Edinburgh Festival Fringe show to be staged in grounds of 17th century country house

The historic grounds of a 17th century country house are set to become an Edinburgh Festival Fringe venue next month.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 5:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 5:46 pm
The grounds of Newhailes House, which dates back more than 300 years, will be hosting a Fringe show next month.

The woodlands at Newhailes House, in Musselburgh, will be hosting the world premiere of Doppler, the latest show from award-winning site specific theatre outfit Grid Iron. which will run from 6-23 August.

Audiences of up to 35 are expected to be be able to attend each performance of the show, which has been in development for nearly three years and will feature Outlander star Keith Fleming in the titular role.

An adaptation of a satirical novel by Norwegian writer Erlend Loe, it focuses on a move who abandons the rest of his family after the death of his father and moves to a forest on the outskirts of Oslo, but struggles to maintain his isolated existence due to growing unwanted attention.

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Doppler will be staged in the woods at Newailes House from 6-23 of August. Picture: Janeanne Gilchrist

Initial plans for the outdoor production on an alternative site were scrapped last year, while efforts to turn the play into a film had to be abandoned by bad weather during the shoot. Grid Iron released a documentary charting its efforts to get the production off the ground earlier this year.

The Leith-based company has previously staged shows in Edinburgh Airport, Debenhans on Princes Street and beneath the Royal Mile. Its plans to use Newhailes House, which is run by the National Trust for Scotland, have been announced after the Brunton Theatre in Musselburgh confirmed plans to stage Fringe shows at Musselburgh Racecourse.

Chief executive and co-artistic director Judith Doherty said: “We’re beyond excited to finally be able to confirm the details for the world premiere of Doppler. It has truly been a roller-coaster of a ride and we are so delighted to now be on terra firma and able to welcome our audience in person.

“We also want to say a massive thank you National Trust for Scotland for hosting Doppler and to all the wonderful staff and volunteers at Newhailes House and Gardens. We look forward to welcoming our audiences to the beautiful, shady woodland of Newhailes.”

Outlander star Keith Fleming will play the lead role in Doppler. Picture: Janeanne Gilchrist

Meanwhile Fringe promoters Underbelly have revealed plans to showcase the festival’s leading street performers at its two sites next month.

The company, which has been awarded £162,962 from the Scottish Government to return to the Fringe this year, will be running outdoor stages in both Bristo Square and George Square.

An indoor venue in George Square Garden will feature festival favourites including acapella stars The Magnets, comics Marcel Lucont and Tom Brace, cabaret favorites Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho, Queenz and Myra Dubois, and leading magicians Magical Bones and Tom Brace.

Underbelly directors Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood said: “Although this year looks a little different, we’re committed to keeping the flame burning and we’re much looking forward to presenting our programme of festival favourites to keep Edinburgh entertained this August. This is such an important time for our artists and our team.”

Assembly, which will be running shows in its year-round Roxy venue, as well as in George Square Garden, has revealed that comic and ventriloquist Nina Conti, magician Elliot Bibby, acrobatic circus outit Barely Methodical Troupe and an adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s final stories will be part of its line-up.