FACTBOX: Edinburgh's Fringe festival rolls again

Sun Aug 9, 2009 11:10am EDT
 
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(Reuters Life!) - A record number of performers from around the world are flocking to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year despite the global recession.

The Fringe combines with the city's international book, art and jazz festivals and military tattoo to make up the world's biggest annual open access showcase of the arts.

Here are some facts on the Fringe:

* WHAT IS THE FRINGE?

-- The Edinburgh Festival Fringe (commonly known as The Fringe) started in 1947 when eight theater groups turned up uninvited to the first Edinburgh International Festival.

-- A year later Robert Kemp of the Evening News unknowingly coined the name saying "Round the fringe of the official Festival drama there seems to be a more private enterprise than before.."

-- More perfomers came to Edinburgh to perform on the outskirts of the main festival and by 1958 the Festival Fringe Society was formed to provide information, a central box office and a published program of all the Fringe shows.

-- Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson first found fame at the Edinburgh Fringe as did Dudley Moore, the comic star of "Arthur" and part of a duo with Peter Cook. The first notable premiere was considered to have been Tom Stoppard's "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" in 1966.

* NUMBERS:   Continued...