A HOST of famous faces will help one of the best-known names of the Fringe celebrate a landmark birthday.
The Gilded Balloon turns 30 this year – and will mark the occasion with a huge party at the Playhouse.
A comedy gig hosted by Adam Hills and Fred MacAulay will feature a star-studded line-up including Johnny Vegas, Jason Byrne and a rare appearance from Greg McHugh as Gary: Tank Commander.
The birthday bash will be the centrepiece of the Playhouse’s Fringe programme, which was announced today as tickets went on sale.
It is sure to prove popular, with the Gilded Balloon having been a firm fixture at the heart of the annual festival for three decades.
Since being established by artistic director Karen Koren, it has played host to the likes of Peter Kay, Russell Brand and Tim Minchin. Its original home in the Cowgate was devastated by a fire in 2002, forcing a move to Teviot.
Playhouse general manager Adam Knight said: “I would imagine it would sell out, so people should get in quickly to get their tickets.
“I went to an event the Balloon did in London when the original venue burnt down which completely sold out and I was very lucky to get a ticket.
“I had tears running down my face with comedian after comedian – they’re the who’s who of comedy.”
A huge gala fundraiser for HIV/Aids charity Waverley Care will return following a sell-out show last year.
BBC Radio 4 will broadcast I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue from the Capital – the special episode will feature Barry Cryer, Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Jeremy Hardy and host Jack Dee. Controversial comic Jim Davidson will make an appearance with his new show, No Further Action.
Mr Knight said he hoped the Waverley Care fundraiser would generate a huge amount of money for the charity.
He said: “Waverley Care are our nominated charity and we’re very proud to be partnered with them.
“Their show has sold out every year and this year is no different, it’s a key event in our calendar.”
Other performers at the Playhouse this summer include Chinese performers in Oriental Fairy Tales: Wild Zebra. The show has been created by Zhang Jigang, deputy director and choreographer of the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
The Playhouse’s recently refurbished piano bar, The Boards, will also boast a variety of local and international talent.