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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018: shows we think will sell out fast
Little Death Club
From first timers to returning Fringe favourites, here's the shows from Gilded Balloon, Pleasance, Assembly and Underbelly to book ASAP
It's that time of year again. We've had a halloween, a Christmas, a few apocalyptic storms and the obligatory couple of sunny days – and now we're back where we started; August and the 71st annual Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Have you read the programme front to back yet? Drawn clumsy, oversized circles round your 'must see' shows? Planned a detailed itinerary? I like your style.
Careful though, because there's no worse feeling than picking out a show and finding out there's no tickets left. All gone, to people that were quicker than you. We don't like to see that happening to our readers, and so have put together a list of shows that – if you want to get a seat for – you should move fast.
Jon Culshaw & Bill Dare: The Great British Take Off
Comedian and impressionist Jon Culshaw joins legendary comedy writer and producer Bill Dare from BBC Radio 4's Dead Ringers for some unscripted, spontaneous comedy and conversation with politicians, sports personalities and celebrities up for a roasting.
Jon Culshaw & Bill Dare: The Great British Take Off, Gilded Balloon Teviot, Mon 13–Sun 26 Aug, 1.30pm
Luisa Omielan: Politics for Bitches
Fresh from filming her BBC Three series of the same name (and a thrilling slot at The List's Festival Party in London), Luisa Omielan is back with her third stand-up hour, in which she exercises her 'right to have an opinion on something she knows absolutely nothing about'. What could she possibly be referring to?
Luisa Omielan: Politics for Bitches, Gilded Balloon Teviot, Wed 1–Sun 26 Aug, 9pm.
Janeane Garofalo: Put a Pin in That
The outspoken Garofalo is a bit of an American institution, having appeared in the likes of The Cable Guy, Wet Hot American Summer, and Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. With a background in spoken word and stand-up, and a reputation as a performer of acerbic wit, she's a popular choice for this year's festival.
Janeane Garofalo: Put a Pin in That, Gilded Balloon Teviot, Wed 1–Sun 19 Aug, 9.15pm.
Zoe Lyons: Entry Level Human
Quick fire observational gags delivered with conviction are Lyons' speciality. The Brighton based comedian is a previous winner of Dave's Best Joke of the Fringe award and her new show Entry Level Human considers whether she knows where this great journey we're all going on (life, in other words) is taking her.
Zoe Lyons: Entry Level Human, Gilded Balloon Teviot, Wed 1–Sun 26 Aug, 5.45pm.
Natalie Palamides: Nate
Last year's Best Newcomer Winner is back, and her 2018 show sees her channeling a bloke (a different kind of 'surprise package', eh). Nate understands how hard is it to be a man, and has a big stretchy penis in his press shot. Consider us intrigued.
Natalie Palamides: Nate, Pleasance, Courtyard, Wed 1–Sun 26 Aug, 6pm.
This new piece from national treasure and Olivier Award-winning Nichola McAuliffe explores prejudice, oppression and revolution.
Revenants, Pleasance Dome, Wed 1–Mon 27 Aug, 5pm.
The Song of Lunch
Featuring Downton Abbey, Toast of London and Cold Feet star Robert Bathurst, this is a hilarious and poignant drama about a disastrous attempt to rekindle lost love. Simultaneously an homage to the long Soho lunch and a yearning for paths not taken, The Song of Lunch is a celebration of language.
The Song of Lunch, Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 1-Mon 27 Aug, 2.20pm.
Jason Donovan and His Amazing Midlife Crisis
The handsome soap opera star tells the stories that were too much for daytime TV. All the highs and lows of being an Australian National treasure are documented here, with a few of the songs we all know and love thrown in for good measure.
Jason Donovan and His Amazing Midlife Crisis, Assembly George Square Gardens, Wed 22–Sun 26 Aug, 3pm.
Maureen Lipman is 'Up For It'
Since her first Fringe appearance 50 years ago, Maureen Lipman has been in thirty odd – sometimes very odd – West End plays, worked in TV, radio, films and books, written magazine columns and starred in BT ads. Half a century after she first took the Edinburgh stage, she's back.
Maureen Lipman is 'Up For It', Assembly George Square Theatre, Wed 1–Sun 12 Aug, 5.45pm.
Once Seen on Blue Peter
60 years since the iconic kids TV show first lit up our screens, an elite group of ex-presenters gather to receive an award celebrating this extraordinary anniversary. Featuring famous faces including Peter Purves, Janet Ellis, Peter Duncan, Mark Curry, Tim Vincent and surprise celebrity guests.
Once Seen on Blue Peter, Assembly Rooms, Sun 4-Sun 26 Aug, 2.50pm.
Lady Rizo: Red, White and Indigo
With sharp humour and a soulful, soaring voice, Lady Rizo's 2018 show takes on her love-hate relationship with 'bad boyfriend' America. The New York chanteuse delivers a deeply personal musical eulogy, unpacking the feelings for her country with belting songs and her trademark wit.
Lady Rizo: Red, White and Indigo, Assembly Hall, Thu 2–Sun 19 Aug, 9.10pm.
Max and Ivan's PROM NIGHT
The much-loved double act, and creators of The Wrestling bring another one-off comedy event to the Festival programme, one that places less of a physical toll on their bodies. It's a real life, end of Festival prom that features live rock'n'roll, dancing 'til late, irresponsibly strong punch, and good old fashioned makin' out. Maybe. Dress code is 1950s.
Max and Ivan's PROM NIGHT, Assembly High, Fri 24 Aug, 9pm.
Roger thinks the world's gone mad. He hates his job, his ex-wife torments him and to top it all, his girlfriend just discovered feminism. Award-winning playwright Penelope Skinner's new monologue about the Men's Rights movement and online radicalisation bristles with timely energy.
Angry Alan, Underbelly Cowgate, Thu 2–Sun 26 Aug, 3.20pm.
Written for Su Pollard's Fringe debut, it's a razor-sharp drama from Fringe First Award-winner Philip Meeks which explores the growing social issue of hoarding.
Harpy, Underbelly Cowgate, Thu 2–Sun 26 Aug, 4pm.
Little Death Club
The debauched variety show hosted by Bernie Dieter as she sips a gin, smokes a cigarette and surveys her prey. There's a drag queen draped across the bar, a morose mime drowns his sorrows in a bottle of red and a bearded lady dances in the shadows.
Little Death Club, Underbelly's Circus Hub on the Meadows, Fri 3–Sat 25 Aug, 8pm.