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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019: Shows we think will sell out fast

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019: Shows we think will sell out fast

From Rose Matafeo and Craig Ferguson to Gingzilla's cabaret parties, book in these acts from Gilded Balloon, Assembly, Underbelly and Pleasance before they're gone

Now that the Fringe's gargantuan programme has been officially released, it's come time to organise our August calendars – no mean feat, especially considering the sheer wealth of comedy, theatre, dance, cabaret and more that'll be descending on our doorstep in a matter of weeks.

To help you with the curatorial process, we've combed through the line-ups of the 'Big Four' venues and made some predictions as to what acts will sell out quickly. Some are familiar Fringe favourites, and others are newcomers riding in on a wave of early buzz. Either way, be sure to snap up tickets to these great acts before they're gone for good – or until next summer, that is.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019: Shows we think will sell out fast

Balletboyz: Them/Us / credit: Hugo Glendinning

Underbelly

Balletboyz: Them/Us
The acclaimed all-male dance company makes their Edinburgh debut with their electrifying double bill, which explores the individual spirit as well as our connection to others. With scores composed by Charlotte Harding and indie singer-songwriter Keaton Henson, Them/Us has already riveted audiences across the UK.
Balletboyz: Them/Us, Underbelly: Bristo Square – McEwan Hall, Wed 31 Jul–Thu 15 Aug (not 7), 1pm.

Basil Brush: Unleashed
Showbiz icon, children's entertainer and fox puppet Basil Brush will be taking to the stage in this adults-only show, wherein he provides his usual brand of anarchic commentary on hot button topics. This foxy fella will be joined by a different guest every night.
Basil Brush: Unleashed, Underbelly: Bristo Square – Cowbarn, Wed 31 Jul–Sun 25 Aug, 6.45pm.

Whose Line Is It Anyway? Live at the Fringe
Members of the original cast unite for this live performance of the iconic improv show, which quickly sold out when they first came to the Fringe two years ago. The roster for this year will be filled out by the likes of Greg Proops, Mike McShane, Stephen Frost, Richard Vranch and Phill Jupitus, with more to be announced.
Whose Line Is It Anyway? Live at the Fringe, Underbelly: Bristo Square – McEwan Hall, Wed 31 Jul–Mon 26 Aug (not 12), 7pm.

Pleasance

Fishbowl
Winner of the prestigious Molière Award for Best Comedy Play, Fishbowl follows the everyday lives of three wacky, lovable characters who live cheek-by-jowl in adjoining rooftop bedsits. A remarkable work of physical comedy and set design, Fishbowl has just come off of a sold-out European tour, so we wouldn't expect anything less for their UK debut.
Fishbowl, Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 31 Jul–Mon 26 Aug (not 14), 1pm.

The Guilty Feminist: Live Podcast
Podcast phenomenon The Guilty Feminist returns to the Fringe for a live recording, featuring more funny, scintillating discussions about modern feminism and our personal pitfalls that undermine these ideals. Hosted by the inimitable Deborah Frances-White alongside a revolving line-up of guests, The Guilty Feminist has racked up 60 million downloads since its launch in 2016.
The Guilty Feminist: Live Podcast, Pleasance Courtyard, Fri 2–Sun 4 Aug, 4pm.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019: Shows we think will sell out fast

Catherine Bohart: Lemon

Catherine Bohart: Lemon
Last year, Catherine Bohart's debut hour about OCD and coming out to her father, a Catholic deacon, left us in stitches and in awe of her natural talent. Thus we anticipate great things in her next offering, which promises to 'mash stereotypes around sex, sexuality and relationships'.
Catherine Bohart: Lemon, Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 31 Jul–Sun 25 Aug (not 13), 6pm.

Sara Barron: Enemies Closer
The 'queen of New York's storytelling scene' also made her first Fringe outing last year to great aplomb, nabbing a nomination for Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards and going on to sell-out two runs at London's Soho Theatre. This year she'll be serving up more acerbic observations on love and friendship in what promises to be a very funny hour indeed.
Sara Barron: Enemies Closer, Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 31 Jul–Sun 25 Aug (not 13), 8.30pm.

