An Ed start

First 250 Fringe shows revealed

Chortle can today reveal details of almost 270 Edinburgh Fringe shows – including a visit by a voice of The Simpsons.

The official Fringe programme is not published until next Thursday, June 8, but we have compiled listings of around two-thirds of the comedy shows heading for the festival this August.

Among them is Harry Shearer, star of This Is Spinal Tap but now best known for providing voices for Simpsons characters including Mr Burns, Smithers and Ned Flanders.

However, his show – which he will perform with his Welsh wife Judith Owen – is fairly blunt about its links to the cartoon, going as it does by the title: This Is So Not About The Simpsons – American Voyeurs.

Instead, the Assembly Rooms show promises to ‘take on the culture and the politics of America mixing it with song and an incredible collection of live feed news footage to create a comic commentary on the lunacy of the world’s most powerful nation.’

Shearer previously came to the festival in 2000, for a show in which the Simpsons cast read scripts live, and answered audience questions.

Shearer, pictured, said: ‘Last time I was in Scotland, I had to wear a kilt to attend a party at Billy Connolly's, so I'm really  looking forward to this time in Edinburgh, if for no other reason than for the welcome lack  of inappropriate ventilation.’

Also returning from the States is Richard Pryor’s daughter Rain, who this year presents a late-night jazz-cabaret show at the Gilded Balloon, as well as hosting a one-off tribute to her father.

Other returning festival favourites include Reginald D Hunter, Brendon Burns, Tim Minchin, Andrew Maxwell (who also transfers his late-night London Comedy Store show Full Mooners to the Underbelly caves), Ed Byrne, Richard Herring, Jimeoin, Jason Byrne, Stephen K Amos, Jeff Green and Lucy Porter.

Bill Hicks's former collaborater Dwight Slade returns to the Fringe, while Mark Watson will not only perform another of his marathon shows, thought to be 36 hours long, but will also have two other shows every day, including one in which he, and his audience, write a novel over the course of the festival - one of the largest literary collaborations in history.

And, as previously announced, The Goodies will be live on stage, while a cast of comics headed by Phil Nichol perform in the Stewart Lee-directed Talk Radio every afternoon in the new Udderbelly venue. Rich Hall’s play, Levelland, also gets its UK premiere in the Assembly Rooms.

Click here to browse the listings so far

Published: 31 May 2006

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