Water ballet act makes UK debut 151

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by Karrie Gillett

DUTCH comic Eric Koller picked the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to make his UK debut.

The funnyman – who has been treating audiences to performances in his native Holland for the past 12 years – mixes contortion moves and dance throughout the word-less show.

And the 35-year-old pulls of a water ballet performance for the finale in which the audience can expect to get a gentle soaking.

The quirky comedian – also known as Fool Koller – will be bringing his unique show to the Hill Street Theatre on Thistle Street every night until August 25.

Eric said he chose the Edinburgh Fringe to showcase his act in the UK because of the long-standing reputation of the event.

He said: “I have always wanted to bring the show here. It is a real success back home in Holland and I have been thinking of crossing the border with it for a while.

“There was no better place and no better time in my mind other than Edinburgh.

“The people who have been buying tickets so far have reacted brilliantly”

While the Fringe continues to be a top venue for performers from across the globe, the Scottish Government today announced that the festival is to receive £200,000 to promote homegrown talent.

Due to launch in 2009, the money is to be used for the Made in Scotland project to enable Scottish acts to present on an international stage.

And the funding is coming from the £6 million “Expo” pot ring fenced for the Edinburgh festivals over a three-year period.

Culture minister Linda Fabiani said: “The Made in Scotland showcase will be a fantastic shop window for Scottish-based performing artists

“During the festivals we attract culture lovers from around the world and the Expo Fund is a great opportunity to show what fantastic performers we have right here in Scotland

“Made in Scotland will allow talented artists who may not have otherwise been able to perform to bring their most ambitious work to the Fringe.”

And Jon Morgan, director of Edinburgh Festival Fringe said the project would open up even more opportunites for Scots artists on their own doorstep.

He said: “It will provide financial and developmental support so Scottish dance and theatre artists can present their work in the best possible way at the Fringe and open up other touring opportunities.

“We are very grateful to the Scottish Government for their generous support of this innovative new programme through the Expo Fund.”

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