Bible John
Definitely one for fans of true crime, Bible John explores the murder of three women in Glasgow's Barrowlands Ballroom in 1969 by an Old Testament-quoting serial killer. A harrowing, furious yet joyful look into violence and gender, the play also follows four women in the present day who try to catch the killer, once and for all.
Bible John, Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 31 Jul–Mon 26 Aug Not 13), 3.50pm

Rose Matafeo: Horndog
The New Zealand comic's musings on horniness was awarded Best Show at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards last year, and she now returns for a victory lap of just five dates this time around. So if you missed her acclaimed run last Fringe, don't make the same mistake again and book her in quickly.
Rose Matafeo: Horndog, Pleasance Courtyard, Tue 20–24 Aug, 9.30pm

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019: Shows we think will sell out fast

Nick Offerman: All Rise

Assembly

Rose McGowan: Planet 9
The author, actor and activist Rose McGowan, best known for her role in the Weinstein scandal and resultant #MeToo movement, comes to the Fringe for the first time with a performance that fuses memoir, music, storytelling and projections that promises to transport audiences to a new planet, and explore what a fairer society would mean for all.
Rose McGowan: Planet 9, Assembly Hall, Thu 15–Sun 18 Aug, 1pm.

Nick Offerman: All Rise
The burly comedic actor, of Parks and Rec and Fargo fame, hosts a single evening of stand-up and 'light dance' that entreaties its audience to bring out the best in others, amidst a darkening socio-political climate.
Nick Offerman: All Rise, Assembly Hall, Sat 14 Aug, 6pm

Nish Kumar: It's In Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves
Nish Kumar brought this work-in-progress to the Fringe last year, and has since been touring it across the country to great aplomb. Catch the double Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee performing its final, more polished version this summer.
Nish Kumar: It's In Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves, Assembly George Square, Mon 19–Sun 25 Aug, 9pm

Rob Auton: The Time Show
Rob Auton follows on from his previous shows about the colour yellow, the sky, faces, water, sleep, hair and talking with some poetical and philosophical comedy about the nature of time.
Rob Auton: The Time Show, Assembly George Square, Wed 31 Jul–Mon 26 Aug (not 13), 2.50pm

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019: Shows we think will sell out fast

Gingzilla's Late Night Lip Service / credit: Nicholas Robertson

Gilded Balloon

Craig Ferguson: Hobo Fabulous
For one night only, the award-winning former Late Late Show host returns to the UK for his first stand-up performance in over 25 years. Expect plenty of off-the-cuff gags from this 'ageing, unhinged vagrant' at the Edinburgh Playhouse for the European premiere of his new show.
Craig Ferguson: Hobo Fabulous, Gilded Balloon at the Edinburgh Playhouse, Sun 11 Aug, 8pm

Black is the Colour of My Voice
Apphia Campbell's Woke took the Fringe by storm in 2017 and 2018, and her new solo show, inspired by the life of legendary American vocalist Nina Simone, has come to Edinburgh direct from a sold-out run on the West End.
Black is the Colour of My Voice, Gilded Balloon Teviot, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26 Aug, 4pm

Gingzilla's Late Night Lip Service
The 'bearded belle' that is Gingzilla returns to host this debaucherous late night party, which will feature live performances and lip-sync battles from a revolving line-up of some of the Fringe's biggest stars throughout the month of August.
Gingzilla's Late Night Lip Service, Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre, Fri 2 & Sat 3, Thu 8–Sat 10, Thu 15–Sun 18, Thu 22–Sat 24 Aug, 11.30pm

Luisa Omielan: Politics for Bitches (Extended Cut)
After selling out in 2018, Luisa Omielan returns with an extended cut of her acclaimed third solo show for three nights only, which sees the comic (often accompanied by her incredible Bernese Mountain dog, Bernie) take to the stage to rail against the treatment her mother received when she was diagnosed with cancer, and the shocking state of politics today.
Luisa Omielan: Politics for Bitches (Extended Cut), Gilded Balloon Teviot, Fri 23–25 Aug, 9pm

Win £50 worth of vouchers to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label Whisky

Win £50 worth of vouchers to this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival and a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label.

