It will by far the longest single Fringe show of the festival season, a marathon reading of one of the landmark publications of the year by a cast of thousands.

A reading of the Chilcot Report into the UK's entry into the war in Iraq, 2.6m words long, is to be read by more than 2000 people at the festival, reading continuously from beginning to end.

The organisers of the reading are Fringe veterans Bob Slayer and Omid Djalili, inspired by an idea by comedian Boothby Graffoe.

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They have approached former Prime Minister Tony Blair, as well as the report's author, Sir John Chilcot, to take part in the mass reading.

Well known readers of the report will include Ian Rankin, Mr Djalili, Stewart Lee, Reg D Hunter, Mark Thomas, Dead Friedman, Tommy Sheppard MP, Jo Caulfield among many others.

The reading starts at 6pm today, Monday August 8, until the end it reached - Mr Slayer thinks it will take two weeks.

Mr Slayer said that the report will be read "straight", and "respectfully, humbly and relentlessly."

The organisers have launched an appeal for more readers to sign up via iraqoutloud.com.

Iraq Out & Loud will take place in a garden shed, beside Bob Slayer’s Blundabus on South College Street.

Bob Slayer said: "About six people can fit in the shed at any one time and the six will be reading for an hour - Josie Long has agreed to read, as as Al Murray and others, but we are still looking for readers.

"I am not sure how funny it is, for the Fringe, but it is unusual.

"It was such an important report but it came at such a strange time, politically and socially. At any other time it would have been the major story of the year. This is a serious project."

He added: "Some people may ask: what's the point? They may think it's a load of back slapping, a preaching-to-the-choir. Perhaps it is - but that doesn't mean we don't want to do something about it.

"It would be great if Sir John did respond to us."

A Gofundme appeal has been set up to cover out of pocket costs for staging the reading.

Any additional money raised will be donated to the International Rescue Committee, which provides aid to refugees and victims of armed conflict around the world.