First Shows Set For 2024 Assembly Festival

The festival runs 31 July – 26 August 2024.

By: Feb. 15, 2024
First Shows Set For 2024 Assembly Festival
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The countdown to the summer has begun as Assembly Festival has announced the first shows for its 2024 season. Running Wednesday 31 July to Monday 26 August, Assembly will once again bring some of the very best acts from around the world to perform in Edinburgh. With an incredible line-up of theatre, comedy, children's shows, circus, and cabaret announced today, there's plenty more to come and much to look forward to with Assembly Festival this summer.  

First up in the programme, it's a return to the stage for The National Theatre of Scotland's Dear Billy, A Love Letter to the Big Yin. Written and performed by Gary McNair and directed by Joe Douglas, this critically acclaimed celebration of Billy Connolly will be heading to Aberdeen, Glasgow and Inverness before coming to Assembly Rooms for the Fringe. A collection of moving and hilarious stories to mark Billy Connolly's 80th birthday year, Dear Billy is a special and unique show that celebrates the Big Yin and what he means to the people of Scotland. 

Brian Foster's award-winning, record-breaking Myra's Story returns, following the incredible rollercoaster backstory of middle-aged homeless alcoholic, Myra living rough on the streets of Dublin. Nigel Miles-Thomas (Doctor Who, The Professionals) reveals the man behind the myth in Sherlock Holmes the Last Act, exposing the great detective's fears and weaknesses, and a cutting sense of humour. And from Rifco Theatre and Soho Theatre, comes an immersive DJ bromance. Facing sabotage, Pali & Jay are on edge - using only their simple DJ setup and the odd cup of chai, Pali and Jay's Ultimate Asian Wedding DJ Roadshow will transport you through time, from Southall's Biggest Deck Off 1999 to now. Our Uncle and Nephew DJing duo must successfully navigate their latest gig to save the company, their future aspirations, and ultimately, their relationship. 

It's a strong start for comedy as two juggernauts of the UK comedy circuit make their return to Assembly Festival for the Fringe. ‘Scotland's funniest woman' (Scotsman) Susie McCabe brings another barnstormer of a show in the excellently named Merchant of Menace – fresh on the back of her very own BBC Scotland stand-up special. And with no comedy safety net, Jason Byrne presents No Show. Armed with only a bag of props and a brain brimming with chaos, witness Jason use his famous audience interactions to create a once in a lifetime show. 

Assembly welcomes back actor, cartoonist, and comedian Jessie Cave (8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Richard Osman's House of Games) with a show that opens up social anxiety and monogamy, couples therapy and parenting failures. Rob Auton, otherwise known as ‘a genuine original' (Guardian) and the ‘Mother freaking greatest' (James Acaster) returns to Assembly Roxy after a critically acclaimed-sellout season in 2023 with his new piece The Eyes Open and Shut Show. And based on a true story, join everyone's favourite camp Aunty, Aunty Ginger on a mission in Finding Splashman; a cornucopia of cabaret entertainment with songs, standup, and a seminar in glory hole etiquette. 

For families, ARC Circus and Cluster Arts bring back A Bee Story, a uniquely Australian physical theatre show incorporating a kaleidoscope of circus, acrobatics, dance and live music. Follow the story of Queen Bee and Worker Bee who must work together to rebuild their hive after being destroyed by a bushfire. But things never quite go to plan...

International award-winning actor, storyteller and Guinness World Record holder Mr Bubbles (AKA The Highland Joker) brings his extraordinary soap bubbles in all shapes and sizes in The Bubble Show, a unique blend of magic, storytelling, science and bubble art! And returning to Edinburgh for its 19th year, Comedy Club 4 Kids has been getting the best stand-ups, sketch acts and cabaret stars from the international circuit to do their thing for an audience of children, but without the rude bits! Just like a normal comedy club, but it's on in the day and kids are allowed in, with a different line-up every day.  

The Fringe sensation that is The Black Blues Brothers come to Assembly as part of their farewell season. Five unleashed acrobats perform their comedy tribute to cult movie The Blues Brothers in an acrobatic celebration that joins the energy of Africa with R&B sound. After thrilling more than 500,000 spectators around the world and astonishing appearances at the Royal Variety Performance, Montecarlo Festival and Moulin Rouge, The Black Blues Brothers return on a mission to entertain Edinburgh audiences for the very last time.  

The longest running burlesque night at the Fringe returns to Assembly Festival for its tenth edition. Best of Burlesque: 10 Years of Tease promises a celebration of bodies, tradition, acceptance and inclusivity, all performed in the iconic surroundings of the Bijou Spiegeltent. With changing acts every few nights, Best of Burlesque is truly unique every time you see it. 

From titillation to full on thrills; Sexy Circus Sideshow is a carnival cavalcade of saucy showgirls, sexy sideshow stunts, neurotic novelty and vaudeville variety at its very best. A thrilling, boozy freak show that connects alternative circus with the dark arts of underground burlesque and cabaret, showcasing some of the weirdest and most wonderful talent in Edinburgh. And funny, dark and baffling, the Fringe's real-life witch is back for his 10th spellbinding year. Internationally acclaimed magician Ben Hart brings HEX, a curated collection of Ben's favourite and most exciting material from the last decade with new ideas fresh from his laboratory, guaranteed to put a spell on you. 

Assembly Festival's Fringe season will begin on Wednesday 31 July and run through to Monday 26 August. Performances will take place across Edinburgh city centre, including Assembly Festival's year-round home Assembly Roxy, Assembly Checkpoint, Assembly Hall, Assembly Rooms, and Assembly George Square Gardens.  

For tickets and further information, and to sign up to receive news about future shows at Assembly Festival 2024, visit