The head of the Army in Scotland has said the force's first venue at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has nothing to do with recruitment.

Brigadier Gary Deakin said that the Army's first Fringe venue, at Hepburn House on East Claremont Street, is a chance for the army to "engage" with a different audience outside its traditional presence at the Tattoo.

The Army reserve centre and drill hall has been temporarily transformed into Army@TheFringe, a sizeable venue hosting drama, dance and other performance works, including 5 Soldiers, by the Rosie Kay Dance Company, an acclaimed portrait of army life telling the stories of five men and women serving on the front line.

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Brigadier Deakin, Commander 51st Infantry Brigade and HQ Scotland, said: "It's something very different, the first time in 70 years, and to be honest it came a little bit from [saying] 'why not?'.

"Last year we toured 5 Soldiers, and the idea was to engage with the community through the arts, and the results of the show were some great conversations with people we normally wouldn't engage with.

"The result was some really good dialogue that changed people's perceptions of who we are."

He added of the Fringe shows: "They're not all military themes, they are very diverse...some are quite edgy topics, not particularly comfortable sometimes.

"The idea is to authentic, open the doors, welcome people in and let the artists do their peace, and then hopefully the outcome will be a really good conversation.

"Maybe they will see the army in a different light, if they had different perceptions before."

The Brigadier added: "It is not recruiting.

"I think you will challenged to find a leaflet anywhere - it is all about engagement, and about engaging in a different way.

"I think there will be those with suspicions - but come along and see, come along and have the experience.

"I do feel as the Commander and the man responsible for getting this off, as if we are about to go on an operation, on a mission, it is a little bit of the unknown, but we have a great series of shows and a really good location."