With the Gilded Balloon enjoying its 30th anniversary in 2015, there’s a lot to celebrate. Stars of the past 30 years of the Gilded Balloon unite at the Edinburgh Playhouse for one night only on Sat 15 Aug for the 30th Anniversary Gala. Hosted by Adam Hills and Fred MacAulay, expect the likes of Alan Davies, Johnny Vegas, Stephen K Amos, Ed Byrne and Aisling Bea to be appearing, with a rare special appearance from Greg McHugh as Gary Tank Commander.
Nestled in the confines of the Harry Potter-esque Edinburgh Students’ Union Teviot building in Bristo Square, ‘GB’ is central to the rest of the activity happening around George Square. It’s also a great venue too if the Scottish weather’s not playing ball, with various bars and cafes all located indoors and the chance to see photographer Steve Ullathorne’s Annual Photofest.
On the comedy front, British Comedy Award winner, Aisling Bea, returns with a brand new show, Plan Bea. Meanwhile, Al Porter is Yours is the irreverent debut show from Ireland’s newest comedy star. Not bad for a college dropout from a council estate.
Festival favourite Alan Davies (Work in Progress) and Old Masters Barry Cryer and Ronnie Golden return for short runs, whilst Ed Byrne: Outside Looking In sees Byrne, one of the UK’s leading comedians, returning to his roots. Barry Cryer also takes to the stage for one night only on Sun 23 Aug with his 80th Birthday Roast.
After 29 years of So You Think You’re Funny?, the best of the best are returning for a victory lap. The UK’s largest newcomers’ competition has spawned the likes of Johnny Vegas, Sarah Millican, Rhod Gilbert and Jason Byrne. This show is certain to feature comedians at the top of their game.
New to the Gilded this year is Class Clowns 2015: The Final. The first and only comedy competition for high school students at the Fringe, this show will let you see the stars of the future.
Whilst this venue has traditionally been renowned for programming some great comedy over the years, it’s worth taking a look at what else they have on offer in the way of physical theatre, music and theatre.
There may be a new circus hub in the Meadows but there’s also great physical theatre happening at the Gilded Balloon. Italian company Liberi Di present Something. The show features acrobatic choreography and aerial performances with a cast of seven dancers/acrobats set to rock/pop songs from the Beatles to AC/DC.
Meanwhile, Sonics in Toren will be another perfect mix of incredible visuals and awe inspiring trapeze stunts.
On the music front, Friday I’m In Love: Massaoke, a late night show is the place to be for after hours fun. The idea behind this party night is simple yet brilliant. An incredible live band plays pop, indie and rock anthems and the crowd sings along guided by lyrics projected on giant screens.
Scottish, identical sisters, The Mac Twins: Play, is another late night music show. A brand new interactive DJ show, this is where gaming meets clubbing.
GB’s theatre programme is strong too. Black is the Colour of My Voice, a theatre piece with music, portrays jazz musician and civil rights activist ‘Mena Bordeaux’ as she undergoes a spiritual cleansing following the untimely death of her father.
FYSA Theatre present E15, a verbatim theatre piece about 29 young mothers uniting to confront Newham Council’s gentrification of their hometown; particularly topical and pertinent.
Ernie by James Craze, based on Ernie Hort’s unpublished autobiography, sees Craze play over 34 characters in 59 minutes in this comical one man play.
So join Team GB in their 30th year for a pearl of a programme.