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The School For Scandal

Pleasance Courtyard
5 - 31 Aug (not 12, 19), 4:00pm (5:30pm)

How many comedies - Shakespeare's aside - still draw the crowds after 200 years?  First performed in 1777, R.B. Sheridan's School For Scandal deserves its place in such exalted company; a satire of Georgian manners, the antics of the gossip-mongering lords and ladies are eerily reminiscent of the present day.  And this new production mixes the old and the modern too, combining the language and setting of the original with an eye-catchingly up-to-date cast.

School For Scandal castFor the line-up is truly stellar.  Top of the playbill is Lionel Blair (yes, the real one), who we're amazed to hear is on his Edinburgh debut this year.  It's two comedians, though, who may draw the most attention: Phil Nicol won the if.comedy award in 2006, while Stephen K Amos is a firm stand-up favourite, boasting an admirable reputation on the stage as well.  Other notable names include Richard Thomson - better known as comedy crime-fighter Rebus McTaggart - and Radio 4 regular Marcus Brigstocke.

It's an ambitious, impressive move to bring such a venerable comedy to the Fringe, and the Who's Who cast list demands instant respect.  It remains to be seen, of course, whether the 90-minute show delivers on its promise; but there's two centuries of success backing this one.  So, spread the rumour... School For Scandal is set pack 'em in again this year.

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