Saturday 1 October 2016

Chilcot report to be read in entirety in Edinburgh Fringe show

Published 21/07/2016 | 11:31

Omid Djalili has organised an Edinburgh Fringe show which will see the Chilcot report on the Iraq war read out in full
Omid Djalili has organised an Edinburgh Fringe show which will see the Chilcot report on the Iraq war read out in full

A host of comedians and authors are to read the entirety of the Chilcot report at the Edinburgh Fringe.

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Ian Rankin, Stewart Lee, Reginald D Hunter, Sean Walsh and Jo Caulfield are among those who have volunteered to take part in the relay-style reading which will start at 6pm on Monday August 8 and is expected to continue 24 hours a day for two weeks until all 2.6 million words in the report have been read.

The Iraq Out & Loud event is being organised by Fringe veterans Omid Djalili and Bob Slayer, and will be staged in a garden shed with only four audience seats in South College Street.

There will be two readers per hour with organisers looking for more volunteers to sign up at iraqoutloud.com.

The event will also be streamed online and a Gofundme appeal has been set up to cover the staging, with organisers saying any additional money raised will be donated to the International Rescue Committee.

Hourly tickets for the four seats in the shed go on sale on July 25.

Djalili described it as a "current and brilliant idea".

Slayer said: "Producing this is going to be a truly mammoth undertaking, however I know I would totally regret not doing it much more than actually doing it."

Rebus author Rankin was among the first to sign up for the event.

He said: "I was on my holidays when the Chilcot report was published, so this is my best chance to get to read at least some of it. It's either that or wait for the film."

The long-awaited report on the Iraq war criticised former prime minister Tony Blair, other leading politicians and senior officials over their actions before, during and after the conflict in which 179 British service personnel died.

SNP MP Tommy Sheppard, who set up the Stand Comedy Club, will also take part in the reading.

He said: "I'm delighted to do my part in drawing attention to this damning indictment of Tony Blair's government - pretty much every British military intervention he sanctioned made a bad situation worse."

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