Maureen Lipman to return to the Fringe 53 years after her debut

Maureen Lipman will be hosting her own cabaret show at Assembly's George Square Theatre
Maureen Lipman will be hosting her own cabaret show at Assembly's George Square Theatre
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Stage and screen star Maureen Lipman is to return to perform at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the first time since she made her debut at the event as an unknown more than half a century ago.

The 72-year-old, whose career has included Coronation Street, Casualty, Doctor Who, Skins and Jonathan Creek, will be hosting her own cabaret show at Assembly’s George Square Theatre.

Lipman appeared in the Kerry Lee Crabbe play The Burn at the Fringe in 1965 - a decade before she became a household name in sitcoms like The Lovers and Doctor at Large. She has worked with Laurence Olivier, Alec Guinness, Diana Rigg, Roman Polanski and Julie Walters during her career, which includes the films Educating Rita and The Pianist.

Lipman - who has promised “music, musings, monologues, magic and a little mayhem” in her show - will perform alongside jazz singer Jacqui Dankworth and her musician husband Charlie Wood.

Lipman said: “I last played the Fringe 53 years ago and I can finally afford to come back. I want to frighten myself into retirement by facing my audience, over the edge of a stage, in my very own show.”

Meanwhile Australian star Jason Donovan will be exploring the highs and lows of his own long-running career in another Assembly show. Its line-up will also see Fringe favourite Simon Callow star in a new adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis.

Gilded Balloon has announced that Scottish comedy favourite Jack Docherty will be reviving his classic Absolutely character McGlashan and his current incarnation as Chief Inspector Miekelson from Scot Squad.

American actor Judah Friedlander, star of American sitcom 30 Rock will head up a stand-up line-up which see Fringe favourites Andy Gray and Grant Stott appear in The Junkies, which is billed as “a Steptoe and Son-esque love letter to a forgotten trade.”

Another former Coronation Street star, Julie Hesmondhalgh, will be performing in a one-woman play at the Fringe. The actress is starring in the love story The Greatest Play in the History of the World, part of the Traverse Theatre line-up.

Another one-woman play, On The Exhale, which will tackle the rising tide of school shootings and gun violence in the United States. Ulster American will tackle issues surrounding abuses of power and Irish cultural identity, while Class is billed as an “explosive exploration of class as a parent-teacher meeting goes spectacularly awry.