Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge is new Edinburgh Fringe president

image copyrightFaye Thomas
image captionPhoebe Waller-Bridge performed her one-woman play, Fleabag, at Underbelly during the 2013 Fringe

Fleabag creator and actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge has been named as the new president of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society.

She will attend events and speak on behalf of the society in the newly-created role.

The honorary appointment was unanimously confirmed by the charity's board of directors.

Waller-Bridge performed her one-woman play, Fleabag, at Underbelly during the 2013 Fringe.

The show earned her an Olivier Award nomination and a special commendation from the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and was then adapted into a hit TV series for BBC 3/Amazon.

Waller-Bridge said: "From leaking caves to cobbled streets to the glamour of the Traverse Theatre up to Arthur's Seat, this festival is a beating heart of an industry that has been all but crushed by the pandemic, and I'm proud to be a part of the fight with the Fringe Society for its much needed survival and glorious return."

Shona McCarthy, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society chief executive, said: "The Fringe Society is here to keep advocating for the Fringe and the thousands of amazing creatives who make it happen every year.

"I am absolutely thrilled to have the fantastic Phoebe in our corner, championing those calls."

Sideless marquees

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe will take place from 6-30 August 2021, either digitally, or live, or both.

Meanwhile, arts festival East Lothian's Fringe by the Sea has announced plans for its return this summer in North Berwick.

Organisers said they were making plans to have new mini-venues in several locations throughout the East Lothian town using sideless marquees and tents.

There is to be a stage with bands, choirs and DJs and an interactive area for youngsters - all following Covid rules.

There are also plans for a series of masterclasses and seminars on food and drink from distillers, chefs and critics during the festival.

As well as acts rebooked from the cancelled 2020 event - including Basement Jaxx, Peat & Diesel, Janey Godley, Candi Staton, The Poozies and the Blues Band - a number of new performers will be announced in the run-up to the event.

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