The Playhouse on the Fringe – comedy, cabaret, song and dance … with a refreshing Gin and Tonic on the side
This is Week Zero of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, as several dozen venues start to open up around the city from the Assembly Rooms to Zoo. The cultural feast of comedy, cabaret, theatre, dance and music offers entertainment to all ages and tastes from 7th to 31st August.
The Playhouse Theatre (aka Scotland’s Broadway, renowned for fabulous musicals year round), has always been a grand venue for dance companies at the Edinburgh International Festival. This year the EIF productions are Ballett am Rhein and Ballett Zurich, as well as a concert with Max Richter and the BBC SSO.
This year the Fringe comes to the Playhouse with a larger, more eclectic mix of shows in two distinctively different venues – The Boards Cabaret Bar and the main Theatre.
With a capacity of 3,000, the Playhouse stage is ideal for the 8th edition of Forth on the Fringe, described as the largest Comedy showcase including Stephen K Amos, Jason Byrne and Jim Davidson. Compered by Boogie and Arlene of Radio Forth Breakfast show, this is always a sell out show. So get your tickets now.!
Wild Zebra looks like it will be a colourful circus of music and dance from China performed by 150 school children – eated by the choreographer of the 2008 Beijing Olympic ceremonies.
The Gilded Balloon Fringe venue is celebrating its 30th birthday with a Comedy Gala at the Playhouse featuring a great line up of celebrity performers, hosted by Fred MacAuley. The original Gilded Balloon on the Cowgate burnt down in the devastating fire a decade ago, which destroyed many buildings. So time to celebrate the renewed success of GB now at Bristo Square.
The Boards is a glamorous Piano Bar, upstairs, has been transformed into an intimate Cabaret theatre space for a selection of light hearted afternoon and evening entertainment. And of course as this is a Bar serving cocktails, wines, beers and food, it’s the ideal pit stop for a drink, snack and catch a Fringe show.
Having seen a sneak preview, I can warmly recommend “Desperately Young at Heart” starring Australian opera singer, Robert Hofmann.
This tall, zany cross-dressing Diva switches from German lederhosen to sparkling gowns with a repertoire of wonderful songs. Mr Hofmann has a wonderful baritone voice.
Also at The Boards is a play entitled May I Have the Bill Please? – a satirical, honest view of eating out in Restaurants as a couple or with friends and the problem of settling the Bill – fairly.
And talking of food and drink, celebrate that sparkling time of day, Gin O’Clock which at the Boards means 5pm. Experience the Cocktail Hour with Edinburgh Gin.
This informative and fun show presented by Brand Ambassador Ewan Angus – a vivaciously enthusiastic and knowledgeable young man – who will take you through the fascinating history of Gin from the 17th century, the Gin Craze in Britain, to the refreshing, refined taste of Gin with ice and a slice today. And of course, there will be sample tastings of the Award-winning Edinburgh Gin.
Edinburgh Gin O’Clock is very timely – at the recent International wine and Spirits Competition, Edinburgh Gin won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for three of its speciality gins. Cheers!
This is just a brief round up of a few key shows from the full programme.
For all information on the shows, dates, times and tickets check out:
The Playhouse at the Fringe – http://www.atgtickets.com
tel. 0844 871 3014
Venue 59 and 59A 18 – 22 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA.