The numbers speak for themselves:
41,689 performances. 2,542 shows. 258 venues. 1,319 world premieres. 607 free shows. An estimated £142 million generated each year for the Edinburgh & Scottish economy…
And the number of ways you can have fun and be entertained during August in Edinburgh? Almost infinite.
Today saw the launch of the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme – revealing the full details of what’s on offer this year to an eager public at last.
The usual staples are all present and correct: big names in comedy, theatre and music jostle for space with newcomers and free shows – each one drawn to the biggest and best annual celebration of entertainment in the world.
Household names appearing include Phil Jupitus, Paul Daniels, Ruby Wax and Richard Herring; whilst we’re delighted to see some of our favourite Fringe shows return, including Camille O’Sullivan‘s new show Feel and urban dance maestros Flawless.
Simon Callow, Marc Almond and Art Malik all appear in theatre productions; whilst companies like Belt Up and Grid Iron bring innovative contemporary theatre to the party.
For the first time this year, Cabaret has its own section of the programme. It’s hear you’ll find all the variety, burlesque and vaudeville acts rubbing sequined shoulders, including the award-winning Vive le Cabaret and a welcome return from Fascinating Aida.
Venues too range from the established to the unique. Assembly are based in and around George Square Gardens this year, increasing the buzz in the Southside of the city; and ReMarkable Arts take over St George’s West after a year of the venue’s doors been closed during the Fringe. Elsewhere, shows take place in the Anatomy Department of the University’s Medical School, on a train to Glasgow, in women’s toilets – one show will even perform for you in the comfort of your own home…
Of course, there’s more – much, much more. This year, the Fringe will be making use of technology and the web to help audiences plan their schedules. iPhone and Android apps will allow ticket booking via mobile for the first time; and daily programmes will be available to download from the Fringe website once the fun and games begin on 5 August.
We’re looking forward to going through the programme in more detail later – and will be publishing our usual mix of picks, previews and interviews over the weeks between now and the beginning of August.
As with last year, we’ll bring everything we publish about Fringe 2011 into one easy to navigate section – and we hope you enjoy the ride as much we ourselves do!