Best free comedy shows at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe
- Craig Angus
- 31 July 2018
This article is from 2018.
Newcomers and established comedy favourites performing free or pay what you want shows this year
Hitting up the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year, but working on a tight budget? Fear not. Amongst the thousands of shows listed in the programme lie some comedy gems that won't break the banks. First timers and established acts can be found on the Free Fringe, with John Kearns in 2014 and Richard Gadd in 2016 both going on to win the award for Best Comedy Show at the festival. For some shows it's a case of queuing early and bringing some change (or paper money) for the bucket at the end of the show. For others, you can reserve a ticket for £5, or take a chance on the door and pay what you want on exit.
Ahir Shah: Duffer
Nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award for Control last time out, Ahir Shah returns with a show about life, death and 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.
Laughing Horse at Cabaret Voltaire, Thu 2-Sun 26 Aug, 2.15pm, free.
Alex Kealy: A Kealy's Heal
Third show from the political comedian, who has both an endearingly awkward stage presence and a reservoir of memorable gags.
Laughing Horse at Cabaret Voltaire, Thu 2-Sun 26 Aug, 5.15pm, free.
Andrew O'Neill: I Am A Rich Man and I Have Many Sons
Critically acclaimed heavy metal absurdist has given his show a terrific name. Fresh from touring America with his punk band he's promising the most political show of his life to date.
Liquid Room Annexe, Sat 4-Sun 26 Aug (not 10-12), 5pm, free.
Ashley Storrie: Adulting
Local favourite and internet sensation performs a new show dedicated to the art of not growing up.
Laughing Horse at The Counting House, Thu 2–Sun 26, 8pm, free.
Cam Spence and Jodie Mitchell: The New Babes
Spence (of Channel 4's Riot Girls) and Mitchell (BBC New Act Award 2018) double up for a Soho Theatre endorsed hour.
Banshee Labyrinth, Sun 5–Sat 25 Aug, 12.10pm free.
Eleanor Tiernan: Success Without a Sex Tape
The Irish comedian asks the important questions that keep most of us up at night, like 'Should you do a sex tape?' Is bitcoin a good investment? Are cat cafes cruel? What will we do about the super rats?'
Banshee Labyrinth, Sat 4–Sun 26 Aug, 1.40pm free.
Lou Sanders: Shame Pig
Surrealist relives her most shameful experiences, and discusses big topics like sex, sobriety and her labia.
Monkey Barrel, Thu 2–Sun 26 Aug, 12.30pm, £5 or Pay What You Want
The MMORPG Show - Scruffy Looking Nerd Hunter
Role-play adventure show that sees three volunteers undertake a quest of the audience's making.
Laughing Horse at The Counting House, Thu 16–Sun 26 Aug, 9.15pm, free.
Mat Ewins: What Sorry? My Mistake! The Doors Are Not Open; The Show Has Been Cancelled. Do Not Have Your Tickets Ready!
Nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2017 after years of being one of the funniest men at the Fringe, Ewins returns with more multimedia madness in 2018.
Just The Tonic at The Mash House, Thu 2–Sun 26 Aug (not 13), 8.50pm, £5 or Pay What You Want
Matt Winning: Climate Strange
Dr Matt Winning to you and I, the climate change scientist ponders fatherhood and whether we're doing enough to save our planet. With added jokes, obviously.
Just The Tonic at The Mash House, Thu 2-Sun 26 Aug (not 13), 5pm, £5 or Pay What You Want
Nathaniel Metcalfe: Chameleon, Comedian, Corinthian and Caricature
Metcalfe's delightfully silly new show is directed by Fringe favourite James Acaster; we're excited to see the fruits of their partnership.
Laughing Horse at The Counting House, Thu 2–Sun 26 Aug, 1.10pm, free
Phill Jupitus: Freeviously
Former Never Mind The Buzzcocks captain revives last year's show Up The Stand. Expect more songs about owls and Coldplay parodies.
Bannermans, Sat 4–Sun 26 Aug (not 13), 12.30pm, free.
Rob Auton: The Talk Show
We were rather taken by Auton's The Hair Show last year. This time out he's ready to talk, over the course of an hour that's something of a comedy, theatre and spoken word hybrid.
Just The Tonic at The Caves, Thu 2–Sun 26 Aug (not 13), 6.10pm, £5 or Pay What You Want
Sara Barron: For Worse
New York storytelling favourite, and acclaimed comedy writer, comes to Edinburgh for her first solo hour, in which she talks openly about the aspects of our lives we don't put on social media.
Just The Tonic at The Tron, Thu 2–Sun 26 Aug (not 13), 3.40pm, £5 or Pay What You Want
Sofie Hagen Tries Something
2015's Best Newcomer has a go at a different thing every day, with work-in-progress stand up performances, live podcasting and dance performances on the cards.
Laughing Horse at The Counting House, Thu 2–Sun 26 Aug (not 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21) 3.30pm, free.
Strictly Carl Donnelly
For his 10th Fringe performance, Donnelly considers whether life has lived up to his expectations in that decade.
Laughing Horse at The Counting House, Thu 2–Sun 26 Aug (not 13), 6.45pm, free
Stuart Goldsmith: End Of
Host of Comedian's Comedian podcast promises an odyssey through future selves and rare diseases, ambition and money.
Liquid Room, Sat 4–Sun 26 Aug (not 16), 2.50pm, free
Tony Law: A Lost Show
Having adjusted to sobriety, Tony Law considers comedy as a platform of salvation, with his signature booming voice and inimitable surreal worldview a constant presence.
Monkey Barrel, Thu 2–Sun 26 Aug (not 13), £10 or Pay What You Want