Belfast Telegraph

Stars flock to Edinburgh for Fringe

John Malkovich, dance group Flawless and comedian Al Murray are among those set to feature in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The festival, which opens today, comprises 2,542 shows staged by around 21,000 performers at what is said to be the world's largest arts festival.

This year organisers have added a cabaret section to the programme of comedy, theatre, dance and music.

Malkovich will direct actor Julian Sands in a play celebrating the work of Harold Pinter.

Simon Callow is to appear in drag for a one-man play called Tuesdays At Tesco and musician Marc Almond in new musical Ten Plagues.

A host of top names in comedy will also appear during the month-long festival, with stand-up shows from Murray, Sarah Millican and Ed Byrne.

Ricky Gervais will descend on the town later this month to discuss his forthcoming sitcom Life's Too Short with Warwick Davies, and comedians Omid Djalili and Stewart Lee are also booked to do stand-up shows.

Other well-known names include street dance group Flawless, who shot to fame after reaching the final of Britain's Got Talent in 2009, and a show from magician Paul Daniels and his wife, Debbie McGee.

Speaking at the programme launch in June, Festival Fringe Society chief executive Kath Mainland said: "The 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme is bigger than ever. What makes it exciting every year, but particularly this year, is the combination of all these wonderful, creative and talented people who choose to bring their work here."

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