Frank on the Fringe

Skinner heads star line-up

Frank Skinner is to return to the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time in nine years.

He will play the Pleasance Cabaret bar – the venue where he performed in 1991, winning the Perrier Award.

Skinner’s Fringe dates come ahead of a major UK tour this summer, and after his appearance at the Montreal Just For Laughs festival in July.

He last appeared in the Fringe in 1998, where his Unplanned show with former flatmate David Baddiel made its first appearance. And it's been a decade since his last major stand-up gig.

Skinner will only be the venue for the second half of the Fringe, with 15 Storeys High star Sean Lock taking the slot for the start of the month.

Other big names returning to the festival include Rich Hall, Stewart Lee, Jerry Sadowitz, Rhona Cameron, Sean Hughes, Simon Amstell and Phill Jupitus, who is performing two shows – one with fellow stand-up Andre Vincent, the other entitled Phill Jupitus Reads Dickens.

Ricky Gervais has already announced a gig in Edinburgh Castle on the last day of the festival, while Jimmy Carr has also previously announced a run at the EICC.

This year’s controversy is likely to come from Brendon Burns – who has blacked up for his poster. His show is called I Suppose This Is Offensive Now.

The official Fringe programme is out today, with tickets on sale on Monday.

Fringe 2007 will feature 31,000 performances of 2,050 shows in 250 venues – ten per cent more shows than last year. Theatre makes up 31 per cent of the programme followed closely by comedy with 30.5 per cent. The Fringe sold 1.53million tickets last year – twice as many than it did a decade earlier.

Satirical musicals are especially popular this year, with Tony! The Blair Musical, Tony Blair: The Musical, Jihad: The Musical, Asbo: The Musical, Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical and Orgasm: The Musical and Chav: It’s A Musical, Innit? all in the programme.

Scotland’s Culture Minister, Linda Fabiani, said: ‘The Edinburgh Festival Fringe continues to get bigger and better every year with over 2,000 diverse shows on offer this year. As well as being a showcase for some of the best creative talent from Scotland and around the world, the Fringe, along with the other festivals, bring tremendous economic benefits to the Scottish economy and tourist industry’

Click here to browse Chortle’s comedy programme listings

Published: 6 Jun 2007

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