Eddie Izzard (pictured), Steve Coogan and other top comedians will perform this weekend in a benefit show in aid of Edinburgh's Gilded Balloon theatre, which was devastated last month in one of the worst fires in the Scottish capital's history. The show, aptly called Gutted will play for one night only at the West End's Piccadilly Theatre this Sunday, 19 January 2003.

On 7 December 2002, a blaze broke out in Edinburgh's famous old town, where it burned for three days, destroying 11 buildings including the Gilded Balloon and all its records from the past 17 years. The theatre, which is a regular venue during the Edinburgh festival each year, is continuing to programme for the 2003 Edinburgh Fringe and hoping to rebuild its facilities and archives.

Over the years, the Gilded Balloon has played host to numerous comedians who went on to great fame, many of whom will be performing in the benefit. Artists currently confirmed for Gutted include Phil Jupitus, Jo Brand, Alistair McGowan and Phil Kay as well as Izzard and Coogan. The event is being organised by Mick Bateman, who is the manager of the London Comedy Festival and ex-general manager of the Gilded Balloon.

For more information, visit the Gilded Balloon website.

- by Hannah Khalil