Dizzee Rascal and Flawless feature in Fringe line-up

image captionDizzee Rascal will play at the Corn Exchange

Rapper Dizzee Rascal, Britain's Got Talent dance troupe Flawless and model Abi Titmuss are among the acts unveiled in this year's Edinburgh Fringe programme.

The line-up features a record 2,453 shows, a 17% increase on last year.

The 64th annual Festival Fringe, which runs from 6 to 30 August, involves 21,148 performers.

The world's largest arts festival generates about £75m for the Edinburgh and Scottish economy.

Dizzee Rascal will be playing at the Corn Exchange as part of the Edge Festival, while Flawless will be performing at the Underbelly.

Abi Titmuss stars as a gym instructor "attempting to kick an unruly bunch of amateur Rugby League players into touch" in Up 'N' Under, which will be performed at Assembly @ George.

John Godber directs the 25th anniversary production of his Oliver Award-winning comedy.

Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson has used her own money to bring a show about sex trafficking to the Fringe.

The play uses verbatim accounts from two women trafficked separately into Britain.

Although Thompson does not appear in the show, she is expected to visit Edinburgh during its run at the Pleasance and has agreed for her name to be used in its title.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien will be singing The Hippopotamus Song as part of The Really Terrible Orchestra at St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral in Edinburgh.

A sporting theme can also be detected in the programme, which includes All Over A Football at the Underbelly, Bob Doolally's World Cup Balls at The Stand and Paul Ricketts - Kiss the Badge, Fly the Flag! at Just the Tonic @ the Caves.

Following the success of the First Made in Scotland programme in 2009, which secured nine awards, it returns this year with the best of Scottish theatre and dance.

It is supported through the Scottish government's Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund and helps talented, Scottish-based performers and companies present their work on an international stage.

This year's shows include Platform in association with Giant's The Songbird: A tone Poem, at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and plan B's A Wee Home From Home.

'Excite and delight'

New venues for this year's Fringe include The Pleasance at Ghillie Dhu and Assembly in Princes St Gardens, while Leith hosts the Mary of Guise Barge at The Shore and Hill Street Theatre reopens its doors under the artistic management of ReMarkable Arts.

Kath Mainland, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society's chief executive, said: "Edinburgh in August will be bursting with the most talented artists from every area of the arts world.

"Nowhere else can you see such a variety of world class talent and range of shows that are guaranteed to engage, enthral, excite and delight.

"As the largest arts festival, the Fringe attracts performers and audiences from every corner of the world. I look forward to welcoming them to Edinburgh and kicking off what is set to be the biggest and most exciting Fringe to date."

Comedy makes up 35% of the programme, as it did last year, followed closely by theatre with 29%, up 1% on last year, and music on 16%.

There will be 558 free shows this year compared to 465 at last year's Fringe.

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