Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Line-up for 2013 announced

Ardal O'Hanlon Ardal O'Hanlon will be appearing as part of the comedy line-up

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The Edinburgh Festival Fringe line-up has been announced with a pledge to cram almost 3,000 shows into every "nook and cranny" of the city.

Acts range from the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra to ground-breaking theatre from Scotland and beyond.

The Fringe comedy festival includes Russell Kane, Reginald D Hunter, Ardal O'Hanlon, Jenny Eclair, Al Murray and Lucy Porter.

Organisers said the August line-up made it the world's largest arts festival.

The 2013 Fringe programme features 45,464 performances of 2,871 shows in a total of 273 venues.

Strands involved include comedy, theatre, music, children's shows, dance and spoken word.

The spoken word section includes George Galloway MP, while Three Lions imagines David Beckham, Prince William and David Cameron finding themselves in a hotel room the night before England's bid for the 2018 World Cup.

Ian Lavender, who played Pike in Dad's Army, makes his Edinburgh Fringe debut alongside Omid Djalili in a stage version of The Shawshank Redemption.

Scottish Opera will perform five shows and Motown legends Martha Reeves and the Vandellas will appear at The Assembly Rooms.

'Freedom of expression'

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society chief executive Kath M Mainland said: "The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is not just important for being the largest arts festival in the world, or for being completely open access - although those things are profoundly important - but more important for being the most wonderful event, created by the spontaneous freedom of expression of tens of thousands of creative souls, from all over the world, from all walks of life, at all stages of their careers, and representing all artforms."

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop added: "The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest, most vibrant festival of its kind in the world - bringing visitors from far and wide to Scotland's capital to see the incredibly diverse array of creative activity it has to offer, and promoting Scotland's rich culture and distinct heritage on the world stage."

Tickets for 1,800 shows have been on sale, with a further 1,000 shows becoming available this week.

The Fringe will also see the return of the Glasgow Box Office at Queen Street Station, giving festival-goers the chance to buy and collect tickets before catching a train.

There is also an official Fringe app, for iPhone and Android users.

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