Karen Koren: The Fringe show goes on, already

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the Edinburgh Festival Fringe programming rush has started. I can’t believe it - all these applications, emails and phone calls. It still amazes me how many people want to come to Edinburgh to perform in August.

I have been doing it for coming up to 29 years and l get artists and performers returning Fringe after Fringe.

The lovely Barry Cryer, who has been in show business much longer than I care to mention, has been coming to the Gilded Balloon for close to ten years and before that was a regular visitor. I feel privileged that he chooses to see us because he enjoys the family atmosphere we create.

Sadly, I am not sure he will return this Festival. I would hate to think that last Festival was the final one for him – so I will be doing my best to persuade him.

As well as regular performers, I have to try to present new and exciting work.

I am in the process of commissioning a play for Grant Stott and Andy Gray, who work so well together in the King’s pantomime. They have a wonderful Edinburgh following and hopefully these audiences will come to see them in the Festival in a new and funny play.

We are only in the very initial planning stages, but I do know that what I have in mind is going to be really exciting, for them as well as their loyal fans. It is my intention to attract new audiences to appreciate their acting talents.

The play will be as far away from panto as it is possible to be and I will not give away any more than that at the moment, except that it will definitely be about a subject we all are interested in, with dramatic, and ultimately hysterical, consequences.