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Frank Skinner and Katherine Parkinson to make playwriting debuts at Edinburgh Fringe

Actor Katherine Parkinson and comedian Frank Skinner will make their debuts as playwrights at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, as part of a new initiative run by the BBC.

Parkinson and Skinner join journalist Bim Adewunmi and director Beryl Richards in making their playwriting debuts at this year’s festival, under a scheme jointly run with production company Avalon, called Debut.

BBC Arts director Jonty Claypole said the festival provided the Corporation with the “opportunity for talent to experiment with new directions and ideas in a safe environment”.

“As part of our Edinburgh activity, BBC Arts is delighted to be working with Avalon on Debut, supporting four extraordinary talents to develop their writing practice in new ways,” he said.

Parkinson’s play is called Sitting, and will run at the Gilded Balloon from August 1 to 26, while Skinner’s is titled Nina’s Got News, and will run at the Pleasance.

Richards’ work is called Diamond and will run at Underbelly, where Adewunmi’s play, Hoard, will also play.

All will run from August 1 to 26.

Skinner described the initiative as “brilliant” and added: “Thirty years in comedy and I never knew I was only one encouraging phone call away from writing a play. Suddenly, I feel like a man of the theatre.”