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Fringe and Traverse air Festival plans

AS THE EDINBURGH Festival Fringe programme is released, the Trav- erse Theatre one of Edinburgh’s most prestigious venues has unveiled its plans.

The full Fringe programme is on release from Thursday 11 June, with a cover designed by cart- oonist Martin Chatterton. Postal booking is available immediately, while credit card and Internet sales are open from Monday 22 June.

As usual, the Fringe is ’bigger than ever', encompassing 16,141 performances of 1309 shows. How- ever, there are fewer companies than last year (a mere 582) and audiences will have to struggle by with just 164 venues (35 fewer than last year).

This year, the Fringe concludes on Monday 31 August, leaving the International Festival to go it alone for its final week, ending on Sat- urday 5 September.

Shows at Edinburgh's Traverse are usually among the hot tickets for the annual extravaganza and this year the centrepieces will be world premieres by two Scottish writers, staged by the Traverse company.

David Harrower, who wrote the

Fringe: uncovered

Perfect Days: romantic comedy role for Siobhan Redmond

highly praised Knives In Hens, presents an 'urban tragi-comedy‘, Kill The Old Torture Their Young; while established Glasgow poet/ playwright Liz Lochhead offers a romantic comedy called Perfect Days, which will star Siobhan Redmond.

Edinburgh-based Communicado presents the British premiere of Czech writer Pavel Kohout's Fire In The Basement, which will be founding artistic director Gerard Mulgrew's final show with the company. Also locally based, the Grassmarket Project presents its latest drama based on the perf- ormers' own experiences. After Glad,Mad and Bad, one might exp- ect director Jeremy Weller to have called his work about combat veterans Squad, but the company has opted for the more prosaic Soldiers.

From England comes the world premiere of Crave by controversial young writer Sarah Kane, directed by Vicky Featherstone, who directed last year’s Traverse hit Anna Weiss. London's Almeida

Theatre has joined forces with The Right Size (whose Do You Come Here Often? took last year's Fringe by storm) to present a new show based on Brecht. Canada’s One Yellow Rabbit company returns, and companies also visit from New Zealand and South Africa.

Late-night comedy is provided by Bruce Morton and Edinburgh double-act Mark McDonnell and Steven McNicoll.

Other details can be found in the Traverse’s own Fringe brochure, to be published soon.

Details of the Fringe programme were unavailable as we went to press, although comedian Greg Proops called The List from Los Angeles to say he won’t be appearing. (Andrew Burnet)

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it 25 Jun 1998 THEUST 21