Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh Fringe programme is officially unveiled

Promo shot for Edinburgh fringe Image copyright Jane Barlow/PA
Image caption The tagline of the 2016 festival is 'defying the norm'

The programme for this year's Edinburgh Fringe has been unveiled.

Organisers said there would be 50,266 performances of 3,269 shows in 294 venues over three weeks in August.

It remains the largest arts festival in the world despite a small fall in the number of shows - down 1.3% from 3,314 last year.

Its new chief executive Shona McCarthy promised "unparalleled" breadth and diversity of talent.

She said the Fringe is "still at its core an open access festival which welcomes anyone with a story to tell".

"The Fringe simply wouldn't happen without all the performers and artists who come and take the risk and put their work on show for the benefit for all of us," she added.

Image copyright Edinburgh festival fringe

The festival will be made up of:

  • 50,266 performances
  • 3,269 shows
  • Artists from 48 countries
  • Performances in 294 venues.

Some of the famous names in the comedy line-up include Rory Bremner, Omid Djalili, David O'Doherty and Shappi Khorsandi.

Actor Richard Wilson will revive one of the UK's best-loved TV characters, One Foot in the Grave's cantankerous protagonist Victor Meldrew, for a one-man show.

In the music category, Colin Hay, former lead singer of Men at Work, will bring a group of international musicians together for his show while Fringe favourite Camille O'Sullivan will debut a new show featuring the music of Radiohead, Nick Cave and David Bowie.

The Queen's Hall will host concerts from big names in folk and traditional music including Capercaillie, The Peatbog Faeries and King Creosote.

Various theatrical performances will celebrate William Shakespeare's legacy as they mark the 400th anniversary of the Bard's death.

Both the UK poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy and Scotland's former makar (national poet) Liz Lochhead are bringing separate shows to the Fringe in the spoken-word section.

There will also be 643 free events on offer across the programme.

The Scottish Government is supporting a "Made in Scotland" showcase, providing a platform for 18 of the country's best performers and companies.

Councillor Richard Lewis, who is in charge of the capital's festivals and events, stressed the importance of the Fringe to locals and businesses alike.

"In terms of finances, the Fringe festival alone brings in £142m to the city.

"In terms of the respondents to our recent survey a full 72% of Edinburgh citizens thought it contributed positively to their quality of life."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites