Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Knowledge Identifier: !Edinburgh_Festival_Fringe

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Worlds largest arts festival, with the 2012 event spanning 25 days totalling over 2,695 shows from 47 countries in 279 venues add

Category: Movies & TV

Activity starting in 1974.

Countries: United Kingdom (59%), United States (14%), Scotland (6%)

Main connections: Arts festival, Bill Bailey, Craig Ferguson

Linked to: The Scotsman, Joint Stock Theatre Company, Reduced Shakespeare Company, University of Bradford

 

Timeline


 

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1976

Arts festival - Between 1976 and 1981, under the direction of Alistair Moffat, the number of companies performing rose from 182 to 494, thus achieving its position of the largest arts festival in the world add something

 

The first full-time Fringe chief was former teacher, John Milligan, who left in 1976 to run the Craigmillar Festival add something

 

Rowan Atkinson - First achieving notice at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1976, while at Oxford, he acted and performed early sketches for the Oxford University Dramatic Society , the Oxford Revue and the Experimental Theatre Club , meeting writer Richard Curtis and composer Howard Goodall, with whom he would continue to collaborate during his career


1978

Sean Mathias - In 1978, Mathias appeared in a production at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, during which time he met actor Ian McKellen who subsequently became his lover of about nine years


1980

By 1980 when William Burdett-Coutts set up the Assembly Theatre in the Assembly Rooms on George Street , the investment in staging, lighting and sound meant that the original amateur or student theatricals were left behind add something

 

During 1980s the Festival Fringe attracted a number of major touring companies add something

 

Notable companies in the 1980s have included Complicite and the National Theatre of Brent add something


1981

He was succeeded by writer and historian Alistair Moffat, who left in 1981 to become Head of Arts at Scottish Television add something

 

The Assembly Rooms started the trend in 1981, taking over the empty Georgian building that had once hosted the International Festival Club, and the following year The Circuit was prominent; it was in fact a "tented village, that was situated on a piece of empty ground, popularly known as "The Hole in The Ground", once the site of a church building converted to a cinema, where the Saltire complex was subsequently built in the early 1990s add something

 

The best opportunity used to be afforded by "Fringe Sunday", started in the High Street in 1981 and moved through pressure of popularity to Holyrood Park in 1983 add something


1983

He was succeeded in 1983, by Dr. Jonathan Miller, and by Elizabeth Smith, Baroness Smith add something


1985

Sean Mathias - He followed it with "Infidelities", which premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1985 before transferring to London's Donmar Warehouse


1986

Glasgow Garden Festival - He was replaced by Michael Dale, who departed in 1986 to become Head of Events for the Glasgow Garden Festival add something

 

In 1986 the Fringe saw the breakout performance of Craig Ferguson as "Bing Hitler", a "parody of all the über-patriotic native folk singers who seemed to infect every public performance in Scotland add something

 

Craig Ferguson - Edinburgh Festival - The character, "Bing Hitler" , premiered in Glasgow, and subsequently became a hit at the 1986 Edinburgh Festival_Fringe

 

Jon Gaunt - His most successful play was "Hooligans" which won a Fringe First at the 1986 Edinburgh Festival Fringe


1987

John Dowie (humourist) - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - In 1987 Dowie issued a live album, "Good Grief", recorded at the Zap Club in Brighton, but by 1991 had all but retired from stand-up comedy, celebrating his decision with an Edinburgh Festival Fringe show, "Why I Stopped Being a Stand-Up Comedian"


1988

In 1988 the Society moved from 170 High Street to its current expanded headquarters on the Royal Mile add something


1990

A computerised booking system was first installed in the early 1990s, allowing tickets to be bought at a number of locations around the city add something

 

Eclecticism ruled the 1990s with acts like The Jim Rose Circus and Tokyo Shock Boys add something


1991

Rachel Weisz - In 1991 Weisz received the Student Drama *award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, for her part in the play "Slight Possession"


1992

Graham Norton - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - In 1992 his stand-up comedy drag act in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as a tea-towel clad Mother Teresa of Calcutta made the press when Scottish Television's religious affairs department mistakenly thought he represented the real Mother Teresa


1993

He was succeeded by his deputy, Mhairi Mackenzie-Robinson, who left in 1993 to pursue a career in business add something

 

The new Traverse Theatre opened here in 1993 add something


1994

Bill Bailey - !Edinburgh Festival Fringe - Stubbs later quit to pursue a more serious career, and in 1994 Bailey performed "Rock" at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with Sean Lock, a show about an ageing rockstar and his roadie, script-edited by comedy writer Jim Miller


1995

Lee Mack - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - Mack first came to prominence on winning "So You Think You're Funny" at the 1995 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

 

Mark Gatiss - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - "The League of Gentlemen" began as a stage act in 1995, which won the Perrier *award at Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1997


1996

Akmal Saleh - Adelaide Fringe Festival - This was followed by the live shows "Bound And Gagged" and "Hoot", the latter of which toured the 1996 Adelaide Fringe Festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

 

David Strassman - In 1996, he performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland


1997

Johnny Vegas - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - His career took off when he won the Festival Critics' Award at the 1997 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and was the first newcomer to be nominated for the Perrier Award


1998

Dan Antopolski - In 1998 Antopolski won the BBC New Comedy Award and in 2009 won the Dave Award for Best Joke at the 2009 Edinburgh Festival Fringe


1999

Hilary Strong served in the position until 1999, when she became director of the Greenwich Theatre add something

 

Stephen Henry - He directed the UK premiere production of "To Have and To Hold" by Paul Harris, with Cory English, and the European premiere of Terrence McNally's passion play "Corpus Christi", at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1999, with Stephen Billington and Mel Raido

 

Andy Zaltzman - Zaltzman has been performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe since 1999 when he was a finalist in the prestigious "So You Think You're Funny-" new act competition along with Josie Long, Russell Howard and David O'Doherty


2000

The Internet arrived in 2000 with the launching of its official website, which sold over half a million tickets online by 2005 add something

 

Ross Noble - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - Since starting as a stand-up comedian, Noble has won many *awards, including a Time Out *award winner in 2000 for his Edinburgh Festival Fringe show "Chickenmaster", and a Perrier *award nomination in 1999 for another Edinburgh show "Laser Boy"

 

Seth Flynn Barkan - He composed the original score to Rebel Theater Company's 2000 production of "Poona the Fuckdog " which toured in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe


2001

Julia Morris - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - She won a Herald Angel Award at the 2001 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and "Time Out" magazine's Comedy Performer of the Year Award in 2004

 

Daniel Kitson - He was nominated for the 2001 Perrier Comedy Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for his show "Love, Innocence and the Word Cock" before winning it in 2002 for the show "Something"

 

Florence Foster Jenkins - In 2001 "Viva La Diva" by Chris Ballance had a run at the Edinburgh Fringe


2002

Jerry Springer - It first became popular at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2002


2003

Paul Kelly (musician) - Edinburgh Festival - In 2003 Kelly undertook a tour of North America, the UK, and Ireland, performing at the Edmonton International Fringe Festival and again at the Edinburgh Festival_Fringe

 

Nick Harper - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - In 2003, he was *awarded a Herald Fringe Angel *award for performance excellence at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where he has played many residencies in recent years

 

Stephen K. Amos - He has performed stand-up at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe every year since 2003, after making his début in 2001

 

Toni Arthur - In 2003 she directed a play by Adrian Poynton based on the life of Graham Chapman entitled "A Very Naughty Boy", which won a Fringe First prize at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe


2004

A 2004 version of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" was beset by problems, including the lead actor Christian Slater contracting chicken pox and the original director, Guy Masterson, quitting the project before it opened add something

 

The Fringe Club closed down in 2004, and various venues still provide "the Best of the Fest" and similar add something

