HIS day job is to stage spectacular events which celebrate art, entertainment, and life.

But beyond co-directing Underbelly, one of the Fringe's biggest producers, and Edinburgh's Hogmanay, Ed Bartlam has had another, far more important pre-occupation in the last three years: his young son's ongoing struggle with cancer.

This week, days before a benefit show at the Fringe to raise money for the scientific battle against brain cancer, Bartlam and his family had some good news: a tumour in the brain of his son Alfie, who is six, has reduced in size.

Alfie Bartlam has endured 63 radiotherapy sessions, 81 general anaesthetics and two major operations to rid him of the disease.

He was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer, Anaplastic Apendymoma, in September 2016, when he was four.

He had a large, satsuma-sized tumour removed, and then, late last year, two more were found in his brain and spine.

Earlier this year following surgery, he was found to have yet another in his brain - but it has reacted to intense radiotherapy, and shrunk.

Bartlam and his family - including his wife Lucinda, Alfie's sister Violet, 7, and little brother Kit, who is 18 months old - received the good news on Monday, a timely boost before the Big Brain Tumour Benefit being held at the McEwan Hall on 13 August.

Bartlam said he hopes his family's story can help raise awareness of brain cancer and money to fund research into the disease.

He said his son's cancer is "pretty aggressive, and pretty rare."

"The doctor said: 'Finally, I can give you good news," he said.

"For as long as I can remember, there has always been a 'but' to any news, but this time he said 'I'm really pleased to say that this is good news.'"

He added: "The surgery was terrifying. Watching your child go to sleep for brain surgery, and having no contact for eight hours....it is horrible."

After the first round of treatments for his first tumour, it appeared Alfie was tumour-free.

"Technically he was fine, tumour free, and then in December [2017], we went for one of the routine check-up scans, we had one of those awful waits, and the oncologist did that classic thing and said: 'Now Alfie, I just need to talk to mummy and daddy for a second', and immediately, we knew," he said.

"They had found a new lump in a different part of his brain, and in his spine."

"That was just before Hogmanay - so I had this extraordinary feeling of being exhausted, jubilant, and then experienced this crushing moment where everyone was celebrating their new year, and ours was not looking so rosey."

Alfie had the tumours removed at Great Ormand Street Hospital, London, and he then received specific radiotherapy with Dr Thomas Merchant, of the St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, as part of a clinical trial.

"What's been extraordinary is that although Alfie got tired, he kind of ploughed through it," Bartlam said.

"We are experts at him being put to sleep. He lost his hair, but he has recovered remarkably.

"He went to Memphis at the end of January, and were there until April, he had 30 sessions of radiotherapy there, the last ten of which, he was awake."

He added: "Technically, he is not in remission.

"He is not currently receiving treatment, but he still has the disease, there is one tumour that is still in there, which they found after the operation in January.

"The good news is that this thing is shrinking like crazy, which is showing that the radiation is having a good effect.

"He is remarkable. His energy, it has taken everyone by surprise."

Bartlam said he and his wife have "tried to be honest with the children", but discussing all the ramifications at this stage is hard.

He said: "We explained it to him, and he has made those remarks like, 'I feel fine' - and he looks fine.

"He lost his hair and we were worried about that, but various friends sent baseball caps, and now he has become hooked on baseball caps. You live in the moment, you live in the now."

The Big Brain Tumour Benefit is hosted by Susan Calman and also will feature Nish Kumar, Joel Dommett, David O’Doherty, and Zoe Lyons, among others, and all its income will go to the Brain Tumour Charity.

Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer for children and adults under 40.

Around 500 children and young people in the UK are diagnosed each year.

Underbelly has raised nearly £30,000 for the Brain Tumour Charity, including £18,000 at last year’s Fringe benefit.

Bartlam said:"The Charity does a great job, but they need more money - in the grand scheme of cancers, they are underfunded, it needs research.

"If you talk to doctors and surgeons, there has been great advancements in leukaemia, for example, but brain tumours has been slower, partly because they are so difficult to treat, there are so many of them - over 100 different kinds.

"Every single different type needs different treatment, and you find with a lot of brain disease, chemotherapy is redundant."