Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh Fringe: 'Try something new' plea at programme launch

Fringe launch Image copyright Laurence Winram
Image caption This year's programme has now been unveiled

Edinburgh Fringe audiences have been urged to take a chance on new shows as this year's programme was unveiled.

Organisers want people to look beyond the usual big names and venues.

An arcade-style Inspiration Machine on the Mound will randomly display videos from Fringe artists at the push of a button in a bid to persuade audiences to seek out something different.

This year's festival will take place between 2 and 26 August, and features work from a record 63 countries.

They cover a wide range of themes, including climate change, migration, space, body image and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic identity.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Parks and Reereation star Nick Offerman is among this year's performers
Image copyright Dave Mackison
Image caption Danny MacAskill will make his Fringe debut

There will be Fringe debuts by performers including stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill, children's television character Basil Brush, and Parks and Recreation star Nick Offerman.

Some big-name comedians will be trying out work-in-progress shows, such as Eddie Izzard, Omid Djalili, Russell Howard, Nina Conti and Stephen K Amos.

Political commentator and broadcaster Iain Dale will feature guests including Nicola Sturgeon, Sadiq Khan and Baroness Warsi on his current affairs show.

This year also sees the launch of a FringeMaker game encouraging visitors to explore different venues.

Shona McCarthy, chief executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said the event was "a remarkable feat of engineering and human endeavour".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Fringe brings thousands of performers and visitors to Edinburgh every year
Image copyright Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society
Image copyright Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

"This year's festival will feature 744 shows from Edinburgh, 963 from Scotland and work from a record 63 countries, which collectively help make the Fringe the greatest celebration of arts and culture on the planet," she said.

"This year's programme will challenge perceptions, stimulate conversation, entertain, make you laugh, make you cry and inspire you."

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop added: "This year, the programme demonstrates once again why it is one of the most important events in the international cultural calendar.

"Innovation and creativity will provide unforgettable moments for festival goers and will raise Scotland's standing on the world stage."

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