Article Source: The Merlin
First Published: 4 August 2022 16:51
Updated: 4 August 2022 16:51
Host of acts take to the stage as suburb enjoys Free Fringe for the first time.
A BUSTLING Edinburgh suburb will see a host of acts and entertainers descend on the area as it becomes part of the Free Fringe for the first time, thanks to the Merlin pub.
The team at the popular Morningside venue is delighted to have landed the major coup – which will see a packed programme of shows daily throughout the annual arts festival.
At least 15 separate acts will be involved in the Free Fringe at the Merlin and among the performances daily from noon until late night, will be theatre, cabaret, stand up, improv, reggae music, magic, poetry, storytelling and even incredible feats of memory.
Justin Cranley, general manager of the venue, said: “There’s always a huge amount going on in Morningside, but we are thrilled to be bringing the Free Fringe here for the first time ever.
“It’s a brilliant programme that has been pulled together meaning there will be something for everyone, from child-friendly shows early in the day to the best comedy for those who prefer late night entertainment.
“In previous years it has felt like Morningside has missed out on the Fringe, but that won’t be the case in 2022. In fact, it will be possible to spend the entire day right here in the Merlin watching a feast of entertainment through to the wee small hours.”
Now the pub, which has been a renowned fixture on Morningside Road for decades, will be listed as Venue 604 for the duration of the Fringe, which runs from August 5-29.
The team at the Merlin, part of Greene King’s 51-strong Local Pubs Division in Scotland, will transform its upstairs function room into a 100-seater venue during the world-renowned arts jamboree.
Justin added: “It’s a fantastic space and we hope the local community really gets behind this initiative and that we’ll see it packed out most days.
“Certainly, we are going to see just how flexible a space the function room is, because there are an incredibly diverse range of acts who will be appearing.
“While the Merlin has bounced back tremendously well after the pandemic, functions have not recovered fully. This is a great way for us to get local people back in to see what a superb space we have for the other 11 months of the year for weddings, birthdays or any kinds of events.”
The programme includes a feast of reggae music in a show called How Music From A Small Island Changed The World. It will see musician Duane Forrest showcase acoustic versions of classic from legends like Bob Marley.
Late night comedy will come in the shape of Law & Disorder, a stand-up special from lawyer Sam Benedict and “professional free spirit” Joe Riley, a pair who have graced various BBC shows and reached the Student Chortle semi-finals.
Popular magician James Phelan will also be performing daily with his highly-anticipated show, James Phelan Blows Your F#@king Mind!, which follows multiple TV appearances and a successful residency in Las Vegas.
The full line-up and timetable can be found here - https://freefringe.org.uk/ and audience members simply need to turn up. While the performances are free, those attending are encouraged to make a donation at the end of the show.
The Free Fringe was started in 1996 by Peter Buckley Hill – known as PBH - who brought his comedy show to the city, but was disheartened by the cost of booking venues and the pricey tickets for the public. The PBH Free Fringe now puts on hundreds of shows every year.
He pioneered the model of persuading venues to offer space for free in return for acts bringing in additional customers. If audience members enjoy a show, they are encouraged to make a voluntary donation at the end.
Luke Meredith, an actor and performer who is also the CEO of The Free Fringe in Edinburgh, said he was delighted that free shows would be available in Morningside for the first time.
He added: “Everyone knows Morningside and what an important part of Edinburgh’s heritage it is, so it’s remarkable that the Free Fringe has never had a toehold here – until now. It’s brilliant that it’s finally arrived in this part of the city.”
Discerning drinkers at some of Edinburgh’s most prestigious establishments now have the chance to savour Buck & Birch’s uniquely curated spirits and liqueurs.
East Coast Fish & Chips takeaway in Musselburgh, named the best in Scotland earlier this year, is casting its net across the country to find its first apprentice fish frier.
Grid Iron Theatre Company, which specialises site-specific and location theatre, will host immersive performances at Edinburgh’s Leith Academy.
The UK's biggest National Park was the chosen location for the latest Green Space Dark Skies project, by the outdoor art experts at Walk the Plank.
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has collaborated with Soho House to provide its members with a variety of experiences throughout the Edinburgh Festivals season this August.
IRN-BRU have created the UK's first venue in a can to give some of Scotland's funniest online comedians a dedicated platform at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Six by Nico's team has harnessed the power of ancient Greek mythology to create a Mediterranean masterpiece of powerful proportions!
The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) visited Wester Hailes Library as part of their Giraffe About Town community programme, sponsored by CityFibre.
Johnnie Walker Princes Street, has kicked off its partnership with the world’s most famous arts festival, by unveiling a show stopping projection illuminating the entire eight floor building.
Care UK’s Cairdean House, on Redford Road, has been highly commended in the ‘Best for Communication and Use of Digital Channels’ category.
On Saturday 10 September, Ben Nevis in the Glen Coe National Scenic Area (NSA) will provide the backdrop to the last Scottish Green Space Dark Skies outdoor artworks.
Over 75 leading finalists have been revealed today for The Scottish Bar & Pub Awards 2022.
Tiny Changes is teaming up with Connect festival to host a pop-up stage at this year’s festival.
A free family gala day will be held on Friday 9th September to celebrate the official opening of the five-star purpose-built Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor centre in Galashiels.
Scotland's biggest and most prestigious 5-star Ladies Day held on Friday 5th August at Musselburgh Racecourse in East Lothian, has announced the winners for this year’s Style Awards.
FORMER boxer and now hip hop star Stevie Creed describes how he used his Scottish Survival Kit to stay safe while he was a teenager living alone in some of the toughest neighbourhoods of New York.
Performers from across the globe are sure to wow audiences with sensational music, dance, costume, and spectacle as The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo makes its highly anticipated return.
Connect Music Festival kicks off August 26 - 28th and is delighted to introduce Chef Barry Bryson as an addition to this year’s acclaimed line-up.
A Bustling Edinburgh suburb will see a host of acts and entertainers descend on the area as it becomes part of the Free Fringe for the first time, thanks to the Merlin pub.
Edinburgh’s hottest new bar in town, Counter at Native, has revealed a new take on a night out in the city; a creative ‘Paint and Sip’ workshop.
Forth 1 and Forth 2 have seen listener figures continue to grow with a fantastic set of results in the latest RAJAR figures.
Leading photographer and Edinburgh native, Soo Burnell, is set to launch her newest exhibition, ‘Bodies of Water’, at the recently opened Gleneagles Townhouse from 5th – 29th August.
Green Space Dark Skies, produced by Walk the Plank and commissioned by UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, has revealed the artists who will bring Scotland's August events to life!
Conifox Adventure Park has today confirmed that they have officially broken a world record for the longest inflatable assault course which sits at a mammoth 568 metres.
Forth 1’s Boogie, Arlene and Marty met their Giraffe About Town sculpture Skinny Malinky Long Legs earlier this week.
From the Costa Del Leith to the Clyde Riviera, IRN-BRU is set to deliver deckchairs and ice-cold cans to Scottish sun-seekers!
A Perthshire jam-making company has announced a buoyant new partnership with Scotland’s only luxury floating hotel, Fingal, as part of ‘National Afternoon Tea Week’ from 8th to 15th August.
As the Edinburgh Fringe is set to return, Naked Malt will launch the city’s best kept secret cocktail garden complete with sipping stations and Instagrammable delights this August.
Connect Festival adds new acts including a comedy lineup ahead of its Edinburgh Debut at the Royal Highland Centre in August.
EH1 is set to take over VEGA Glasgow with an official launch party, bringing together DJs from Scotland’s most popular club nights including Glitterbox, PRTY and EVOLATION!