Edinburgh festivals: Simon Callow to appear as part of 'Shedinburgh' showcase at Traverse

Stage and screen star Simon Callow is to appear at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe - to discuss the highs and lows of his 50 years in the industry.

Simon Callow will be appearing at the Traverse Theatre as part of its Shedinburgh strand this month.

The Four Weddings and a Funeral actor will be appearing in a one-man show at the Traverse Theatre as part of the revival of its "Shedinburgh" strand, which sees actors, artists and theatre-makers appearing in specially-constructed sheds.

Callow, who will be launching a new stage show reflecting on his career, is the latest big name to confirm an appearance at this year’s Fringe, which starts on Friday.

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He said: “In 1982, I wrote my first book: it was called Being An Actor, and it was my reckless attempt, after not even ten years of acting, to describe the physical, psychological and emotional experience of creating and playing characters. Now, after nearly 50 years of immersion in it, I am still obsessed with trying to plumb its mysteries, and will try, before your very eyes, to catch at its essence. My professional life started in Edinburgh, in 1973, so of course it is in Edinburgh that I will present Being an Actor: Fifty Years On for the very first time.”

Comics Mark Thomas, Harry Hill and John Luke Roberts, Harry Potter star and Inbetweeners favourite Joe Thomas will be among the other stars appearing as part of Shedinburgh, which is aimed at raising funds for the Fringe stars of the future.

Deborah Frances-White, host of The Guilty Feminist Podcast, Scottish theatremaker Robert Softley, comic Rachel Fairbairn will all be hosting special events.

This year’s Shedinburgh will also feature one-off revivals of previous hit Fringe shows including Love Letters to the Public Transport System and Dirty Great Love Story.

Callow, 72, has been a regular performer since making his stage debut in the city, in a production of The Three Estates at the Assembly Rooms in 1973. He would go on to make his name in the 1980s and 1990s in films like Amadeus, A Room with a View, Four Weddings and a Funeral and Shakespeare in Love.

Callow’s Fringe event, on 28 August, will be live-streamed from the Traverse. It is hosting Shedinburgh events for the second year in a row after launching the virtual venture last year with London’s Soho Theatre.

The Shedinburgh concept was instigated during lockdown by the Scottish theatremaker Gary McNair and Francesca Moody, the leading theatre producer who brought the original stage production of Fleabag to the Fringe. More than 4000 tickets were sold for the 25 events in the 2020 line-up, raising more than £20,000 for an artists support fund.

A spokeswoman for Shedinburgh said: “Shedinburgh is all about people coming together from all walks of life to make something exceptional happen - something much bigger and even more special than the sum of its parts.

“We're particularly indebted to the mighty Traverse and Soho Theatres for providing the space that this magic can exist in, and to our artists, who have bravely taken on the challenge of performing in the shed to help us raise much needed money to support artists of the future get to the Fringe. Without them, we'd just be a pretty-looking shed.

“We can't wait to start streaming this unique theatrical experience live into homes all over the world this week."

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