Fringesider 2018: What should I see at the Fringe?
Pleasance – so much comedy to choose from
The return of Fringesider is a round-up of our 2018 round-ups, so meta...
Every year I get asked the same question by friends, family, fellow dog-walkers: 'so, what should I see at the festival this year?' In my head I briefly wonder, wouldn't it be great if there was a website that could tell me the answer, perhaps it could round-up or hitlist shows according to genre, cost, or topics of interest... Of course, it's because of my job at such a website that people ask me (and, you know, conversation, human interaction and stuff).
Really what they're looking for is that good ol' word-of-mouth recommendation, something personal that comes with a sense of stakes, after all, you're telling your mate or acquaintance how to part with their hard-earned cash. The good thing is, even if you get it wrong, they probably won't tell you about it. Unlike online, where people gleefully tell The List how wrong we are all the time. That's okay, we can take it.
I'm guilty of doing this too, asking for suggestions I mean. Like seeing what my colleagues, whose reviews I've already read, reckon is good (srsly, what a wanker). One of my favourite sources of insider knowledge is venue staff, who can often be a weather vane to shows that the crowds are buzzing about, and who are also seeing a lot too.
Anyway, all this is to say, I realised that here at The List we hadn't rounded-up of all our, er, show round-ups, and wouldn't it be helpful if we did. So here you have it, all the 100% accurate 'must-see' type features we've knocked out so far, compiled into another very handy list. I also asked my colleagues what shows they were personally recommending – it's only deadline day and I'm sure they can't be that busy.
Round-up of The List's 2018 Fringe Round-ups
Top Rated Shows
The best of the best. With aggregation.
Top 25 Shows to see at Edinburgh Festival
Something for everyone on this list, from Dick and Dom to Waiting for Godot (assuming those aren't the same thing).
28 of the Best Comedy Shows
If these shows don't make you laugh, feel free to complain loudly on social media. You'll be in good company.
Best Free Comedy Shows
Yes we know, some of these are so popular you have to pay to book a seat. 'Best Reserve a Seat for £5 Comedy' just doesn't have the same ring to it.
Best Dance and Physical Theatre
Every year our section editors complain about calling these the 'Best...'. It's not my fault that's what you all search for on Google.
Best Kids Shows
Dick and Dom are on this list too. Those guys are everywhere.
Best Circus Shows
High-octane acrobatics and the best clowning in town. Your Fringe isn't complete if you don't see one circus performance.
Best Shakespeare at the Fringe
Some old writer guy, no-one is really sure who they were, gets a list all to himself. Typical.
Best Comedy Podcasts
Podcasts are like festival recommendations, everyone has one.
Scottish Comedians at the Fringe
Don't leave the festival without seeing at least one funny Scot.
Nine Fringe Shows Tackling Toxic Masculinity
And now for the serious stuff.
10 Body Positive Shows at the Fringe
No jokes, this is just a really good list of excellent shows.
Nine Fringe Shows About Sex
How we only managed to come up with nine Fringe shows about sex is mystifying to me too.
Fringe Shows We Think Will Sell Out Fast
A refreshingly honest vague headline. Kinda, maybe, might sell out fast. Hurry and help prove us right, please...
Hit Shows Returning for a Second Run
Made so much money the performers didn't feel like they needed to come up with new material.
5 Must See Classical and Opera at the International Festival
See, we've done something for everyone.
10 Exciting Student Shows at the Fringe
Probably not very good, but could be worth a go.
And finally, List staffer personal recommendations
Amy Clark (Events and Promotions Assistant)
'Yummy: amazing, hilarious, outrageous. A must see if you love all things drag.'
Assembly Roxy, until 26 Aug (not 8, 14, 21), 9.40pm, £13–£14.
Michael Carandy (Developer and Overseer of the Top Rated Page)
'Judging by the Top Rated page, I'd say John-Luke Roberts' [Ed: hey, that's cheating!]
Assembly George Square, until 27 Aug (not 15), 5.30pm, £10 (£9).
Brendan Miles (Digital Business Director)
'Chores: If you have children under the age of eight then they'll love Chores. It's a great mix of slapstick and circus and the universal childhood theme of not wanting to tidy up your bedroom appeals to all. Besides who, of any age, doesn't want to see a toilet paper gun in action?'
Assembly George Square, until 26 Aug (not 20), 12pm, £7–9.
Sofia Matias (Content Producer)
'Shit-Faced Shakespeare: It's like watching 'Drunk History' live, no two shows are the same, and it manages to make Shakespeare fun!'
Shit-Faced Shakespeare: Hamet, Underbelly Med Quad, until 27 Aug, 10.50pm (£12.50-15).
Murray Robertson (Content Manager)
'Adam Riches is usually my favourite thing at the Fringe. This year he's a triple threat with THREE SHOWS. It took me years to discover Mr Swallow (Nick Mohammed), so I'm very late to the game – but 2016's Mr Houdini was one of the greatest shows I've seen, and I'm relieved to see he's back.'
I'm not outroing all those, just click the damn links.
Sheri Friers (Partnership Director)
'Daughter at CanadaHub – never have I felt so conflicted after show. Really walked the fine line of reality and theatre and was really powerful.'
CanadaHub @ King's Hall, until 26 Aug (not 13, 20), 4.15pm, £11 (£9).
Scott Henderson (they call me 'our web guy')
'Steen Raskopoulos: Stay. I first saw Steen at The List's infamous Festival Party in 2017. He was brilliant, but unfortunately I didn't make his full show that year. Stay was top of my 'to see' list opening weekend. It's brilliant and totally sideswiped me. One of the most courageous and raw performances I've seen at the Fringe. There, are you happy now?'
Underbelly Cowgate, until 26 Aug (not 13), 8pm, £12.50 (£11.50).