Assembly returns to Assembly Rooms for Edfringe's 70th

David Chadderton

Assembly Festival is to return to Edinburgh's Assembly Rooms for Edinburgh Fringe's 70th anniversary after several years' absence from the city's New Town following disputes with the building's owners, Edinburgh City Council, over refurbishment plans that included shops and a restaurant at the ground level.

Assembly will still operate in George Square Gardens, which will remain its social hub, as well as Assembly Hall, Checkpoint and the Roxy, as it has over the last few years, but its Assembly Rooms branch will expand into George Street with a bar, a theatre and FuturePlay domes featuring VR and new technology. There will be a total of twenty-six performance spaces over the five venues.

Headlining the theatre programme is Yaël Farber's Mies Julie as part of the Baxter Theatre Centre season of five major productions from South Africa, plus there will be the première of Irvine Welsh and Dean Cavanagh's dark comedy set in London in the Swinging '60s, Performers.

Soho Theatre will present Half Breed by Natasha Marshall, the Almeida will present From the Ground Up and Greenwich Theatre and Culture Clash Theatre collaborate on Under My Thumb. The inaugural ART Award winner for emerging Scottish talent, Scribble by Andy Edwards, will also feature.

Ross MacKay, Freshly Squeezed Productions and The Uncertainty Principle together present Suzie Miller’s Velvet Evening Séance and Seiriol Davies’s How to Win Against History returns before its London transfer to The Young Vic, plus Superbolt Theatre returns with Jurassic Parks alongside new show Mars Actually.

The Korean Season spends its third year at the Fringe and will include the return of drumming show Tago and magic show Snap alongside new physical performance including Kokdu: The Soulmate. The Elephant in the Room will feature as part of the Edinburgh Indian Season.\

Colin Mochrie will return with his improvised hypnosis show Hyprov and Whose Line is it Anyway? will return with Clive Anderson.

In comedy, Al Murray, Jason Byrne, Milton Jones, Shappi Khorsandi, Ed Byrne, Reginald D Hunter, Jerry Sadowitz, Andrew Maxwell and BBC One’s Tom Binns all bring new shows to the Fringe. Edinburgh Comedy Award winners and nominees Sam Simmons, Sarah Kendall and Nath Valvo and Trygve Wakenshaw will perform alongside this year's Melbourne Comedy Festival Barry Award winner Hannah Gadsby and the 2017 Pinder Prize Winner and Barry Award nominee Damien Power.

Comedy, clowning and cabaret will include Boris & Sergey, Charlie Baker, Jamie Wood and Gabriella Munoz’s Perhaps Perhaps Quizas. Casus Circus will return with its hit show Driftwood and Quebec's Flip Fabrique will present its new show Transit.

Music highlights include Soweto Gospel Choir in Assembly Hall, The Magnets and Out of The Blue in George Square, (My) Leonard Cohen in a Ballroom and (Chamber Pot) Opera in a toilet, plus show tunes with West End performers Ferris and Milnes plus the brand new Choir of Man and the orchestral comedy of Concerto A Tempo D’Umore.

For family audiences, there is Monski Mouse’s Baby Disco Dancehall, Hairy Maclary, Comedy Club 4 Kids, the first stage adaptation of Lauren Child’s Ruby Redfort books, Dr Zeiffal, Dr Zeigal and the Hippo That Can Never Be Caught, a live music, puppet filled Goblin’s Peter and the Wolf and Children Are Stinky!.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows, including Assembly's Press Gala, run from the 2 to 28 August. Tickets are available now from the Assembly Festival and Edinburgh Fringe web sites.