New open-air Edinburgh Fringe venue MultiStory shares its line-up
- Emma Simmonds
- 15 July 2021
Jason Byrne, Carol Ann Duffy, Ben Okri and African Groove Collective will be amongst the performers this August
Based in the heart of Edinburgh's cultural quarter and overlooking Edinburgh Castle, brand-new festival hub MultiStory is a collaboration between ZOO Venues, comedy and theatre producers Gilded Balloon, Traverse Theatre and Scotland's National Centre for Dance, Dance Base. NCP Castle Terrace Car Park is the setting for an open-air stage sponsored by local brewery Innis & Gunn, with street food stalls and bars from the Pitt, Edinburgh's pioneering, independent street food market.
The venue has just announced its full line-up, with performances taking place from Friday 6 to Sunday 29 August. Comedy, theatre, dance, music, poetry and family fun will be on offer in a programme that boasts both Fringe mainstays – Sunshine On Leith (from Captivate Theatre), Jason Byrne performing Audience Precipitation – and Fringe debuts, including from legendary Edinburgh drag queen Alice Rabbit and Scottish actress Leah McCrae, who is bringing her sell-out comedy show My Big, Fat, Fabulous Diary.
Booker Prize-winner Ben Okri OBE and Edinburgh-based choreographer Charlotte Jarvis bring the world premiere of Starting From First Position, which combines movement and spoken word as it reflects on life's constant demand for improvisation. While another lauded literary figure, former poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, will perform with musician John Sampson in a newly created show for 2021, celebrating the return of the Fringe.
Speaking of music, Scottish band Shooglenifty return to play their hometown after impressing at the 2019 Edinburgh International Festival, and Celebrating Okoe is a tribute to a great drum master presented by Dance Base, which sees African Groove Collective blending Ghanaian rhythms with Scottish jazz spirit. And Dirty Protest will return to the Fringe with Double Drop, an amalgamation of 90s English rave culture and Welsh Eisteddfod, with original music courtesy of BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners 9Bach.
Comedy highlights will include Scottish legend Fred MacAulay, who will be joined by popular comedians Maisie Adam, Chris Forbes and Susie McCabe for Fred MacAulay and Friends. Glasgow-based writer, actor and TikTok star Paul Black will be performing his sketch show Worst Case Scenario. Traverse Theatre will present Aye, Elvis by Morna Young and A Funny Place To Put A Window by Stuart Hepburn. While Traverse Theatre's flagship schools project Class Act, which was due to be performed last year, will finally be seen on stage.
To browse the full programme and book tickets head to multistory.scot.