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Edinburgh Stalwart Assembly on the Move

Assembly founder, William Burdett-Coutts, launched the 2011 Assembly programme last night (3 August 2011) with a tribute to the building that was their home for 30 years.

A controversial redevelopment of the Assembly Rooms in George Street has seen the organisation ousted from the New Town. A new site has been found in a complex at George Square by utilising existing buildings and creating a Spiegeltented village in the gardens.

New landlord, Principal of Edinburgh University, Sir Timothy O'Shea was on hand to welcome his new paying guests at the Gala Launch in the Assembly Hall.

Fred Macauley was the entertaining host for the evening. Although not appearing in an Assembly venue himself, he introduced a variety of of acts who were. In a throw back to the golden age of variety we glimpsed Bobby Crush as a bejewelled Liberace, Clive Mantle as Tommy Cooper and Paul Daniels as Paul Daniels. The lovely Debbie McGee had the night off.

Comedy highlights included Jimeoin, who has obviously been spending a lot of time bird-watching and the increasingly popular The Pajama Men. Finnish glam rock acapella group Fork's Queen medley scored heavily with crowd. A slightly gentler era was conjured up by the entertaining, Lili La Scala.

The Assembly Hall stage took a pounding from thrilling workouts by Colombian circus artists, Circolombia and Rock the Ballet.

Two international troupes, both appearing in the main Assembly venue, topped and tailed the show - the spectacular Korean performers, appearing in Korean Drum - Journey of a Soul, whose thrilling drumming made sure the audience were wide awake for the gala show.

As a finale, the joyous Soy de Cuba's salsa band lead the audience from the hall and on its way to the new Assembly enclave in George Square.


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