It is nearly that time of year again when Edinburgh transforms into a comedy and cultural hotspot, attracting visitors from all over the world. The EICC is preparing to host a wealth of comedians, actors, dancers and cabaret acts this August as part of both the Festival Fringe and the Edinburgh International Festival. Let’s take a closer look at all the performances.
After a one-year hiatus, the Big Comedy Gala is back to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. Festival and Event Manager, Barry Church-Woods, set up the Big C with Mhari Hetherington after his sister died from cancer. “We wanted an event that would be fun for charities to become involved in,” explains Barry. “The EICC offered to host the gala and such a high calibre of artists wanted to be involved, such as Roy Walker and Ed Byrne. So far, we've raised more than £50,000, which is enough to run one of Macmillan's information centres for eight months.”
This year, the Gala will be hosted by the electronic comedy punk band Die Roten Punkte and will feature a great line-up of Fringe favourites as well as introduce new faces to the stage, including Craig Scott who will have his first outing in front of a large crowd. “This year we are turning the Gala into a house party with lots of stand-up and a variety of different acts,” says Barry. “We've changed the format to make it more exciting, but it is still in keeping with the artistry of the acts. It works beautifully and will be great fun."
This year, the cabaret acts that usually perform in the Big Comedy Gala will have an entire show of their own. Performer Lili la Scale was the one who suggested giving cabaret its own Big C, and also offered to host the event. With the songbird of Trafalgar Square at the helm, the fun and family-friendly show is promising to be something special. “The acts are offering something new – something they haven't done before at the Fringe,” continues Barry. “We'll have the cast of Rent, music and lots of variety.”
The Scottish comedian Craig Hill made his Fringe debut in 1999 and has been a Festival regular since then, performing to sell-out audiences. In this latest show, Craig tackles one of the most persistent trends of social media, all the while striking a pose in his trademark kilt. He never fails to receive rave reviews, with The List saying he gives a “laugh-out-loud performance from beginning to end”.
BSL interpreted shows on Saturday 15 & Saturday 22 August by Catherine King MITI/MRSLI
Daniel Sloss is one of the busiest comedians out there. As well as recently appearing on The John Bishop Show, he is currently working on a pilot for Warner Brothers Studio and is preparing for a tour across the globe. But he is never too busy for the Fringe. Playing his first show here at the tender age of 17, the Fringe is a little like coming home for him. In his latest show, his material becomes Dark but to great effect, with critics calling it “genuinely funny”.
BSL interpreted 10pm show on Saturday 15 & 8.40pm show on Thursday 20 by Catherine King MITI/MRSLI
Star of TV's Sunday Night at The Palladium and Live at the Apollo, Jimeoin returns to his roots of classic stand-up comedy with his latest show Yeehaa!. He has a great eye for the absurdities of human behaviour and you can expect razor-sharp wit and brilliance. With his Irish and English background and many years spent in Australia, he's also got lots of experience to draw on, making Yeehaa! “stand-up comedy at its best”.
BSL interpreted shows on Fridays 14 & 21 August by Catherine King MITI/MRSLI
Created by the legendary director, playwright and "visual wizard" (New York Times) Robert Lepage, 887 is a riveting foray into the world of memory, exploring how personal recollections are reflected in collective consciousness.
Special pre-theatre dining packages are available for this performance. See www.eif.co.uk/2015/887 for more details.
Inspired by the story of photographer Loren McIntyre, who, in 1969, found himself lost among a remote Amazonian tribe, Simon McBurney uses binaural technology to create an intimate set of encounters with nature, with time, and with our own consciousness.
Special pre-theatre dining packages are available for this performance. See www.eif.co.uk/2015/encounter for more details.
Jodi Kaplan is the producer and director of this ‘festival within a festival' in which seven companies from the USA will take to the stage, each showcasing their talent. The festival provides a broad introduction for first-time dance attendees, but also offers a fantastic selection of modern pieces for an audience already in love with dance. What's more, there will be a split-bill evening with extended performances.