Karen Koren: Jokes are on us as Fringe prepares

Jon Culshaw
Jon Culshaw
Have your say

I have been trying to take a break before the Festival comes along. I’m in Norway and, like the UK, it is undergoing a tremendous heatwave. We are just not used to having Mediterranean temperatures, though the sea isn’t quite as warm.

While I’m away, my team are beavering away preparing the various venues for the onslaught that is the Fringe. It will be with us before we know it and after a few short weeks it will be over for another year and lives will change.

Awards will be given, shows will sell-out and others will struggle. It’s all in the rich tapestry of the biggest arts festival on earth.

I have been involved in the Fringe for more than 35 years now and I still can’t believe its ability to amaze, inspire and enrich me.

Currently, our biggest-selling show is Jon Culshaw (pictured) and Bill Dare with The Great British Take Off – it’s selling like ‘hot cakes’ . . . but there are plenty of other shows to suit the taste of every palate.

Before the Fringe starts, we have excellent shows at the Basement Theatre. Tonight Alfie Brown is back with a new show about how we cling to easy epithets to claim some sort of identity in a world where the individual is washed of their character.

Alfie is one of the most exciting and challenging comedians working in the UK; charming, silly and sometimes livid, he has earned exceptional reviews for his work – so do not miss this exceptional comic at his favourite venue!

Alfie is also part of our Friday and Saturday line-up comedy shows at the Basement, with MC Ray Bradshaw, Daisy Earl and Donald Alexander. On Sunday we have Fred MacAulay In Conversation. This month his guests are iconic Scottish comic Jack Docherty, fresh from filming the fifth series of hit BBC1 show Scot Squad, and Libby MacArthur, known for River City and The Steamie, who will be chatting about her one woman show In For a Penny.

This August, Jack brings his first Fringe show in 25 years to Gilded Balloon. It’s an exciting show uniting two of his best loved comedy creations: Scot Squad’s Chief Commissioner Miekelson and the fiercely patriotic McGlashan.

Lots to look forward to. Hope to see you all there!