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The Edinburgh Festival Fringe

2nd August 2013 | Posted in Sports & Culture by H. Simpson
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe starts today and carries on until 21st August. If you didn't know already, its the biggest arts festival in the world featuring comedy, theatre, dance, musicals, opera, music, exhibitions and events. The festival started when in 1947, eight theatre groups turned up uninvited to the Edinburgh International Festival, taking advantage of the large gathered crowds. The following year, this was given the name 'Fringe'. Now, performers from all over come to take part whether it be on the streets, at a venue or on a stage. Whether you want to watch a serious piece of drama or have fun watching comedians, the variety is diverse.


Many well known actors and comedians take part in the festival such as Jack Whitehall and John Bishop to name a few. In 2005, Bill Bailey and Alan Davies staged a production and in 2007, Ricky Gervais organised a one off performance of his stand up 'Fame', donating profits to Macmillan Cancer Support even though he got accused of greed; taking audiences away from the smaller shows. You wouldn't know but a lot of famous people performed at Fringe before they were famous and some were even 'spotted' there. The list includes:

    Graham Norton - Doing a bit of a drag act!
    Bill Bailey - Performed a show that lacked audience but was still picked up by Radio 1. He then went on to have a solo show 'Bill Bailey's Cosmic Jam' at Fringe a year later and the stand-up got commissioned to Channel 4 and released on DVD in 2005.
    Sarah Millican - In 2008, Sarah Millican appeared at the Fringe Festival with a debut routine called 'Sarah Millican's Not Nice' which was about her divorce. She won Best Newcomer and the rest remains history...
    Rowan Atkinson - First appeared at Fringe when he was 21. He is now one of the world's top comedians.
    Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Emma Thompson - First started out together in a show in 1981 and won the very first Perrier Comedy Award. These 3 have now shot to worldwide stardom.
    John Cleese
- Before monty python in 1960's, John Cleese performed at Fringe.

Highlights

Everyone associates the Fringe Festival with comedy but its more than that, its only because the comedy section brings in the famous names. These are the highlights this year:

Comedy:

    Alistair McGowan: Damn Labels If you can't get to see any of the others, go to Alistair McGowan who will be performing impressions of them!
    Al Murray- The Pub Landlord: The Only Way Is Epic 'The Guv' is back with his usual standup jokes.
    Rory McGrath & Philip Pope: Bridge Over Troubled Lager
    David Baddiel - Fame: Not the Musical
    Jason Manford: First World Problems
    Jenny Eclair: Eclairious
    Sarah Millican: Home Bird Not a fan but other people seem to like her.
    Lee Nelson Again, not a fan but if you like his 'chav' routine then go see him.
    Caroline Rhea Remember Aunt Hilda from sabrina the Teenage Witch? This is her! I'm sure she also presented The Biggest Loser in America too.
    Mark Dolan: Your Awesome Didn't really like him as a presenter on Balls of Steel but I wonder what he's like at stand up.
    Omid Djalili: Live
    Paul Merton's Impro Chums
    Russell Kane: Smallness Quite popular at the moment, my mum's off to see him.
    Stephen K Amos
    Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience This is a 2 hour show with a 3 course meal included

Spoken Word:

    Ben Fogle: In the Name of Adventure
    David Schneider: Is the Internet Making us More Stupider?
    George Galloway's Political Football
    George Galloway's Fighting Talk Remember him on Celebrity Big Brother pretending to be a cat?

Musicals and Opera:

    Grease!
    Footloose
    Godspell
    Love Story
    Michelle McManus @ The Musicals I wondered what she was doing now!
    Rent
    Oliver
    Seussical All things Dr Seuss!

Music:

    An Evening of Dirty Dancing One of my favourite films!
    The Rat Pack Live
    Silent Disco A disco that is...silent. Wear a set of headphones to hear the music, to people walking past, you look like your dancing to silence!

Theatre:

    The Shawshank Redemption
Along with this, theres all the usual theatre productions like Shakespeare, Jane Austen, etc.
 

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