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Edinburgh Festivals 2022

Published: 27 March 2022
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

Edinburgh Festivals - An Anniversary Declaration Credit: Publicity image
Nina Conti The Dating Show Credit: Matt Crockett
Alan Cumming in Burn and Adura Onashile in Medea Credit: Alan Cumming / Lawrence Winram - Adura Onashile / Peter Dibdin
Dr Phil Hammond in Dr Hammond’s Covid Inquiry Credit: Publicity image
Bette Midler and Me with Sue Kelvin Credit: Publicity image
The MZA lineup with more to be anncounced Credit: Poster image
Mervyn Stutter's Pick of the Fringe Credit: Poster image
Lily Phillips - Smut Credit: Publicity image
Mark Watson - This Can't Be It Credit: Publicity image
Dunard Centre - Northern approach
Aaron Simmonds - Hot Wheels Credit: Publicity image
The Importance of Being Earnest Credit: Poster image
Jamali Maddix - King Crud Credit: Publicity image
Ivo Graham Credit: Publicity image
Gilded Balloon Credit: Publicity image

If you think festivals in Edinburgh the first to come to mind are the Edinburgh International Festival and the [Edinburgh Festival] Fringe, then perhaps one or two of the other events that also happen in August such as the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

But not for nothing is Edinburgh called the festival city; things get going in April with the Edinburgh Science Festival and then there is barely a month when the city isn't recovering from, planning for or in the midst of the next festival.

In this the 75th anniversary year of the EIF, the Edinburgh Festivals have together issued a declaration of intent. Echoing the post-war spirit that saw the founding of this now world-class event, and in the context of Scotland’s Year of Stories, the declaration is "mindful of the past and protective for the future" notably celebrating the element of risk and the joy of discovery whilst being "distinctively Scottish and fiercely international".

Already there have been a number of programme announcements for the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe.

The EIF's 75th anniversary programme includes award-winning Alan Cumming in Burn, and a new staging of Liz Lochhead’s adaptation of Euripides’ Medea.

For the Fringe, The Pleasance hosts Nina Conti's The Dating Show, Ben Hart, The Showstoppers, Mervyn Stutter's Pick of the Fringe, NewsRevue and Cirque Berserk, plus stand up from Marcus Brigstocke, Mark Watson, Jamali Maddix, Lily Phillips, Ivo Graham, Aaron Simmonds and many others.

The Space has revealed more than 140 shows. Amongst the theatre offering is GirlPlay from Sarah Richardson, solo show UK Underdog, imagery-based storytelling in The Girl and Her Balloon and Things We (never) Learned in Sex Ed. There is family entertainment in The Return Of Sherlock Holmes, musicals including Soho Boy, Bette Midler and Me with Sue Kelvin and Julie: The Musical telling the life of LGBTQ+ icon Julie D'Aubigny. There is a comedy programme that includes Dr Hammond’s Covid Inquiry.

The Assembly Festival theatre programme includes one-woman Myra’s Story starring Fíonna Hewitt-Twamley, Bert Coules’s Watson: The Final Problem performed by Tim Marriott, cycling theatre company The HandleBards' Twelfth Night and The Importance of Being Earnest and Famous Puppet Death-Scenes. There is also comedy from David O’Doherty, Susie McCabe and Fern Brady, acrobatics, circus and Peppa Pig.

The Edinburgh Fringe is known for its outstanding selection of comedy. This year the MZA line-up includes Jimeoin, Craig Hill, Daniel Sloss with Kai Humphries, improvised stand-up Set List: Stand-Up Without A Net, Connor Burns and Liam Farrelly at Just The Tonic Nucleus, whilst at The Stand 1 there is Kai Humphries and Gareth Waugh, with more shows to be announced at all venues.

The Gilded Balloon has three venues and is the place to find Andrew Maxwell, Anna Clifford, Harriet Dyer and Finlay Christie. It also offers a theatre programme that includes Jack Docherty: Nothing But, Man of 100 Faces and Mat Ricardo: The Extrordinary Gentleman.

Music has always played a big part across the festivals and earlier this year a £25 million funding package was revealed for the city’s major new music venue, the Dunard Centre. The 1,000 capacity venue has some way to go to meet its £75 million price tag but it has received planning permission and work progresses whist the majority of the investment is being found through private philanthropy.

In the meantime, there are plenty of music events to pick from including Ensemble Mik Nawooj at theSpaceTriplex, The Willow Trio, The Strange Valentines and harpist Romy Wymer at the Acoustic Music Centre and a range of Night Owl Shows at theSpace UK.

The Edinburgh Fringe also offers cabaret, variety, circus, dance and children-friendly events.

Hundreds of shows are already for sale and many more of all types are still to be announced.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo returns to Edinburgh Castle for August 2022, as do the International Film Festival and the Art Festival.