The biggest-ever Festival Fringe – comprising 2,453 shows, an increase of 17 percent on last year's total – it is estimated that 21,148 performers will take to the stages of the 259 venues spread across the city that will host performances. That compares to 18,901 performers who took part in 2009, and 18,792 the year before.
In 2010 several venues are celebrating anniversaries. Bedlam is 30 years old, as is the Assembly. Gilded Balloon celebrates 25 years on the Fringe, and Zoo Venues turns 10. The Edinburgh Comedy Awards also celebrate their 30th anniversary this year.
Amongst famous names appearing at the fringe, Alan Cumming returns to his native Australia with a cabaret show based on his solo album I Bought a Blue Car Today that he's previously presented at the West End's Vaudeville Theatre; Gyles Brandreth has written a new play Wonderland; while former American President Jimmy Carter will be represented by an adaptation of his children's book "Little Baby Snoogle-Fleejer," being presented by American High School Theatre. Clark Peters, best known for "The Wire," will return to Five Guys Named Moe, the musical based on the career of Louis Jordan that he first devised and appeared in 20 years ago, for a fringe run ahead of a return to London's Theatre Royal, Stratford East where it originated. American stage and screen actress Jennifer Coolidge will appear at Assembly.
Comedy comprises some 35 percent of the overall program, as it did last year, followed by theatre with 29 percent.
For full details and to book, visit www.edfringe.com.