The Festival Fringe Society is thrilled to announce the 2011 Fringe programme, crammed full of the stories, reflections and experiences of artists, producers and companies from all over the world. True to form this year’s Festival Fringe is bigger than ever before with the programme featuring 2,542 events.

The increase in size is alongside a number of exciting shifts in the Fringe landscape from venues to content. For the first time the Fringe programme has a dedicated cabaret section reflecting the growth of this increasingly popular genre at the Fringe. Cabaret joins comedy, theatre, dance and physical theatre, events, exhibitions, children’s shows, music, musicals and opera taking work to new and exciting places across the city of Edinburgh in August.

Launching the programme, Kath M Mainland, Chief Executive of the Festival Fringe Society, said:

"I am delighted to announce that the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme is bigger than ever featuring 2,542 different events. I know there will be people from all across Scotland, the UK and the world receiving their Fringe programmes and getting excited about coming to Edinburgh in August to see work of every type from all around the world.

"Two weeks ago at the launch of the Edinburgh Festivals Impact Study we were thrilled, though not surprised, to see the effect the Fringe has on its host city. An astounding figure of over £141 million generated in 2010 was supported by the finding that audiences place huge value on the world class and international cultural experiences that are provided by the Edinburgh Festivals. Locals take great pride in the Festivals and the value they bring to their city and we are proud to be at the centre of that festival landscape, as the Fringe, here in Edinburgh, in August.

"We are excited to welcome Virgin money to the Fringe as the sponsor of our Street Events which were seen by almost one million visitors last year. In 2011 the British Council and Made In Scotland showcases return with amazing work and will appear alongside showcase productions from many other countries including South Korea and Brazil, as shows from countries around the globe flock to Edinburgh maintaining the Fringe as a platform for world class international work.

"The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is still the first choice for performers, producers, venues, artists and creators to come and tell their story; we are proud that at the Fringe is still THE place to bring your work, with opportunities to amaze, enthral and excite audiences from both far away and close to home."

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop MSP said:

"Every year the Fringe gets bigger and better and this year’s programme promises to delight and excite audiences from home and abroad. Offering a huge variety of work from an international band of talented performers, I’m sure there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

"Edinburgh’s Festivals contribute hugely to the Scottish economy, generating over a quarter of a billion pounds’ worth of additional revenue for Scotland last year. I’m delighted that our Expo Fund, through the Made In Scotland showcase, is promoting the wealth of Scotland’s creative talent at the Fringe and raising the profile of our world-class artists internationally."

In 2011, as every other year there are changes in the Fringe landscape, St George’s West joins the programme after a year out, as part of Remarkable Arts. Their programme of theatre and dance features Fringe award winner David Leddy’s new production Untitled Love Story through to The Return of Pink Sinatra performing classics with a live band. Assembly moves into George Square Theatre and George Square with several pop up performance spaces including Mirazozo which is its own immersive theatre experience. Bedlam have a second venue for this year’s Fringe in the form of Bedlam Chambers which will be used by Edinburgh International Festival Award winners from the 2009 Fringe The River People performing new work Little Matter in a specially created covered wagon. Battersea Arts Centre and the Demarco European Art Foundation partner with new venue Summerhall, which will host work including Hannah Ringham’s Free Show Bring Money in which the audience decide how much they want to pay.

Legendary Fringe institution Late ‘n’ Live celebrates its 25th year. The show, once described by Jo Brand as ‘Edinburgh's infamous English comic-baiting version of The Coliseum’ is to be the subject of a BBC documentary to be broadcast in the autumn. C Venues are celebrating their 20th birthday with a programme of over 110 shows and by moving into the Edinburgh College of Art. PBH’s Free Fringe and Laughing Horse’s Free Festival return alongside a host of other free non-ticketed events which will take over pubs and bars across other city.

New for 2011 the BBC host a venue at the Fringe. The BBC@Potterow will be home to some of the corporation’s Edinburgh staples. The ever popular Just A Minute returns, as does BBC Scotland’s MacAulay & Co and Off the Ball. Ricky Gervais will be appearing in a Q&A with Warwick Davis to discuss their new TV show Life’s Too Short, and David Mitchell returns with The Unbelievable Truth. Radio 1’s Scott Mills will be returning to the Fringe alongside a whole host of Radio 1 favourites including Nick Grimshaw’s late night show broadcast live from the BBC’s new Edinburgh tent.

