Karen Koren: Who’s who at this year’s Fringe

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WE have just launched our 2017 brochure for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival at the new Rose Theatre in the heart of Edinburgh’s West End.

The venue is a stone’s throw from the Book Festival and we are showcasing some of the finest in musical theatre from Captivate Theatre, Annie, Les Misérables, Oliver! and Sweeney Todd among others.

Also, Andy Gray and Grant Stott bring a new play written by Phil Differ called Double Feature, about an old cinema being demolished.

BBC River City stars Gary Lamont and Morag Fullarton will also bring their show Doris, Dolly and the Dressing Room Divas. There is edgy cabaret with The Lulu Show, Mother’s Ruin and midnight drag in Late Night Lip Service; irreverent, unpredictable comedy in Andre Tonight! and the long overdue return of Craig Ferguson to the Fringe for the first time in 24 years.

We’re rolling out a politically-charged programme for our second year of Gilded Balloon at the Museum with American a cappella drag queens The Kinsey Sicks’ take on Trump in Things You Shouldn’t Say.

Former Labour advisor Ayesha Hazarika addresses The State of the Nation and the brutally intense This Is Not Culturally Significant strips back the thin veneer of modern society.

Fred MacAulay In Conversation sees the Scottish favourite joined by guests from his 30-year career, and we also boast the talents of Ireland’s Neil Delamere, Stuart Maconie, Robin Ince and our flagship, madcap improv show, Night at the Museum.

As always, the wonderful Teviot building continues as our main festival hub, where we work in partnership with EUSA.

The diverse programme has something for everyone, ranging from the comedy of the incomparable Tommy Tiernan, Tom Stade, and Aunty Donna, to the exceptional Dead Ringers impressionist Jan Ravens, through compelling theatre in award-winning playwright Henry Naylor’s new play, Borders and Apphia Campbell’s Woke.

There is spell-binding magic from Kevin Quantum and Ben Hart, and the hilarity of the Reduced Shakespeare Company and My Dad Wrote a Porno.

We’re also featuring an incredible array of Scottish comics, with the excellent new hour from Edinburgh Comedy Award-winning Scott Gibson, and returning Chris Forbes, Ray Bradshaw, Mark Nelson, and Scott Agnew, complementing festival favourites such as Adam Kay, Bec Hill, Brendan Burns, Matt Richardson, Mark Forward, Gráinne Maguire, Patrick Monahan, Elliot Steel, Tiff Stevenson and George Egg.

Lots to see and lots to enjoy!

Karen Koren is artistic director of the Gilded Balloon