Phoebe Waller-Bridge named president of the Edinburgh Fringe | Honorary position for Fleabag creator © Faye Thomas

Phoebe Waller-Bridge named president of the Edinburgh Fringe

Honorary position for Fleabag creator

Phoebe Waller-Bridge has been appointed the first president of the Edinburgh Fringe.

The honorary position means the Fleabag creator will act as a cheerleader for the Festival Fringe Society, the charity that co-ordinates the annual event, attending certain events and speaking on behalf of the society.

Waller-Bridge performed Fleabag as a  one-woman play at Underbelly during the 2013 Fringe, triggering all her subsequent success.

She said: ‘The Edinburgh Fringe has staged an annual cultural revolution for decades. It’s where thousands of writers, comedians, performers and artists cut their teeth and put their most raw work out into the world.

‘Whether it’s a two-hander in a shoebox, a gig in a van, a promenade through the streets or a mammoth musical epic, this festival is a global symbol of artistic freedom and experimentation. It relies on its audiences and it relies on its artists.

‘It’s where the relationship between the two is feverishly consummated, sometimes with great success, sometimes with awkward fumbles behind an inflatable cow, but always with unbridled passion and creativity.

'From leaking caves to cobbled streets to the glamour of the Traverse Theatre up to Arthur’s seat, this festival is a beating heart of an industry that has been all but crushed by the pandemic, and I’m proud to be a part of the fight with the Fringe Society for its much-needed survival and glorious return.’

Shona McCarthy, the socieity's chief executive added: ‘We’re so delighted to have Phoebe come on board as our first ever president. Her work, her legacy and her passion for the Fringe is truly inspiring, and her journey since bringing Fleabag to the Fringe in 2013 has been nothing short of remarkable.

‘We know we’ve got serious work to do to overcome the challenges that Covid has brought to our sector. The Fringe Society is here to keep advocating for the Fringe and the thousands of amazing creatives who make it happen every year. I am absolutely thrilled to have the fantastic Phoebe in our corner, championing those calls.’

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe will take place from August 6 to 30 – but in what form has yet to be decided.

Published: 19 Feb 2021

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