Fringe Central our participants’ centre is now in its third year and returns with the most extensive ever programme of professional development events for Fringe participants. Over 60 separate events for 2011 range from seminars and panel discussions with industry insiders and Fringe experts to help all participants make the most of their time at the Fringe.

Big names at this Fringe appear on and off stage, John Malkovich directs Julian Sands in a Celebration of Harold Pinter (Pleasance) and Mark Ravenhill returns as writer and director with Ten Plagues(Traverse) starring Soft Cell singer Marc Almond. Diane Quick (Midnight Your Time), Art Malik (Rose), Bobby Crush (Liberace: Live From Heaven) Simon Callow (Tuesday at Tesco) and Gerda Stevenson (Federer and Murray) will all be appearing on stages across the city. Internationally celebrated performer Barbara Morrison, who has toured with Ray Charles, brings Barbara Morrison - Up On The Roof(The Outhouse) to Edinburgh.

A host of top names in comedy make their annual pilgrimage to Edinburgh. Sarah Millican returns with Sarah Millican - Thoroughly Modern Millican at Assembly which is also the venue for Al Murray's Compete for the Meat and fans can see Ed Byrne: Crowd Pleaser at the EICC. Fringe favourite David O'Doherty will be at the Pleasance with David O'Doherty is Looking Up. Peep Show and White’s Isy Suttie brings Pearl and Dave (Pleasance), Ruby Wax brings Losing It (Underbelly). Kristen Schaal of Flight of the Conchords, Daily Show and Penelope Princess of Pets fame, returns with Kurt Braunohler in Hot Tub with Kurt and Kristen. Cult comedy fans can see Tim and Eric performing at Assembly.

Richard Herring will be back at the Fringe for his 24th year with brand new show Richard Herring: What is Love Anyway? (Underbelly). 2011 also sees a new show from Phil Jupitus with Phil Jupitus: Stand Down at The Stand, alongside Have I Got News For You and The Now Show’s Mitch Ben and TV and film’s Omid Djalili: Work In Progress. Comedians’ comedian Stewart Lee will by trying out new work also at The Stand in Stewart Lee - Flickwerk 2011. Work in Progress..

TV performers are in no short supply this year at the Fringe. Household names from 4 Poofs and a Piano - Business as Usual (Pleasance) to The Magnets, (Assembly) and dance stars Flawless will wow at the Pleasance. Children of the 80s indulge their nostalgia with Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee in his show Paul Daniels: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow (Underbelly).

Award winning companies, performers and productions return across the 2011 Fringe. Fringe First Award winning National Theatre of Scotland return after 2010’s Beautiful Burnout with David Greig’s The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart in the bar of Ghillie Dhu and The Wheel at the Traverse. 2010 Award winner Bryony Kimmings is back as part of Arts Council England (East): Escalator East to Edinburgh showcase, Kimming’s 7 Day Drunk (Assembly) will be created from the creative juices that flow when under the influence.

Total Theatre Award winning Tim Crouch returns to Edinburgh with his one-man reworking of Twelfth Night I, Malvolio at the Traverse. Up-and-coming Scottish comedian, and winner of last year’s So You Think You’re Funny, James Kirk comes back to the Fringe as part of Gadd, Kirk and Winning: Well, This Is Awkward at Bannermans.

The winners of last year’s Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards are returning in 2011. The main award winner Russell Kane returns with his new show Russel Kane: Manscaping at the Pleasance, which is also the venue for best newcomer award winner Roisin Conaty with Roisin Conaty: Destiny’s Dickhead.

The big issues of the day take to the stage alongside utterly unique goings-on as this year’s participants think big on everything from themes to venue. The 2011 Fringe programme features anything and everything: audiences can see a show in a toilet (Sailing On, New Town Theatre) before hopping on a train for a show (Even in Edinburgh/Glasgow), using new media ((g)Host City) to negotiate their festival through to inviting Fringe performers into their home, bedroom (Alma Mater, Remarkable Arts at St George’s West) and then onto a bus (The Tour Guide).

