The Army has manoeuvred into the world's biggest arts festival.

The UK's armed forces are to have their first Fringe venue this year, where soldiers will perform and stage "cutting edge theatre and dance."

The Army is already well represented at the famous Tattoo in the festive month of August but now it is to expand its operations into the Fringe.

Army@TheFringe will see the Hepburn House Army Reserve Centre, in East Claremont Street in Edinburgh, transformed into a temporary performance space, staffed by military personnel.

The venue will stage Rosie Kay Dance Company’s acclaimed production 5 Soldiers.

The initiative, a statement said, is part of the Army’s drive to "engage with the public in new, open and creative ways – sparking conversations about its role in 21st-century society, and reflecting on its place in history."

Army@The Fringe is in association with the major Fringe venue, Summerhall, and will be featured within the Summerhall programme.

Brigadier Gary Deakin, Commander 51st Infantry Brigade, said: "Having a venue at the world’s biggest arts festival gives us an unparalleled opportunity to engage with people in new ways.

"As well as having superb shows from this country and overseas, there will be discussions and other events. Army@TheFringe will allow us to have entirely different conversations about our place in society and the issues affecting all of us in a rapidly changing world."

Full details will be announced on 11 May when Summerhall reveals its 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe Festival programme. However, a centrepiece will be the Rosie Kay Dance Company’s production 5 Soldiers: The Body is the Frontline.

Rosie Kay said: "We are thrilled to bringing 5 Soldiers to the Edinburgh Fringe with the support of The Army.

"If someone had told me when I started the research for this work nine years ago, that this would be the result I would never have believed them.

"Attitudes to the arts and to engagement in the Army have changed dramatically, and we are proud to be reaching more audiences in new ways through this work at the Fringe."

In a recent interview with The Herald's Mary Brennan, she added: "I think I also became increasingly aware of a certain disconnect that exists between the public and the army.

"Even watching footage of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan doesn’t really bring it home to us.

"It kind of stays at arm’s length.

"We have remembrance ceremonies for the fallen of world wars but for the public at large, the legacy of going to war – the lasting injuries to minds and mental wellbeing, as well as bodies – is, I think, poorly understood and easily forgotten when there are no parades.

"And now that I have my own little boy, the horror of it gets to me more than ever."

Hepburn House will have a Mess Bar and an Army "tuck-shop".

Hepburn House has a place in army history - it is the point where many Scottish troops gathered for deployment in both world wars.