Edinburgh Festival 2009 - Fringe programme highlights

Edinburgh Festival 2009 - Fringe programme highlights

On the fringe

As Fringe 2009 announces its programme, The List finds ample reason to be cheerful

Roll up, roll up. It may just seem like yesterday that the Edinburgh Fringe packed its bags for 2008 but now it’s back with a vengeance. Against stiff competition from its international and national counterparts, this year’s Fringe line-up looks suitably robust.

Linda Marlowe makes a welcome return to the capital with a show based on newly appointed Poet Laureate, Carole Ann Duffy's book, The World's Wife. For the festival’s obligatory ensemble number look no further than the Pleasance’s adaptation of RB Sheridan’s The School for Scandal, starring, among others, Lionel Blair, Stephen K Amos, Marcus Brigstocke and Phil Nichol. Across at the Assembly Rooms, it’s all a bit Muriel Spark-tastic with the world premiere of The Girls of Slender Means and a major production of her most celebrated celebrated book, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Elsewhere, Frank Skinner, Julian Clary, Ricky Gervais, The Tiger Lillies, Dylan Moran, Daniel Kitson and Stewart Lee, all return to the Fringe fold, with American actress Janeane Garofalo proving a pleasant addition.

Early risers can look forward to Theatre for Breakfast at the Traverse, with new works by Zinnie Harris and David Greig.

Denise Van Outen laments the history of the blonde; while punk outfit Die Roten Punkte keep the party going.

Arguing the toss as to whether sex will indeed sell, porn star Ben Dover and sex reporter Ashley Hames both rock into town with solo shows.

Also back this year is The Laughing Horse’s Free Festival, which boasts shows in 19 performance spaces, and 13 venues across the city. This year will see a large expansion of the Free Festival’s non-comedy programme, with the introduction of the Free Music Festival, located outdoors at The Counting House and Pear Tree venues every day of the Fringe.

See www.edfringe.com