chance to see Eddie merge both theatre and comedy in a series of work in progress shows during which he follows in Dickens’ footsteps with his reading/ performance of The Master’s much-loved classic story.

Friendsical: A Parody Musical About Friends
A new parody musical, inspired by the iconic TV show Friends, marking ten years of comedy all in one night.
When Ross’ wife leaves him for another woman, he fears he will never find love again. But then Rachel runs back into his life… will he end up with his one true love?

Featuring original songs such as ‘(He’s her) Lobster!’, ‘Richard’s Moustache’ and ‘You’re Over Me? When Were You Under Me?’, the gang take on naked Thursdays, a power cut, and a dinosaur convention. What could possibly go wrong?

Flip Fabrique: Blizzard

Physical theatre and circus from international award-winners Flip Fabrique from Quebec, returning to Edinburgh with the UK premiere of Blizzard – taking you on a crazy, poetic and gentle journey in the dead of winter. With breath-taking acrobatics and outstanding visual poetry, this latest creation by the rising stars of new circus is set to take the stage by storm.

Gilded Balloon

Ronni Ancona & Lewis MacLeod: Just Checking In

A once-glamorous Scottish hotel is about to be taken over by Donald Trump. An assortment of eccentric staff and celebrity guests conspire to prevent the sale. Lewis MacLeod (Dead Ringers, The Crown) and Ronni Ancona (The Big Impression, Last Tango in Halifax) bring their astonishing, unparalleled voice skills together to create Just Checking In, a surreal and deliciously dark story. However, when their characters take on a life of their own, start talking back and interfering in the narrative, it becomes clear that Ronni and Lewis are losing control over their own creations… and themselves! This is more than your normal impressions show…

Co-produced with Kim Fuller and written by Fuller, Ancona & Macleod.

Craig Ferguson: Hobo Fabulous

Craig Ferguson, the Grammy-nominated, Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Scottish comic, brings the wildly successful Hobo Fabulous to the Gilded Balloon – marking Ferguson’s first UK stand-up show in over 25 years! Featuring 100% all-new material and for one night only (Aug 11) at the Edinburgh Playhouse. Of his return to Edinburgh, Ferguson said “what the world needs now more than ever is an ageing, unhinged vagrant travelling from place to place ranting nonsense into a microphone!”

Hughie by Eugene O’Neill, starring Phil Nichol & Mike McShane
Comedians Theatre Company presents Edinburgh Comedy Award-winning Phil Nichol and Whose Line Is It Anyway’s Mike McShane star in this rare, one-act play that illustrates how our lives are shaped by the people we meet. Originally launched on Broadway and revived to sell-out houses in 1996 with Al Pacino, Hughie was one of O’Neill’s last works. “It has a deep interest and importance for those fascinated by our foremost dramatist” NEW YORK POST

John Robins: Hot Shame

Edinburgh Comedy Award Winner, digital DJ, vibe-magnet, yells into a well. Join John Robins for his new stand-up show following the critically lauded sell-out smash, The Darkness of Robins. John Robins has gained a reputation as a stand-up for finding humour in our bleakest moments. Expect soul-bearing, self-lacerating, piping-hot shame! As well as receiving widespread acclaim for his radio show with Elis James, he has also appeared on Live at the Apollo, Mock The Week, Live at the BBC, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.

ISH Dance Collective: Elements of Freestyle

An adrenaline-fuelled explosion of extreme sports, music, dance and theatre, ISH create breathtaking poetry with every movement in this spectacular show. Elements of Freestyle is about those redeeming seconds that make a complicated trick ultimately succeed; about the freestyler’s total focus, ecstasy and feeling of freedom. In a succession of breakdance, inline skating, skateboarding, freestyle basketball, BMX and freerunning, the audience discovers the art behind the trick. Director Marco Gerris’ (So You Think You Can Dance) show packs a wallop.

Bryony Kimmings: I’m a Phoenix, Bitch

Following a critically-acclaimed extended run at Battersea Arts Centre, Grand Hall and an Offies 2019 win, I’m a Phoenix, Bitch by Bryony Kimmings hits the festival as part of the British Council Edinburgh Showcase 2019. Kimmings weaves a powerful, dark and joyful masterpiece about motherhood, heartbreak and finding inner strength. Combining ethereal music, personal stories, epic film and feats of human strength.

Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo

Australian immersive theatre company Erth marks its Fringe debut with a widely acclaimed show, Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo, taking the young curious minds into a new dimension of performance art.

Known for its unique immersive theatre style and artistry which can put Hollywood’s CGI to shame, Erth’s dinosaur puppets walk, roar and blink at the young audiences as they are unmistakably ‘alive’ and keen to play! From cute baby dinosaurs to some of the largest carnivores and herbivores that have ever walked the planet, Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo gets up close and personal with an amazing array of creatures from bygone eras, connecting young audiences to the real science of palaeontology. Children can watch wide-eyed from a safe distance or dare to get right up close to these prehistoric creatures. Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo is the definition of edutainment!

Danny MacAskill’s Drop and Roll Live

Led by world-famous trials rider and YouTube sensation Danny MacAskill, Drop & Roll make their long-awaited Edinburgh Fringe debut with a brand-new show featuring jaw-dropping stunts!

Joining Danny will be highly acclaimed trials rider and fellow Scotsman Duncan Shaw, plus more athletes to be announced. Hosted by extreme sports commentator Henry Jackson, the hour-long show includes crowd participation and there are prizes to be won throughout!

Expect an action-packed display of gravity-defying tricks, guaranteed to amaze children and adults alike under the big top!

Fags, Mags and Bags

BBC Radio 4’s Fags, Mags and Bags written by and starring Sanjeev Kohli makes its Festival Fringe debut with live radio play. ‘All human life is in shop… there’s not a single aspect of it that’s not covered by at least one partwork magazine (free binder with part one)’. Dave! Please be a trumpet! Experience near your actual face Ramesh’s shop logic, Dave’s Vera Drake fleece, Alok’s pointy shoes and Sanjay’s weaponised sarcasm (#weaponisedsarcasm). And that’s merely scratching the shoe of the iceberg! Yes! This is your chance to become a customer and part of the shop community. And it is a community!, a joint initiative between Assembly, Gilded Balloon, Pleasance & Underbelly, is the largest grouping of venues on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and runs from 31 July to 26 August 2019.

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