Ten years after the September 11 attacks there are a number of companies bringing shows about that day and its aftermath to the Fringe. Edinburgh’s Cutting Edge Theatre Productions will be premiering their new musical 11, weaving the stories of people whose lives have been affected in WW1, WW2 and 9/11 at Paradise @ Augustines. Dancebase will be the location for two movement pieces inspired by photographs capturing a man falling from the twin towers, Smallpetitklein and the Balbir Singh Dance Company’s Falling Man/Decreasing Infinity. The American High School Theatre Festival will be presenting War at Home, an ensemble piece created out of the journal writings of students, teachers and community members following 9/11. Generation 9/11: So Far/ So Close is Chris Wolfe’s one man show exploring how 9/11 affected a generation through TV, the internet and by phone.

Mark Thomas comes to The Bongo Club with a show about his walk along the Israeli Separation Barrier Mark Thomas: Extreme Rambling (Walking the Wall). White Rabbit Red Rabbit (Remarkable Arts at St George’s West) comprises a text by a young Iranian dramatist and a new performer every day.

All ages appear across the 2011 Fringe from theatre for little ’uns at Spotlites@Merchants Hall with Enormous Turnip for 2 - 5 year olds, through to dance featuring all ages in Conversation with Carmel at Remarkable Arts at St George’s West, which will see 83-year-old dancer Diane Payne-Myers and 9 month old Otis take to the stage. 78 year old Lynn Ruth Millar returns as a compere for Cabaret at Sweet, in The Sweet Release. Glasgow teenagers Junction 25 will be performing I Hope My Heart Goes First at Remarkable Arts at St George’s West. The cast of 13 -20 year old explore the workings of the human heart from their perspective.

Scottish identity and character are well represented at this year’s Fringe. Paddy Cunneen’s Fleeto and Wee Andy are running back to back at Pleasance. Scottish Sperm at TheSpace@Jury’s Inn tries to work out what’s so great about the Caledonian white stuff. There’s the world premiere of Iain Heggie’s People I Tried to Like at the Gilded Balloon, and the return of his King of Scotland starring Jonathan Watson at Assembly. Des Dillon’s celebrated comedy Singin ‘I'm No a Billy’ He's a Tim’ will be at The Stand.

The Fringe programme’s international offerings range from New York’s Lach’s Antihoot at Gilded Balloon to Canada which is well represented by funny women, Dana Alexander: New Arrival (Underbelly), DeAnne Smith: The Best DeAnne Smith DeAnne Smith Can Be (Gilded Balloon) and Sharron Matthews Superstar: Jesus Thinks I’m Funny (Space Cabaret). From Zimbabwe, Rooftop Promotions bring Rituals (New Town Theatre) and Grassroots Theatre Company present Africa, Heart and Soul (Paradise @ Augustines). The Torture Show is brought by Mexican company Aztikiera Teatro. From Korea comes extravaganza Jasmine Gwangju presented by Gwangju Metropolitan Authority and back to Scotland, and Orkney with the Wrigley Sisters at the Acoustic Music Centre.

Music on the Fringe is strong as ever, Brooklyn based The National (Corn Exchange), British band Morcheeba (Liquid Rooms) and Newton Faulkner (Liquid Rooms) all perform as part of The Edge Festival.

Stage adaptations of classic films appear from A Clockwork Orange (C), to Casablanca (Pleasance) to Arsenic and Old Lace (Zoo) and Reservoir Dogs (The Spaces) alongside autobiography and biography with stories from the recognisable to the sublime. John Osborne recounts his relationship with a box of records won in 2002 on the John Peel show in John Peel’s Shed by John Osborne. Poet Martin Figura tells his story in Whistle (Zoo Roxy). Assembly will also be hosting the debut Fringe show from La Clique’s lycra wearing baritone Le Gateau Chocolat who invites the audience to immerse themselves both front, and backstage. Debbie Does My Dad (Bedlam) explores what it is like living with a porn star parent.

