Assembly Rooms back with a vengeance as Fringe tickets go on sale

Tickets go on sale today for a sensational Fringe line-up of theatre, comedy and music at Edinburgh's much loved Assembly Rooms this summer.

Assembly Rooms Fringe, produced by Fringe stalwart Tommy Sheppard's company Salt 'n' Sauce, will deliver an international, multi-genre programme featuring a wide selection of celebrity names, ground-breaking new theatre, cutting-edge comedians, late-night, big-stage music spectaculars and a strong Scottish theme throughout.

The wide-ranging line-up includes Scotland's national poet Liz Lochhead, WWEHardcore wrestler Mick Foley, Cabaret queen Camille, Labour politician Tony Benn, popular entertainer Les Dennis, stand-up Stewart Lee and top Scottish comedian Jerry Sadowitz.

Taking up the eclectic mix of the programme Scotland's makar, Liz Lochhead, will present a daily show of poems, monologues, lyrics, theatre pieces and special guests. The strong Scottish theme continues with two shows from the National Theatre of Scotland - the hit comedy Appointment with the Wicker Man and the tender one-woman show Love Letters to the Public Transport System. BAFTA-Award winning Scottish actor David Hayman stars in Rony Bridges' critically-acclaimed play Six and a Tanner and the best in Scottish music comes from Karen Matheson, James Grant and Jimmie MacGregor.

A Grade A-listed building, the Assembly Rooms is currently undergoing a careful £9.3m refurbishment and will reopen to the public in July.

New additions to the Assembly Rooms include two shops in the building's original retail spaces on George Street, as well as Jamie's Italian, which will be opening in the Supper Room and Edinburgh Suite with a new entrance on Rose Street.

Lynne Halfpenny, Head of Culture and Sport, said: "Following its careful refurbishment, the Assembly Rooms will be back with a vengeance in July, in time to host what promises to be a scintillating Fringe programme presented by Salt 'n' Sauce. We look forward very much to welcoming everyone back to this magnificent and beautifully restored building as it resumes its rightful place as a key venue in Edinburgh's cultural landscape."

Director Tommy Sheppard, whose team are taking over as the new custodians (and the first Scottish custodians) of the Fringe festival venue, says: "In bidding to run the Assembly Rooms during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, we promised to deliver a world-class programme, provide more generous deals for artists and keep prices down for the public. I'm delighted to say we've done just that. People who know the building of old will be delighted by this programme and we hope to attract many others for the first time."

Tickets for Assembly Rooms Fringe can be purchased at www.arfringe.com, which is due to go live later today.

The Assembly Rooms Fringe programme was launched yesterday to widespread media acclaim:

The List, 26 April: Edinburgh's Assembly Rooms to reopen in time for Fringe 2012

Edinburgh Evening News, 26 April: Assembly boss sure venue will take city centre stage

Scotsman, 27 April: New look Assembly Rooms gathers Scotland's finest

BBC, 27 April: Revamped Assembly Rooms Fringe venue unveils programme

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