FRINGE PREVIEW – Universal Arts

Universal Arts' New Town Theatre

Universal Arts' New Town Theatre

Although much may have been written about the departure of one Fringe venue from George Street this year, one which remains – burning as brightly as ever – is Universal Arts‘ New Town Theatre.

A highlight of the Fringe for the last 22 years, Universal Arts are back with a programme which contains a typical eclectic mix of theatre, music, dance and comedy from across the globe.

The baroque burlesque of Pinocchio: A Fantasy Of Pleasures from the USA will dance for attention alongside new theatre from Poland, Brazil and the Netherlands. Fringe stalwart Pip Utton will conjure up the spirit of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, whilst later on the same stage, Australian singer-songwriter Becc Sanderson will perform a set of covers and original songs featuring flowers in the titles.

Macbeth, Charlie Chaplin and even Arthur Scargill are some of the other perhaps unlikely bedfellows in a programme which artistic director Tomek Borkowy has curated with the intention of offering up something for everyone; whilst at the same time ensuring the quality of each production.

This year, Universal Arts open the doors on two new performance spaces. The initimacy of the MAGIC theatre and the Freemason’s Committee Room will join the familiar Majestic and Mysterious theatres; and there is even a production which will take place in the ladies’ lavatory.

With its intriguing programme, friendly staff and an opportunity to see the building’s fascinating interior first-hand (not to mention the ladies loos), Universal Arts once again look set to ensure the Fringe still has a place it can call home in one of Edinburgh’s most famous streets.

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