Phoebe Waller-Bridge appointed as the Fringe Society's first president

Phoebe-Waller Bridge appointed as the Fringe Society's first president

The Fleabag creator and star will act as a representative and advocate for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

Some rather exciting news in the arts world today – Phoebe Waller-Bridge has just been named as the first President of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society.

In the newly-created position, Waller-Bridge will represent and advocate for the Fringe Society, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe charity that aims to support everyone who wants to participate in the world's largest arts festival. Waller-Bridge was unanimously confirmed as the President earlier this month by the charity's board of directors and she will now represent and speak on behalf of the Society at future events.

Waller-Bridge is an accomplished Fringe veteran herself – it was way back in 2013 that she first famously performed her hugely successful one-woman play, Fleabag, at Underbelly during the festival. The show earned an Olivier Award nomination and a Special Commendation from the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. It was famously later adapted into the hit TV series of the same name which was released on BBC 3 and Amazon beginning in 2016.

Speaking about her new role championing the arts, Phoebe Waller-Bridge said: 'The Edinburgh Fringe has staged an annual cultural revolution for decades. It's where thousands of writers, comedians, performers and artists cut their teeth and put their most raw work out into the world. Whether it's a two hander in a shoebox, a gig in a van, a promenade through the streets or a mammoth musical epic, this festival is a global symbol of artistic freedom and experimentation. It relies on its audiences and it relies on its artists.

Phoebe-Waller Bridge appointed as the Fringe Society's first president

'It's where the relationship between the two is feverishly consummated, sometimes with great success, sometimes with awkward fumbles behind an inflatable cow, but always with unbridled passion and creativity. From leaking caves to cobbled streets to the glamour of the Traverse Theatre up to Arthur's Seat, this festival is a beating heart of an industry that has been all but crushed by the pandemic, and I'm proud to be a part of the fight with the Fringe Society for its much needed survival and glorious return.'

Shona McCarthy, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society Chief Executive, said: 'We're so delighted to have Phoebe come on board as our first ever President. Her work, her legacy and her passion for the Fringe is truly inspiring, and her journey since bringing Fleabag to the Fringe in 2013 has been nothing short of remarkable.

'We know we've got serious work to do to overcome the challenges that Covid has brought to our sector. The Fringe Society is here to keep advocating for the Fringe and the thousands of amazing creatives who make it happen every year. I am absolutely thrilled to have the fantastic Phoebe in our corner, championing those calls.'

Despite the challenges that it may continue to face, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is well set-up for a fantastic year with Phoebe Waller-Bridge now representing its Society and talented artists around the world.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is scheduled to return from 6–30 Aug 2021. For the latest news, sign up for email updates at edfringe.com.

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