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  • Writer's pictureJenna Cockburn

NEWS: Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2024 Programme Is Launched!



Today, Wednesday 12 June, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society is delighted to launch the official 2024 Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme. Once again, the programme celebrates the diverse selection of work at the Fringe, spanning genres and themes.


This year’s programme features work across 3317 shows, with themes tackling some of the most topical issues in the world today.  From politics and current affairs to the environment; AI and technology to sport; LGBTQ+ and neurodiverse-led work to capitalism and the female experience; this year's festival brings together performers from across the world, from homegrown Scottish talent to international artists travelling from near and far.


The Fringe is recognised as one of the most important cultural events on the planet, with performers from 58 countries appearing in Edinburgh this August.


Launching the 2024 Fringe programme, Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: ‘Revealing the programme is such an exciting moment for everyone involved in the Fringe, and we encourage audiences to jump right in, book some things that you know you will love, and take a chance on something new.’


‘The Fringe programme is bursting with every kind of performance, so whether you’re excited for theatre or cabaret, or the best of comedy, music, dance, children’s shows, magic or circus; get ready to unleash your Fringe this August and experience the creativity, excitement and passion artists bring to Edinburgh every year.’


‘Thank you to everyone who has a hand in making the Fringe happen. To artists, venues, workers, producers, technicians, promoters and support staff, we appreciate you and hope you have a fantastic Fringe. Thank you to Edinburgh’s local business community for your support; to Scotland’s residents who come out in their thousands, and to all audiences who keep the Fringe buzz alive by coming to see work. Bring on August!’



NEW AND INTERESTING VENUES

As always, shows are popping up in unique and surprising spaces around Edinburgh and beyond during August. You’re Needy (sounds frustrating) (Buccleuch Terrace p 342) takes place in a bathtub and is for an audience of one, exploring ‘a woman’s retreat from everyday life in pursuit of peace, solitude and ‘wellness’. The Bookbinder (Buccleuch Terrace p 268) ‘weaves shadow-play, paper-art, puppetry and music’ in an atmospheric bookshop.


As well as their new year-round home Hootanannies @ Home Street, Hootenannies have introduced yurts, hosting over 30 shows, including Suchandrika Chakrabarti: Doomscrolling (p 159) with Suchandrika trying to ‘explain chronically-online era to her niece (5), a ‘soothsaying laundry hag, a doe-eyed starlet and the mob's dry-cleaner' in Ozzy Algar: Speed Queen (Work in Progress) (p 136) and Femme Fatigue (p 87), one woman's story living with chronic fatigue.


C alto is a new venue for C Arts at the Quaker Meeting House. Pleasance have introduced a new space, Grotowski Institute at Pleasance at EICC for three shows including Nobody Meets Nobody, ‘a physical theatre of emotions’ (p 312).


The Hibernian Supporters Club, local Edinburgh social club, joins the Fringe as a venue, hosting Athens of The North (p 263), ‘an episodic, interwoven monologue and love letter to the city of Edinburgh’. Mad Dogs and an Englishman, a comedy show about dog training (p 120), takes place in a new venue over in Portobello, The Wash House


The two musicals Deacon Brodie, about ‘real-life drama in a shadowy world’ (p 230) and FLESH, the ‘real-life drama of Burke and Hare, Scotland’s first serial killers, with a comic twist and original folk rock songs’ (p 232) both take place in new venue The Mackenzie Building.


PBH’s Free Fringe @ Little Plaza is a new space for children’s shows in a year round play café.

No. 11 Boutique Hotel & Brasserie is a new venue near Easter Road, offering both A Cup of Tea with George Eliot (p 275) and an exhibition on Pigeon Poo (p 192).

 

FAMOUS FACES

Miriam Margolyes visits Edinburgh with her new show Margolyes & Dickens: The Best Bits (Pleasance at EICC p 306) performing Charles Dickens' most iconic characters. Adam Kay: Undoctored (Edinburgh Playhouse p 51), the ‘bestselling show of 2023’, returns for one night only.


‘In this election year, only one comedian can kill the mood even further’ in this work-in-progress Nish Kumar: Nish, Don't Kill My Vibe (Work-in-Progress) (Monkey Barrel Comedy p 133). Joanne McNally is back in Edinburgh with Joanne McNally: Work in Progress (Assembly George Square Studios p 106) after her ‘sold-out global tour with of Prosecco Express.’

 

‘Fumbling a flute on Would I Lie to You, combusting over a Cork accent on Radio 5 Live, scaring the Traitors' Diane with a T-shirt of her face’, join Ivo for more at Ivo Graham: Grand Designs (Pleasance Courtyard p 102).  Paul Merton and Suki Webster's Improv Show (Pleasance Courtyard p 138) is an ‘hour of fast, fabulously funny improvised games, scenes, stories and laugh-out-loud surrealism from two masters of comedy improvisation and special guests.’

 

David O'Doherty: Ready, Steady, David O'Doherty (Assembly George Square p 81) has ‘written a new megaconcert of talking and songs’ while Dara Ó Briain: My Entire Life is a Work In Progress (Work in Progress) (Assembly Rooms p 80) has his ‘first Edinburgh run since 2005, as he prepares for his next global tour.’

