Anger at ‘lethal’ Fringe Edinburgh bridge stunt

Circus artists Josa Koelbel and Bellina Sorensson, from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe show Dolls perform a trapeze stunt hanging from the George IV Bridge in Edinburgh.'' Picture: Jane Barlow
Circus artists Josa Koelbel and Bellina Sorensson, from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe show Dolls perform a trapeze stunt hanging from the George IV Bridge in Edinburgh.'' Picture: Jane Barlow
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TRAPEZE artists who dangled off the 60ft George IV Bridge in a Fringe stunt “could have died” a city MSP has warned.

Josa Koelbel and Bellina Sorensson of Fringe act Cirk La Putyka left their venue to hang from the city centre bridge with traffic on the road below on Friday night as shocked onlookers passed by.

Conservative MSP Cameron Buchanan said: “Someone could have died and it is sheer luck than nothing untoward happened. As a bit of publicity, this is wrong, and they should be warned not to let it happen again.”

Onlookers reported seeing the circus artists standing on the bridge, waiting for nearby police officers on foot patrol to pass. Once the officers were out of sight, they lashed harnesses on to the railings and whisked down into mid-air to perform their stunt.

Meanwhile, two of the most high-profile venues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe are set to go under Edinburgh University’s expansion plans, The Scotsman can reveal.

The Scotsman has learned that Pleasance Dome complex and the BBC’s pop-up base at Potterrow will have to make way for a new wave of building works. The Pleasance, which has used the student association complex at Potterrow for the past five years, runs five venues there, while the BBC has created its own studio complex next door every year since 2011.

The BBC is already seeking an alternative base for the Edinburgh Festival after being told that its current site will be unavailable next year. The corporation has brought many of its biggest shows north of the Border since it began setting up camp at Potterrow after previously using the EICC. The Pleasance Dome, one of the most prominent venue hubs south of the Royal Mile, could have just two years left before being demolished under plans for a huge redevelopment of the area by the university. However, it is thought a new performing arts centre could be built in the Potterrow area as part of wider plans for a new cultural hub.

The Underbelly’s upside-down cow venue has already been forced to relocate from Bristo Square due to ongoing works, while the McEwan Hall is out of commission until 2017 due to a multi-million pound refurbishment.

Anthony Alderson, artistic director of the Pleasance, said: “We’ve been told work to remove the existing building is likely to start within the next four years, but we’ve also been told there should be space for us to go into.”