The story of Medea is particularly resonant at this year’s Fringe with three very different interpretations. As part of Made In Scotland Lung Ha’s collaborate with Swedish company Unga Klara bringing Medea’s Children to Remarkable Arts at St George’s West in which the story is told from the perspective of the children. Stella Duffy modernises the tale in Medea at Assembly. Site specific Zecora Ura and Persis Jade Maraval perform their six hour long Hotel Medea at Summerhall. The show starts at 23.45 and ends at dawn with hot chocolate and breakfast provided.

As every year, at the Fringe in 2011 artists shrug off theatrical convention and take to any space that can support, expand and inform their work. Grid Iron will be celebrating their 10th year at the Fringe with What Remains in the University of Edinburgh Medical School’s Anatomy Department. Poet Ishbel McFarlane will be meeting her audience members under the departure boards for a ‘literal and literary’ tour to Glasgow by train in Even in Edinburgh/Glasgow. Arches new resident artist Adrian Howells asks May I Have The Pleasure...? at a wedding breakfast at the Point Hotel in which he recounts his experience of weddings as an oft used best man. For The Lounge Room Confabulators the site is your own home; Australian artists Stuart Bowden and Wil Greenway will charm your guests with a suitcase and more than a story or two.

You Once Said Yes promises to keep the audience member right at the heart of the show, part theatrical experience, part real life, part city journey. Keep saying yes and the show may never end. The Fringe is virtual for (g)Host City; audiences will download different performances and listen to them on their MP3 players as they walk through the streets of Edinburgh. Ryan Millar’s Roman Around (Laughing Horse @ Jekyll & Hyde) takes the audience on a walking tour of Rome, around Edinburgh. Getting personal, The Moment I Saw You I Knew I Could Love You at Summerhall creates a cocoon for its audience in the belly of a whale whilst The Oh F**k Moment (Remarkable Arts at St Georges West) takes its audience into an office to talk about the moment after someone realises they may have made a mistake.

As always kids are well catered for with a feast of fun for Fringe 2011. The storytellers from The Roald Dahl Museum will be performing the author’s Revolting Rhymes at Pleasance. The Stand Comedy Club has comedy, magic and sketches for kids in Toybox with comedians Billy Kirkwood, Sian Bevan and Steven Dick. deBASE productions will be at C venues with their children’s version of Waiting For Godot Hurry Up and Wait. Comedians Tiernan Douieb and Tim Fitzhigham are asking children to join them in The Adventurers Club - The Great Arctic Caper and The Adventurers Club - The Great Arctic Caper (Assembly) will make children over 6 giggle alongside their mums and dads. Kids of the 90s can indulge their childhood geek at world premiere of an adaptation of cult 90’s video game The Secret of Monkey Island (theSpaces @ Surgeons Hall).

Note to editors:

  • For further information contact the Fringe Media Office - 0131 240 1919

  • Edinburgh Festival Fringe Box Office Opens 08:00 Friday 10 June. Tickets available online, on telephone, over the counter.


    • Fringe 2011 features 41,689 performances of 2,542 shows in 258 venues
    • Fringe 2010 featured 40,254 performances of 2,453 shows in 259 venues
    • Fringe 2009 featured 34,265 performances of 2,098 shows in 265 venues
    • Fringe 2008 featured 31,320 performances of 2,088 shows in 247 venues

    • Comedy makes up 37% of the Fringe 2011 programme, that’s up 2% on last year. Theatre is up 1% on last year at 30%. Music is down 2% on last year at 14% and Musicals and Opera are at 3.5% down 0.5% on last year. Children’s Shows remain at 4% for the third year in a row. Dance & Physical Theatre and Events are both down 1% at 3.5%. This year’s newest category Cabaret is at 2.5% and the final 2% of the programme is made up by Exhibitions.

    • An estimated 21,192 performers will take to the stage in Fringe 2011, compared to 21,148 in 2010 and 18,901 in 2009.

    • 607 shows at the Fringe in 2011 are absolutely free, compared to 558 last year.

    • 1,319 of the shows on the Fringe this year are World Premieres

    • The recent Edinburgh Festivals Impact Study showed that the Fringe annually generates around £142 million for the Edinburgh and Scottish economy. The study also showed that 89% of Edinburgh respondents said that the Fringe and other Festivals increase local pride in their home city.
9 June 2011