On Air Now
7 August 2015, 07:13
The Fringe has strong links with established stars who regularly return to showcase their latest work, but it also has a reputation for unearthing new talent and hosting celebrities who want to tread the boards for the first time.
The festival has launched the careers of hundreds of comedy stars and the likes of Johnny Vegas, Ross Noble, Paul Merton, Jo Brand, Sue Perkins and Al Murray are among the big names returning to the Scottish capital this year.
The stars can make it look easy performing in front of sold-out audiences but it can be more nervy for debutants.
England cricket hero Andrew Flintoff will take to the stage at the Fringe in Freddie Flintoff Second Innings, where he is to be joined by comedy writer Clyde Holcroft in an ``unscripted trip down memory lane offering insights into the world of cricket''.
Meanwhile, speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow is using his summer recess to speak to audiences in Edinburgh.
In a discussion event rather than comedy act, he will chart his career, his role in the Commons and the future of Westminster at the University of Edinburgh Business School.
The general election and Scottish politics since the referendum will also be in the spotlight in a series of events while Boris Johnson will be the feature of a satirical show titled Boris: World King.
Selfies culture, parenting, climate change and mental health will also be the focus of a range of discussions and shows as the Fringe continues to cater for all audiences.
Artists from Finland, South Korea, Czech Republic, Russia and Australia will give a taste of their home cultures, with 49 countries represented in shows this year.
About 30 companies from around the UK are to take part in the 2015 British Council Showcase, described as a ``snapshot of the diverse work currently being created in the UK'', while 21 Scottish groups and artists make up the Made in Scotland programme, a curated showcase of music, theatre and dance.
Among the big names in theatre, Scottish actor John Hannah will feature in the UK premiere of the Bulgarian play The Titanic Orchestra.