Fringe 2022: Gilded Balloon announces Leith expansion and Judy Murray chat show

One of the biggest venue operators at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has revealed plans to expand to Leith when the event returns for its 75th anniversary season this summer.

Thursday, 5th May 2022, 4:55 am
Updated Thursday, 5th May 2022, 8:52 am

Gilded Balloon, which has been run from a base in Leith for several years, has revealed plans to stage shows at The Pitt market there after putting on a series of variety nights there over the last few months.

It has revealed plans to stage “Leith Social” variety events throughout August as it announced more than 150 new shows for this year’s Fringe.

Tennis coach Judy Murray will join forces with actor and comedian Chris Forbes to host their own chat show, which will be staged at Gilded Balloon’s Teviot Row House headquarters.

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Tennis coach Judy Murray will be joining forces with actor and comedian Chris Forbes to host a chat show during this year's Fringe. Picture: Karl Bridgeman/Getty Images

The pair previously joined forces to create a spoof video depicting Forbes as an unknown third Murray brother who cannot play tennis.

Fringe favourite Lynn Ferguson will team up with singer Chesney Hawkes and comic Neil Harrington for a live podcast, comic John Bishop and actor Tony Pitts will be joining forces with their show Three Little Words, stand-up veteran Fred MacAulay will be “in conversation” with celebrity guests from the entertainment world.Other acts in Gilded Balloon’s line-up include American comic and actresss Janeane Garofalo, Dave Johns, the star of Ken Loach’s award-winning film I, Daniel Blake, rock band King Crimson’s singer Jakko Jakszyk, who will be launching a new one-man play, and Grace Campbell, the comedian, actor and author, who is also former Downing Street spin doctor Alastair Campbell’s daughter.

Gilded Balloon, which began life in the Cowgate in 1986, has expanded out of its long-time home at Teviot Row House into the National Museum of Scotland and Adam House, on Chambers Street, during recent Fringe seasons.

Gilded Balloon artistic directors Katy and Karen Koren said: “We’re incredibly excited to be debuting Leith Social at this years festival, just around the corner from our offices at the Shore.

Gilded Balloon will be running 'Leith Social' events throughout this year's Fringe.

“We’ve wanted to bring the energy of the Fringe to this incredible part of town for a while and we’re glad to finally do it in Leith’s favourite local hangout, The Pitt Market.”

Gilded Balloon’s plans for The Pitt join an expanding line-up of festival events in Leith this summer, which will get underway with the return of Leith Festival and its jazz festival, both in June.

Leith Theatre will be reopening for International Festival concerts for the first time in three years in August, Leith-based theatre company Grid Iron will be staging its latest promenade production in Leith Academy's building, and several gigs have also been confirmed for the Old Dr Bells Baths venue, including a charity event headlined by Glasvegas, 1980s pop favourites The Bluebells and a ska night with PorkPie.

Meanwhile Assembly has added more than 90 shows to its programme, including the comics Reginald D Hunter, Phil Wang, Simon Fanshaw, Richard Herring, Rachel Bradley and Nikki Britton.

Gilded Balloon will be staging Fringe shows at The Pitt in Leith this August.

Assembly’s venues will host plays exploring the court case Gina Miller brought against Theresa May’s government, one of the first women to fly combat jets in the UK Navy, the release of Guildford Four member Gerry Conlon after 14 years of wrongful imprisonment, and two Glasgow women seeking asylum from the Home Office on the basis of their sexual orientation.

Other shows will include tributes to the musical legacies of Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen and George Harrison, a "parody reconstruction" of the blockbuster film Titanic, The Queen's Cartoonists, who perform music from classic animated films like Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep.

Judy Murray will be hosting a Fringe chat show with actor and comedian Chris Forbes this year at Gilded Balloon's Teviot Row House venue.
Comic John Bishop will be part of Gilded Balloon's programme at this year's Fringe.