 

Wil Hodgson - Edinburgh Festival - In 2004 he won a Perrier Award for Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Festival_Fringe

 

Jim Davidson (comedian) - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - Laurence Clark, himself a wheelchair user, in response performed a show called 'The Jim Davidson Guide to Equality' at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2004

 

Shane Cullinan - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - The text and score to his work "The Magpie" was the inspiration behind the play, "Dirty Pretty Secrets", which premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2004

 

Nancy Cartwright - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - Cartwright has performed it at a variety of venues, including the August 2004 Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland


2005

In 2005, a production of Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple" starring Bill Bailey and Alan Davies was staged at the Assembly Hall, the meeting place on the Mound of the Church of Scotland add something

 

There were 22 shows that came under this banner in 2005, growing rapidly to over 600 in 2011 add something

 

Kev F. Sutherland - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - Since 2005, Sutherland has written, produced and performed as "The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre", appearing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012 in theatres internationally and on television

 

Isy Suttie - At the 2005 Edinburgh Fringe, Suttie was one of the acts in stand-up showcase "The Comedy Zone"

 

Simon Amstell - He has performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009

 

Dara O Briain - In 2005, Ó Briain's show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was the biggest selling solo comedy show of the festival

 

Renton Skinner - The group were nominated for the prestigious Perrier award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2005


2006

Bonnie Greer - Edinburgh Festival - Adapted for the stage, Greer's radio play was given a production at the Edinburgh Festival_Fringe in 2006 and was later rewritten and performed at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in 2008

 

Alberto Porro Carmona - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - Alberto worked as musician and conductor at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as special invited guess with the Spanish dance and music company AF. He worked at the City of Edinburgh Council at the school department during 2006 and 2007 teaching classic and jazz saxophone

 

Scott Major - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - He wrote, produced, directed and starred in his own play called "Both Sides of the Bar" at the 2006 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

 

Danielle Ward - In 2006 Ward won the "Time Out"'s Critic's Choice award for Best Newcomer and wrote "Take A Break Tales" - exaggerated adaptations of women's magazine stories - in which she appeared with Neil Edmond, Emma Fryer and Isy Suttie at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

 

Rhod Gilbert - In his 2006 Edinburgh Fringe show "Knocking on Heaven's Door", Gilbert told stories from his life, weighing up whether he would be admitted to heaven

 

Michael Collins (Irish leader) - The play was adapted for stage in 2006 for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with Mel Smith playing Winston Churchill and Michael Fassbender playing Michael Collins

 

Mark Watson (comedian) - Watson has appeared regularly at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, winning the first ever Panel Prize at the if.comeddies in 2006 and being nominated for Best Newcomer at the 2005 Perrier Comedy Awards

 

Stephen Evans (actor) - "The Dutch Elm Conservatoire" performed their last live show "Prison" at the 2006 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Belfast theatre festival in November 2006


2007

The Tattoo set-up at Edinburgh Castle served as the 6,000-seat venue for a one-off performance by Ricky Gervais of his stand-up show "Fame" in 2007 add something

 

Craig Ricci Shaynak - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - Previous live theatre productions include "Stealing Buffalo" at the Gardner Stages in Hollywood, CA, "Cowboys & Indians; Dot Not Feather" at the 2007 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, "Fat, Bald & Loud" at the 2005 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

 

Nina Conti - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - She took her first solo full length show, "Complete and Utter Conti", to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2007, she introduced some new characters as well as performing familiar routines

 

Colin Murray - In 2007, Murray directed magician Chris Cox's Edinburgh Fringe Festival show, "Everything Happens for a Reason"

 

Amanda Palmer - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - In August 2007, Amanda traveled to perform in the Spiegeltent and other venues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland, and performed on BBC Two's "The Edinburgh Show"

 

Charlotte Hudson - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - She is now one half of comedy sketch double act "Two Left Hands" with comedian Leila Hackett, performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2007 and 2009


