Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh Fringe unveils line-up to mark its 70th anniversary

Fringe festival launch Image copyright Neil Hanna
Image caption The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is marking its 70th anniversary

A diverse programme of comedy, theatre, dance and music has been unveiled to mark the 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Scots comedian Craig Ferguson, who last performed at the fringe 24 years ago before finding fame in the US, is among a host of big names on the line-up.

Irvine Welsh, Judy Murray and Britain's Got Talent winner Tokio Myers also feature on the eclectic bill.

And for the first time a play will be staged at Hibernian Football Club.

A Field of Our Own will explore the origins of the football club, which was set up by first and second generation immigrants in 1875.

Other extraordinary venues include the Novotel swimming pool, which will host Brodsky Station by 274 Theatre Company.

Line-up highlights include performances by comedians Ruby Wax, Sue Perkins, Sean Hughes, Daniel Sloss and Dead Ringers star Jan Ravens in her Fringe debut.

Image copyright Getty Images/ Syco/Thames ITV/BBC
Image caption Judy Murray, Tokio Myers and Irvine Welsh feature in the Fringe programme

Clive Anderson will host a live incarnation of Whose Line Is It Anyway? and Dave Johns, star of I Daniel Blake, will return to his comedy roots.

And for two weeks, Craig Ferguson, who fronted The Late Late Show on US network CBS for 10 years, will host his radio show in front of live audience.

Former Scotland tennis coach Judy Murray will also make an appearance at the festival.

She will discuss her career and Grand Slam winning sons "in conversation" with broadcaster Hazel Irvine.

Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh is behind two shows which feature in the programme, one of which, Creatives, is described as a darkly comic "pop-opera" examining the contemporary music industry.

Global politics is one of the themes of the festival, with productions about Donald Trump and Brexit among the line-up.

Image copyright PA/BBC
Image caption Sue Perkins, Daniel Sloss and Ruby Wax are among the star names on the bill

In one - Trumpageddon! - Donald Trump's presidency and his state visit to the UK is satirised in an interactive farce.

And the characters of Boris Johnson and Michael Gove are the protagonists in Brexit The Musical, written by Brexit lawyer Chris Bryant.

Shona McCarthy, chief executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said: "This is a very special year for the Fringe as we celebrate 70 years of defying the norm, of championing artistic freedom and providing a platform for artists around the world to come and present their work in a truly unique environment that is inclusive, inspiring, and often life-affirming.

"The fringe movement has circled the globe and inspired a worldwide network of over 200 sister fringes, with fringes now taking place on every continent except Antarctica.

"In the current climate of global uncertainty, fringes are more crucial than ever, continuing to provide artists with a space to express themselves without fear of censorship."

The Edinburgh Fringe began in 1947 when eight theatre companies turned up uninvited to perform at the inaugural Edinburgh International Festival.

They were refused entry but decided to perform on the fringe of the festival.

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