Karen Koren: The show goes on .. well, 100 actually

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WE are underway and the 2012 Edinburgh Festival has begun in style. It is scary, exciting and full of new and brilliant performers all looking to promote themselves. Over the next three weeks a few stars may be born.

Over the last few weeks we’ve been cleaning, rehearsing, building, writing press releases, meeting people, all in preparation for 27 days and more than 100 shows daily in Gilded Balloon venues. As I say, it is scary.

Tonight we have our press party launch. Unfortunately, we can’t make it as wonderful and awe inspiring as the Olympic opening ceremony, which made me very proud to be British.

Danny Boyle is just the most incredible individual to have come up with it all, but on the other hand, we don’t have £27 million to spend!

The best we can stretch to may be a couple of pyros but we will still make it something special for those of you there.

The worst part of the evening from my point of view is making the wee opening speech. What do you talk about after 27 years of putting on the Gilded Balloon? What can I say other than, once again we have our best programme ever: The fan-tabulous Fascinating Aida’s ticket sales are outselling my wildest expectations; The Blanks are here for the first time and better live than they are on Scrubs; Bob Downe has the most impressive outfits for his new camper than camp show.

Then there is the fantastic Hot Dub Time Machine, which goes up against my own show, Late’n’Live, beautifully. It will give us a run for our money. Hot Dub is about the history of dance music. If you want an outrageous laugh, Late’n’Live is the only place to be. So much, sometimes too much, but then the Edinburgh Fringe is, and always will be, the biggest and greatest arts festival in the world.