FLEABAG star Phoebe Waller-Bridge is amongst the big names offering rewards to fans in a bid to support Fringe acts left short by the festival's Covid-19 call-off.

Now a major star, Waller-Bridge made her breakthrough in Edinburgh seven years ago when she performed the show that became a TV hit at the Underbelly venue.

An original show poster for Fleabag signed by the star is now up for grabs as part of a newly-launched fundraising campaign for Fringe artists hit hard by this summer's cancellation – the first in the event's history.

Underbelly had been set to stage 220 shows this year.

Supporters are encouraged to donate £12 – the cost of a ticket – to help artists cover lost income. Those who give more can claim rewards, with a Fleabag poster unlocked at a donation of £400 or more.

The National:

A £1000 sum gets free passes to any Underbelly shows at the Fringe for the next two years.

Underbelly directors Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood said: “To not be there this year is heart-breakingly devastating.

“We are asking you to help us support these artists to get through this most difficult of all times and more importantly keep them working in an industry that needs and values them. Without them there is no Underbelly, there is no Edinburgh Festival Fringe."

Circus Abyssinia is one act set to benefit from the relief fund. A spokesperson said: "We're very grateful especially as the cast doesn't have a furlough scheme or any support back in Ethiopia.”

Comic Jason Byrne commented: "This is such a hard time for so many on the circuit, and the cancellation of the Fringe this year has been a massive blow to us all.

"This is a cracking fundraiser. Underbelly is making sure that 100% goes to the artists and there are some great rewards on offer. Who wouldn’t want to donate and secure all those tickets, backstage access and signed poster? Please do give what you can whether it is the price of a ticket, or a few pints too.”

To participate, visit www.underbellyedinburgh.co.uk/donate.