Marilyne MacLaren swaps the political fray for the Fringe

The Scotsman / Brian Ferguson

SHE was one of the most controversial and outspoken characters at Edinburgh’s City Chambers over the last decade.

Now, just weeks after leaving the capital’s political scene, Marilyne MacLaren is about to enter the fray of the Fringe.

The capital’s former education leader is to produce a show at one of the festival’s hippest new venues, which her daughter Samara is appearing in.

The 29-year-old is joining forces with another Edinburgh actress Nalini Chetty to appear in her semi-autobiographical tale Puellae (The truth about chips and other things) at Summerhall.

The pair, who attended Mary Erskine School in Edinburgh together, play Tess and Neave, two privately educated and successful young women who meet for an annual alcohol-fuelled reunion during the Fringe, when a few home truths about the past emerge.

Billed as a “frighteningly honesty and darkly humorous new play”, it is part of a hugely-expanded programme at Summerhall, a new venue launched to critical acclaim last year by rising impresario Rupert Thomson.

MacLaren, who ran a children’s theatre group in Papua New Guinea previously, said: “I’m swiftly discovering what being a producer of a Fringe show involves – everything apart from the acting, it seems. I’m involved in organising fundraising, sponsorship, publicity material, PR and even props.

“I had about a week after the election before I was asked to get involved, so didn’t have much time to relax after leaving the council, but it should be great fun and very different to politics.”