The purpose of the Assembly Gala held at Assembly Hall on The Mound is to give press and critics a chance to see as many shows in an hour and a half as it is possible to see. They also extend ticket sales to paying guests as this is an enormous venue.

And Assembly showed us snippets from some very good shows from a wide range of genres.

Beginning the Gala with Choir of Man was almost unfair, if you want to save the best till last. But as it turns out all the acts were good. Followed by William Burdett Coutts, founder of Assembly who explained there are five places across town to see Assembly and there will be 240 shows. He also mentioned there will be a special show featuring many well known comedians called Stand Up for Your Planet – one night only on 19 August. Tickets here.

The production company is of course back at Assembly Rooms and I lost count of how many shows are on in the Music Room there. In addition there is a Spiegeltent back on George Street this year to add to the mayhem of the Fringe.

Reuben Kaye gave us a smattering of his excellent singing and made up to the nines he is a fabulously filthy act!

William Burdett Coutts speaking at Assembly Gala Launch 2019 Photo Martin McAdam

Friendsical – you may need to know more about Friends to understand what they are singing about – but believe me they are really belting out the numbers with impeccable vocals.

Friendsical – Assembly Gala Launch Photo Martin P. McAdam

Flip Fabrique : Blizzard. What can I say? Go and see them. You will not forget it! Aerialists with a depth of emotion and a sax player.

Assembly Gala Launch Photo Martin P. McAdam

Frisky and Mannish compered this evening’s Gala. They are exquisite at that and their show will be PopLab showing off their brand of musical infotainment.

Morgan and West Unbelievable Science are slick scientists who make you wonder. This family show at the Gordon Aikman Theatre is on daily at the end of the afternoon.

Noise Boys are a wildly innovative noisy bunch of lads. With tap dancing and beatboxing they cover every angle and come from the same stable as Choir of Man.

Joanne McNally is an Irish comedian who doesn’t listen to her mother. She is on a high having sold out on her Irish tour and a Soho Theatre run, and she is very much worth going to see.

Joanne McNallly – with attitude!

What Girls are Made of is Cora Bissett’s journey from 90s indie-kid to wised up woman. And my goodness she gives it her all. Breathtaking!

Machine de Cirque : La Galerie is one group who would entertain you at the airport when there are queues out the door beyond security. And by entertain I really mean take your breath away with their brand of acrobatics.

Assembly Gala Launch Photo Martin P. McAdam

Ed Byrne was very typically Ed Byrne, but he whirled onto the stage with his sparkly jacket and left us wanting more – much more. He is at Assembly Rooms at 9.00pm nightly.

Ed Byrne loves the limelight – he doesn’t get enough of it at home…..

Finally to round it all off Cruel Intentions just astounded the audience with their fabulous vocals and harmonies. But we think their show itself has a lot of edge!

Cruel Intentions
Cruel Intentions 8.30pm at Palais de Varieté