The Pleasance officially launched its 2011 programme today (6 August 2011), with Camille O'Sullivan, Steven Berkoff and comedian Hannibal Buress giving the attendant press a sample of what to expect this year.

The Pleasance is one of the oldest and most established Fringe venues, and is counted among the ‘big four’ alongside Assembly, Gilded Balloon and Underbelly.

The venue's artistic director Anthony Alderson introduced the 2011 programme with a long list of ‘c-words’, highlighting the venue’s commitment to charity, ‘cids’ (its returning kidzone) and cobbles (a new adopt-a-cobble scheme at both its Edinburgh and London venues), among others.

He also laid out plans to create more "concrete links" with other festivals and venues around the country, in order to build a nationwide fringe network utilising "opportunities provided by new technology". This new scheme includes a £1.5 million production development fund aimed at supporting work submitted to the festival, and plans to help increase collaboration between venue box-offices both north and south of the border.

The event, held in the Pleasance Grand, was compered by comedian Nick Helm and included performances from the cast of Steven Berkoff’s latest Fringe production, Oedipus (introduced by the director), alongside sketch comedy outfit Shapes and a capella singing group Out of the Blue.