Plug pulled on Outlander star's outdoor Edinburgh Festival show

The plug has been pulled on a bid to stage Scotland's first live outdoor theatre show since lockdown next week in Edinburgh.

Keith Fleming is one of three cast members who have been rehearsing for the Grid Iron show Doppler.

A star of Outlander was due to play the lead role in the show which the Leith-based Grid Iron Theatre Company was hoping to stage next week in front of audiences of no more than 20 at each performance.

However the company today admitted it had failed to secure permission to use the site, which had not been identified in advance publicity for the show, and was unable to postpone it until later this year.

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Keith Fleming, who played Lesley in Outlander, was one of three cast members, along with Itxaso Moreno and Sean Hay, who have been rehearsing outdoors ahead of a planned run to coincide with the last week of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The opening performance had been pencilled in for 24 August, a provisional date set by the Scottish Government for the return of live theatre, comedy and music events outdoors, although a final decision is not due to be taken until later this week.

However the company said it had ran out of time to ensure it could go ahead with live performances of the show, Doppler, an adaptation of a satirical Norwegian novel about who abandons the rest of his family after the death of his father and decides to live in a forest.

Grid Iron, which has specialised in creating site-specific theatre over the last 25 years, will instead make a film version of the production available online, out of scenes already captured on camera during weeks of rehearsals.

The company said it was still hopefully of staging a full outdoor version of Doppler next year.

Judith Doherty, chief executive and co-artistic director of Grid Iron, said: “It is with a very heavy heart that we have had to make the difficult

decision not to proceed with the live staging of Doppler.

“We were not able to gain permission in time to begin work on site from the managers of our chosen location and at this point we know we simply would not have enough time to present the best live theatre experience we can under the circumstances. Moving into September is sadly not an option.

"Due to a limited budget, we are unable to extend the contracts of our freelance cast and production team who finish with us at the end of the month.

Grid Iron has spent more than a year developing its new show Doppler, which it was hoping to stage next week.

“I want to commend our wonderful team for their perseverance, inexhaustible skill and boundless enthusiasm - we have truly given the live show our best shot.

"We are now planning to capture our work on film and we cannot wait to share Doppler with you digitally.”

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Itxaso Moreno in rehearsals for Doppler.

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