2008

For example, the 2008 registration fee was £289,05 add something

 

Having outgrown even Holyrood Park, this showcase took place on The Meadows until 2008 add something

 

In 2008 the Fringe faced the biggest crisis in its history when the computerised ticketing system failed add something

 

Of the shows, theatre had been the largest genre in terms of number of shows until 2008, when it was overtaken by comedy, which has been the major growth area over the last 20 years add something

 

The 2008 Fringe marked the first time that comedy has made up the largest category of entertainment add something

 

Frida Kahlo - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - A play based on Frida Kahlo's life was premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2008

 

Sarah Millican - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - Her debut Edinburgh Festival Fringe show "Sarah Millican's Not Nice", based around her divorce, won the if.comedy award for Best Newcomer in 2008

 

Paul Reynolds (actor) - He starred in "Lucky You", a stage adaptation of the Carl Hiaasen novel of the same title that premiered at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

 

Mackenzie Taylor - He turned his suicide attempt in 2008, in which he slipped into a drug-induced coma in the Komedia comedy club in Brighton, into an acclaimed show, "No Straightjacket Required", at the 2009 Edinburgh Festival Fringe


2009

Joe Armstrong (actor) - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - At the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2009, he played Liam in the Dennis Kelly play "Orphans"

 

Hardeep Singh Kohli - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - In August 2009 he performed a one man show, "The Nearly Naked Chef" , at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

 

Jack Whitehall - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - In August 2009, Whitehall performed his first solo stand-up show, "Nearly Rebellious", at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

 

Denise van Outen - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - In August 2009, van Outen made her Edinburgh Festival Fringe debut in "Blondes", a show by Jackie Clune


2010

The Festival Media Network was founded in 2010 to act as a trade organisation for these independent media add something

 

David Strassman - In 2010, he performed the play "Duality", written and directed by Steve Altman, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

 

Neil Cole - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - In March 2010 Neil's debut hour-long solo stand-up show - Neil By Mouth - premiered at the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, and ran throughout the Edinburgh Festival Fringe August 2011, at Cabaret Voltaire

 

James Kennaway - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - A stage adaptation of "Some Gorgeous Accident" was presented at the Assembly Rooms as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2010


2011

Edinburgh Festival - Statistics for 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe concluded that it was the largest on record: there were over 40,000 performances of over 2,500 different shows in 258 venues add something

 

According to the Fringe Society there were 258 venues in 2011, although over 80 of them housed events or exhibitions, which are not part of the main performing art genres that the Fringe is generally known for add something

 

In 2011, a new all-year-round multi-arts festival venue, containing ten performance spaces, opened in the former Royal Dick Veterinary School under the name Summerhall add something

 

The 2011 Fringe sold 1,877,119 tickets for 41,689 performances of 2,542 shows, in 258 venues, over 25 days, for an average of more than 75,000 admissions and 1,360 performances per day add something

 

Kenneth Kendall - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - During the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011, Richard Herring had a daily podcast where he ended each show with a 'True or False' competition

 

Low-cost carrier - "Hidden" charging has been satirised by the vocal trio Fascinating Aïda in a song called "Cheap Flights", describing a fictional flight from London Stansted Airport to Tralee in Ireland, that was especially popular at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2011

 

Jack Whitehall - In August 2011, Whitehall performed two shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

 

Renton Skinner - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - Between 15 August and 18 August 2011, Renton appeared as Angelos Epithemiou in BBC Radio 1's Fun & Filth Cabaret, part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

 

Marc Almond - Later in the same year Almond took part in a music-theatre work "Ten Plagues", held at Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre, as part of the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, from 1 to 28 August 2011


2012

In 2012 there was criticism of the increasing commercialism of the Pay-To-Play fringe venues who have pushed up venue costs, compulsory marketing and various deductions which can mean performers are being charged more than they can make back in ticket sales add something

 

In 2012, 1,418 shows were having their world premiere add something

 

