Karen Koren: We’re moving to Leith to launch an exciting 2017

Russell Brand
Russell Brand
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I have just arrived back from Bali, having had a lovely, boiling hot holiday, with a wonderful group of people.

Now that I am back to the cold, it’s full steam ahead to co-ordinate the upcoming year. First, we are moving offices from Greenside Place down to Commercial Street, Leith. It is hard to pack up after nearly 15 years in the same place. It will be a brand new start in a different location in Edinburgh.

As part of our investment in Leith, Gilded Balloon are hosting a new material comedy night at Leith Depot from March. In conjunction with our existing monthly gig at Drygate in Glasgow, the new material and open mic night will be a new arm of Gilded Balloon’s world famous comedy newcomer competition So You Think You’re Funny?

The night will be open to any budding new comics and will include an established headline act to end the show. It will also be an opportunity for past finalists from the competition to get more experience and support for their work.

Applications will be open from the end of January for the longest running and still the best comedy newcomer competition, So You Think You’re Funny? which in 2017 will celebrate its 30th anniversary.

The regional showcases will start from May in London, Brighton, Leicester and Glasgow. The competition continues its incredible reputation for kick-starting the careers of comedy greats such as Dylan Moran, Russell Brand (pictured), Sarah Millican, Peter Kay, Jason Byrne and Tommy Tiernan to name a few.

In April, we are presenting That’s Fife Festival with a jam-packed line- up of comedy, magic, theatre, music and family shows to theatres across Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, St Andrews, and Dunfermline. The full line up will be announced later in the month but some of the many highlights include Chris Ramsey, Fred McAulay, Alan Davies, Liz Lochhead, Uncles, Grant Stott, Horse McDonald and Russell Kane.

With 2017 marking the 70th anniversary of the Fringe, Gilded Balloon will be presenting a stellar line up of shows. As well as our much-loved home in Teviot Row House we are thrilled to be continuing our creative relationship with the National Museum of Scotland again this year.

Look out for a few surprises and special events to celebrate the 70th anniversary along the way.

n Karen Koren is artistic director of the Gilded Balloon