It's been announced that new audiobook Edinburgh Unlocked will be released this August.
Working with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, Penguin Random House Audio will publish the special product to financially help the festival, as it deals with the impact that cancelling its 2020 events due to coronavirus is having on its finances.
Described as "an exclusive comedy festival in audiobook format", the product "showcases some of the most exciting comedians working today, including household names such as Ivo Graham, Jessie Cave, Sofie Hagen, and Dane Baptiste through to emerging talent such as Glamrou, Mo Omar, and [sketch duo] Shelf, as well as the winner of the 2019 Dave's Edinburgh Comedy Award, Jordan Brookes."
The producers explain: "Although the Edinburgh Fringe can never be replaced, this audio collection, created in association with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, aims to capture what makes the festival so special and why it remains a staple in every comedy lover's calendar each year.
"Including stand-up, sketch, character, musical comedy, cabaret, storytelling and more, Edinburgh Unlocked is a celebration of the unrivalled variety and creativity that is showcased across the Festival. Penguin Random House have worked with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society to help keep the spirit of the festival alive, while supporting artists in an incredibly challenging year. Edinburgh Unlocked is part of a wider programme of alternative projects on offer from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society.
"While no industry has been spared the consequences of Covid-19, the global pandemic has resulted in major implications for the creative industries, particularly the performing arts. The closure of venues and restrictions of social gathering poses severe problems for artists, performers and venues alike.
"In searching for ways to connect and engage with culture, from theatre to reading, many people have turned to virtual opportunities and also shown an increased appetite for audio and audiobooks. For this reason, Edinburgh Unlocked is the perfect way to combine the UK's leading publisher of audiobooks, Penguin Random House, with the artistic talent of the creatives behind the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, bringing comedians' work to as many listeners as possible during these challenging times."
Speaking further about how they've selected acts to showcase, the producers say: "Penguin Random House are working alongside live comedy production companies such as Fight In The Dog and Berk's Nest to work creatively on some of the shows, working particularly closely with debut acts such as Leo Reich, Chloe Petts and Jake Farrell, in order to translate their live material into the audio format. Both production companies regularly produce numerous shows each year at the Edinburgh Fringe, Soho Theatre, and on tour throughout the UK. They have an excellent pedigree of discovering and nurturing new talent and Penguin Random House are thrilled to have their expertise on board for this project."
Duncan Honeyman from Penguin Random House says: "We are delighted to be working with so many brilliant comedians, producers and directors on this exciting audio original. The creative collaboration between so many parties has been amazing to witness, and although we are devastated the Fringe is not going ahead this year, we hope that Edinburgh Unlocked can capture the spirit of the festival and reach as many listeners as possible."
Shona McCarthy from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society comments: "In what has been an incredibly challenging year, we have been working as hard as we can to ensure that the spirit of the Fringe is not forgotten. In times of crisis, creativity and community are needed more than ever, and this audio collection is a brilliant reminder of that. It's also a great way to keep the voices of our comedians and creatives in our ear as we try to navigate the new normal.
"We're grateful to Penguin Random House, who have kindly offered to donate a percentage of sales to the Fringe Society. The impact of Covid-19 has been devastating, and this support is invaluable."
The audiobook will be published on all major audio retailers on Thursday 6th August 2020.