The "'Edinburgh Festival Fringe"' is the world's largest arts festival, with the 2012 event spanning 25 days totalling over 2,695 shows from 47 countries in 279 venues add something

 

Stuart Gordon - In 2012, it played to great acclaim at the New York Musical Theater Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

 

Tubular Bells - The show made its European debut at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2012, where it won two *awards

 

Dorothy Squires - A previous staged tribute to Dorothy Squires: "Dorothy Squires: Mrs Roger Moore" written by Richard Stirling and starring Al Pillay in the title role, had premiered at the White Bear Theatre on June 6 2012 with a subsequent engagement at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2012

 

Mal Evans - A new one-man play about Mal Evans called 'Beatle Mal's Legendary Band' was presented at Edinburgh Festival Fringe between 5 & 27 August 2012, this had previously previewed at Cavern Club in Liverpool on Wednesday 25 July, with members of Mal's family in the audience


2013

Eunice Olumide - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - In 2013, she worked with Fred MacAulay and Michael Che during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

 

Ian Lavender - In August 2013 he will make his Edinburgh Fringe debut in a stage version of The Shawshank Redemption


2014

Arts festival - The "'Edinburgh Festival Fringe"' is the world's largest arts festival, with the 2014 event spanning 25 days totalling over 3,193 shows from 51 countries in 299 venues add something

 

The 2014 Fringe issued an estimated 2,183,591 tickets for 49,497 performances of 3,193 shows , in 299 venues over 25 days add something

 

Josie Long - As of 2014 she has performed seven solo shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and performed five subsequent UK tours in springs 2007, 2008 and 2009, Autumn 2010 and spring 2012

 

Ian Lavender - In 2014 Lavender appeared in a one-man show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe entitled "Dont tell him Pike", where Lavender talked about his time on "Dad's Army" and the subsequent effect it had on his career

 

Lucy Porter - In 2014, Lucy wrote her debut stage play, "The Fair Intellectual Club", which premièred at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, directed by Marilyn Imrie

 

Anne Archer - In 2014, she played Jane Fonda in the premier production of the play "The Trial of Jane Fonda", at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe


2015

Arts festival - The "'Edinburgh Festival Fringe"' is the world's largest arts festival, with the 2015 event spanning 25 days and featuring over 3,314 shows from 49 countries in 313 venues add something

 

The 2015 Fringe issued an estimated 2,298,090 tickets for 50,459 performances of 3,314 shows in 313 venues over 25 days add something

 

Patrick Monahan (comedian) - During the Edinburgh Festival Fringe he has performed at the Gilded Balloon, including in August 2015 with his show The Disco Years

 

Edinburgh Festival - In November 2015, Mainland announced her decision to step down as Chief Executive in order to take on the role of Executive Director of the Melbourne Festival, and in early 2016 it was announced that Shona McCarthy had been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society add something


2016

In 2016, Shona McCarthy, who had led Derry-Londonderry's term as UK City of Culture, took over from Mainland as Chief Executive add something

 

She took up the position in March 2016 add something

 

Chris Gethard - In August 2016 Gethard participated for the first time in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, performing his show "Career Suicide" dealing with his experiences of depression, suicide attempts and alcoholism


2017

Arts festival - The "'Edinburgh Festival Fringe"' is the world's largest arts festival, which in 2017 spanned 25 days and featured 53,232 performances of 3,398 shows in 300 venues add something

 

Roddy Bottum - In 2017 he finished the piece and presented it at Fringe Fest in Edinburgh for a month of shows at the Summerhall

 

Harry Worth - The play - which had the support of the Harry Worth estate - was first staged to great acclaim in Harry's hometown of Barnsley at the town's Lamproom Theatre, ahead of a prospective 2017 UK tour and run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe marking Harry's centenary


2018

In 2018, it gathered over 4,700 reviews from 135 publications, up from 4,300 from 83 different publications in 2014 add something