 

Hannah Gadsby is back at the Fringe ‘for the first time since 2017, when they won the Edinburgh Comedy Award (and an Emmy)’ with Hannah Gadsby: Woof! (Underbelly, Bristo Square p 95). ‘After getting a dog, and her dog coming on heat, a series of strange events started to happen in Grace's life’, leading to Grace Campbell Is On Heat (Gilded Balloon at the Museum p 94).

 

‘Flippant and fabulous’, ‘wicked sharp and delightfully silly’, ‘gender non-conforming and genre non-conforming', ALOK makes a return to the Fringe with ALOK (Underbelly, Bristo Square p 56). As seen on I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson, Shrill, and The Lost City, Patti Harrison returns to Edinburgh with Patti Harrison: My Huge Tits Huge Because They Are Infected NOT FAKE (Pleasance Courtyard p 136).

 

After a sold-out run at the Fringe in 2023, Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK’s Lawrence Chaney’s back with Lawrence Chaney – From Holyrood to Hollywood (Saint Stephen's Theatre p 116). As seen on RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under, Taskmaster Australia and Netflix, Rhys Nicholson brings a ‘brand-new, hour-long, stand-up comedy concert’ with Rhys Nicholson: Huge Big Party Congratulations! (Underbelly, Bristo Square p 144).

 

Lucy Porter: No Regrets (Just the Tonic at The Caves p 119) is ‘a well-known TV face (Live at the Apollo, QI), a much-loved radio voice and Celebrity Mastermind Champion of Champions.' Nina Conti: Whose Face Is It Anyway? (Pleasance Courtyard p 133) ‘delves deep into who we are, hijacking faces to spark a hysterical reality warp.’

 

Come join comedian Sara Pascoe at Sara Pascoe: I Am A Strange Gloop (WIP) (Monkey Barrel Comedy p 148) as she ‘reconsiders and reconstructs herself after having two babies and very little sleep’ or join Rosie Jones as she ‘ponders whether she is a national treasure, a little prick, or somewhere in between’ at Rosie Jones: Triple Threat (Pleasance Courtyard p 147). At Sue Perkins: A Piece of Work in Progress (Pleasance Courtyard p 159), Sue tells us she ‘is a mess, but because she wears glasses and uses adverbs, people are fooled into thinking she’s together.’

 

Live podcasts at the Fringe this year include Nish Kumar’s and Coco Khan’s ‘weekly political podcast’ Pod Save the UK – Live! (Monkey Barrel Comedy p 140), No Such Thing As A Fish (Edinburgh Playhouse p 134) celebrating 10 years of podcasting, the live comedy podcasting phenomenon The Guilty Feminist (Gilded Balloon at the Museum p 95) and The Political Party With Matt Forde (Gilded Balloon at the Museum p 141).

 

CREATING A BUZZ

Drop Dead Gorgeous: A New Musical (Work-in-Progress Concert Series) (Pleasance Dome p 230) ‘based on the cult-classic film’ features an original score written and performed by Riki Lindhome (Netflix's Wednesday).

 

Fringe First Winner Apphia Campbell returns with Through the Mud (Summerhall p 333), ‘two generations of women activists in the struggle for black liberation in America.’ Winner of Best Newcomer, Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2023 Urooj Ashfaq is back with Urooj Ashfaq: It's Funny To Me (Work in Progress) (Assembly Roxy p 165).

 

Fringe sell-out show 2022 and 2023, The Kaye Hole Hosted by Reuben Kaye (Assembly George Square Gardens p 21), is back and is ‘queer, messy and f*cking hilarious. The hottest late-night ticket in town.’ Rob Madge's sell-out, award-winning show Rob Madge: My Son's a Queer (But What Can You Do) (Underbelly, Bristo Square p 321) returns to Edinburgh Fringe. Join Rob as ‘they set out to recreate their childhood Disney Parade – and nobody is gonna rain on it.’


Photo Credit: Jess Shurte | Models: Cris Peploe, Cerstin Heck, Saber Bamatraf, Robbie Cockburn

 

FRINGE FACTS 2024

  • 3317 total shows

  • 262 total venues

  • 51,446 performances

  • Work from Scotland: 849

  • Rest of UK: 1521

  • Countries represented: 58 (including UK countries)

  • International countries: 54 (excluding UK countries)

  • There are 354 free shows and 577 Pay What You Can/Want shows

  • There are 849 Scottish shows, with 608 shows coming from Edinburgh.

  • Shows within each section:

  • Cabaret and variety – 156 shows (4.7%)

  • Children’s shows – 116 shows (3.5%)

  • Comedy – 1310 shows (39.5%)

  • Dance, physical theatre and circus – 115 shows (3.5%)

  • Events – 54 shows (1.6%)

  • Exhibitions – 43 shows (1.3%)

  • Music – 343 shows (10.3%)

  • Musicals and opera – 137 shows (4.1%)

  • Spoken word – 160 shows (4.8%)

  • Theatre – 883 shows (26.6%)

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