Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows to staged at Johnnie Walker's Princes Street whisky attraction
Edinburgh's new whisky visitor attraction has revealed plans to put on Fringe shows - in a pop-up venue boasting views of the city's skyline and the castle.
Twice-daily variety shows are to staged from Thursday-Sunday at Johnnie Walker Princes Street, an eight-storey complex which opened in the former House of Fraser department store last autumn.Cabaret, comedy, music and theatre acts will be served up alongside cocktails and drams in the “label studio,” the main events space in the attraction, which has rooftop bar.
The Soweto Gospel Choir, Britain’ Got Talent star Magical Bones and Australian cult-cabaret favourites Briefs Factory are among the first acts to be confirmed for the Pick of the Fringe shows.
The involvement of the Johnnie Walker atrraction in the Fringe has been confirmed after it emerged that the new St James Quarter would become home to a pop-up venue for the BBC's festival shows, the official hub for Fringe performers and companies, and Edinburgh International Film Festival premieres.
Other nearby Fringe venues include the Rose Theatre, on Rose Street, which will be run for the first time this year by the Edinburgh-based theatre company Captivate, and the New Town Theatre, which is run by the Stand Comedy Club, and boasts the likes of model Eunice Olumide, actor David Hayman, comics Des Clarke, Stewart Lee and Fred MacAulay, rapper and social commentator Darren McGarvey, actress Elaine C Smith and former Scottish rugby captain Gavin Hastings.
An official announcement from the attraction states: “Johnnie Walker Princes Street, is gearing up for its first summer in the heart of Edinburgh’s west end, showcasing the best of the festival’s calendar of shows in a series of unmissable ‘Pick of the Fringe' events.
“With thousands of performances to choose from throughout the world’s biggest arts festival, deciding what to to see can be a conundrum for many.
"The eight-floor whisky experience has stepped in as one of the festival’s most exciting new venues, helping guests ease their show selection dilemmas with an incredible line up of entertainment.
“Set in Johnnie Walker Princes Street’s purpose-built event space, Label Studio, two must see shows will run daily every Thursday-Sunday.
"Each day, three acts have been hand-picked from The Fringe’s unrivalled talent pool, for exclusive performances overlooking the Edinburgh cityscape.
“Guests will be treated to a mixed bill of comedy, music and theatre, alongside some of the finest cocktails and drams available in the capital.”
Lauren Hyder, events manager at Johnnie Walker Princes Street, said: “When it comes to arts festivals nobody does it better than the Fringe, so we are absolutely delighted to be getting in on the action as a new venue for when all eyes rightfully turn to Edinburgh again in August.
"It’s a big year for both of us, with the festival celebrating its 75th anniversary and Johnnie Walker Princes Street enjoying its first summer in the city.
“Our Label Studio space is tailor-made for events and has already played host to some amazing events and performers since we opened in September last year.
"We can’t wait to welcome festival goers for ‘Pick of the Fringe’. The acts we’ve selected truly represent the best the festival has to offer, so if you’re struggling for what to pick from the dizzying amount of shows available, we’ve got you well covered.”