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In London’s (Off) West End 2020: Fringe favourites return as Pleasance Theatre Trust’s programme takes shape

A new batch of Fringe favourites, including Paul Merton, NewsRevue and Wizard Presents, are now on-sale as they get ready to take to Pleasance’s stages this summer. From the biggest names to the most exciting newcomers, Pleasance’s programmes reflects the diversity and breadth of the Fringe – as highlighted in their recently announced Development Fund for Artists of Colour.

Olivier Award-nominated Wizard Presents has created an entertaining, interactive and imaginative production based on The Secret Garden. Yorkshire-born storyteller Danyah Miller draws us into the world of Mary Lennox whose life is framed by death and despair, but when she discovers a hidden magical garden, everything changes!

Back and causing much mirth is Guinness World Record-breaking NewsRevue – the longest-running live comedy on the planet. This current affairs parody song and sketch show is a greatest hits version of the biggest news stories of the year and is acknowledged as a ‘rite of passage for all comedy newcomers’. Paul Merton’s Impro Chums (Paul Merton, Suki Webster, Richard Vranch, Lee Simpson, Mike McShane and Kirsty Newton) are wonders of nature who take audience suggestions and create cascades of fantastic tumbling laughter.

For some more improv, head along to Murder, She Didn’t Write: The Improvised Murder Mystery for a classic murder mystery created on the spot in the ingenious and hilarious show from The Bristol Improv Theatre’s resident company. If you can’t pick which comedy to watch then check out the Best Of Edinburgh Showcase Show 2020. Now
in its 17th successful year, this great value lunchtime comedy compilation showcase features the best and brightest of this year’s Fringe comics.

If you’ve still not packed your schedule, try one of the nation’s most exciting stand up stars Dane Baptiste in The Chocolate Chip, a brilliantly hilarious and boldly provocative show. Amused Moose Best Show Finalist (2019) Aaron Simmonds explores life in a wheelchair in Hot Wheels, discovering the positive side of being disabled, from having a blue badge to sex in disabled toilets!

Critically acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest tribute shows, Simon & Garfunkel: Through the Years makes its return to the Edinburgh Fringe after selling-out for six consecutive years and delighting  audiences across the globe. Embark on a journey through the legendary songs and history of Simon & Garfunkel with this heartfelt, honest and breath-taking concert.

Audiences were gripped by Wireless Operator in 2019, an exciting and tense story of a frightening night-time Lancaster Bomber raid in WWII, told through the eyes and ears of the wireless operator. Back in a re-worked version, we follow the wireless operator agonise over the real cost of their mission.

Also back after total sell-out in 2018 and 2019, In Loyal Company returns in a bigger venue following the incredible true story of missing WWII soldier Arthur Robinson, written and performed by his great-nephew David William Bryan.

For something slightly different, tighten your airlocks and set your phaser guns to stun for Lewis Doherty’s Hawk, which completes his sell-out trilogy with Wolf and Boar. When a shipment containing a highly protected Sypher Corp suit goes missing in space, it’s up to John Hawk and a team of space marines to save the day!

With more shows to be announced over the coming months there will be comedy, theatre, circus, magic, dance, kids’ shows and much more, alongside support for some of the most innovative newcomers through artist development strand Pleasance Futures. The Pleasance should certainly be the pick of your Fringe this August.

Tickets and more information for all shows are available at their website here

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