City competes with global rivals
Street theatre to entertain Hogmanay revellers
Artist’s impression of floating stage
Trapeze, fire throwing and giant puppets will feature in an extended Hogmanay celebration in Edinburgh as the new organiser of the event opts for spectacular theatre to entertain thousands of revellers in the city centre.
Acrobats, pipers, drummers, ceilidh dancers and choir singers will also be among 40 street performers taking part in the six-hour party – two hours longer than usual.
Special lighting effects have been developed by a team of directors, producers and designers who have worked on the opening and closing ceremony of the London Olympics, the Queen’s golden jubilee celebrations, Royal Shakespeare Company productions and videos for The Pet Shop Boys and The Rolling Stones.
Underbelly, which took over organising the 2017 event, promised a re-energised party for the 25th anniversary – oddly named Edinburgh Hogmanay 18 – which will run for three days, focused on Princes Street.
Although Edinburgh remains a global New Year party city, it has seen a need to step up a gear as other cities compete for overseas New Year revellers.
Live music is headlined by soul star Rag’n’Bone Man, supported by 1980s pop group The Human League. Fun Lovin’ Criminals frontman Huey Morgan will entertain the crowds on a “floating stage” hanging above the crowds on Castle Street.
Underbelly director Ed Bartlam said: “We really wanted to extend and grow the entertainment on and around Princes Street.
“It’s going to feel very different. The original idea was to look at what makes Hogmanay special – the idea of going ‘First Footing’ and people opening their doors for a house party.
“The first thing people will see at the three main entrances will be enormous big walls which will have different ‘tenement doors’ in them. Some of them will open for acrobats to pop out of but you will walk through others to get into the arena, where giant granny puppets will be waiting to hug you.
“Although we’re putting more stages and entertainment in this year, we still want people to feel part of the party if they’re between the stages.”