BalletBoyz: Them/Us

BalletBoyz and Something for the Weekend Award-winning all-male company makes an explosive Edinburgh debut. Created collaboratively by the BalletBoyz company dancers, Them explores the individuality that resides within each dancer and the versatility of movement which BalletBoyz are renowned for. In Us, Tony and…

Underbelly Bristo Square, Edinburgh

Wed 31 Jul

McEwan Hall

£11.50 / 0131 510 0395

Preview Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Thu 1 Aug

McEwan Hall

£11.50 / 0131 510 0395

Preview Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Fri 2 Aug

McEwan Hall

£15.50 / 0131 510 0395

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

…and 12 more dates until 15 Aug

Basil Brush: Unleashed

The showbiz star and fox puppet shares his thoughts on current events at this adults-only show.

Underbelly Bristo Square, Edinburgh

Wed 31 Jul

Cowbarn

£7 / 0131 510 0395

Preview Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Thu 1 Aug

Cowbarn

£7 / 0131 510 0395

Preview Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Fri 2 Aug

Cowbarn

£7 / 0131 510 0395

Preview Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

…and 23 more dates until 25 Aug

Bible John

Poor Michelle and the Pleasance 1969 at the Barrowlands Ballroom in Glasgow, three women are murdered by an Old Testament-quoting serial killer, nicknamed Bible John. He has never been caught. 2019, four women bound by their obsession with true crime want to change that. Immersing themselves in the world of Bible John…

Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Wed 31 Jul

Pleasance Above

£7 / 0131 556 6550

Preview Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Thu 1 Aug

Pleasance Above

£7 / 0131 556 6550

Preview Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Fri 2 Aug

Pleasance Above

£7 / 0131 556 6550

Preview Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

…and 23 more dates until 26 Aug

Black Is the Color of My Voice

Apphia Campbell presented by James Seabright and Play The Spotlight Apphia Campbell's solo show inspired by the life of Nina Simone. Direct from sold-out West End season. 'Goes beyond impersonation' ★★★★ (Times). 'Nothing short of sensational' ★★★★★ (BroadwayBaby.com). 'Compelling… heartbreaking' ★★★…

Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh

Mon 12 Aug

Wine Bar

£13 (£12) / 0131 622 6552

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Thu 15 Aug

Wine Bar

£13 (£12) / 0131 622 6552

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Sat 17 Aug

Wine Bar

£14 (£13) / 0131 622 6552

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

…and 4 more dates until 26 Aug

Catherine Bohart: Lemon

Chambers Touring After 2018's 'funny, warm… perfectly structured debut' ★★★★ (Times), Catherine's back to smash stereotypes around sex, sexuality and relationships. As seen and heard on BBC Two's The Mash Report, Comedy Central's Roast Battle, E4's 8 Out Of 10 Cats, ITV2's The Stand Up Sketch Show, Dave's Jon…

Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Wed 31 Jul

Upstairs

£6 / 0131 556 6550

Preview Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Thu 1 Aug

Upstairs

£6 / 0131 556 6550

Preview Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Fri 2 Aug

Upstairs

£6 / 0131 556 6550

Preview Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

…and 22 more dates until 25 Aug

Fishbowl

Winner of France’s Molière Award for Best Comedy Play 2017, Fishbowl now makes its UK premiere, bringing its farcical antics and physical comedy extravaganza to Pleasance Grand. In perfectly choreographed pandemonium, it follows the hilarious misadventures of three eccentric and lovable anti-heroes as they spectacularly…

Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Wed 31 Jul

The Grand

£9 / 0131 556 6550

Preview Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Thu 1 Aug

The Grand

£9 / 0131 556 6550

Preview Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Fri 2 Aug

The Grand

£9 / 0131 556 6550

Preview Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

…and 23 more dates until 26 Aug

The Guilty Feminist: Live Podcast

Phil McIntyre Entertainments Ltd present The Guilty Feminist podcast has become a comedy phenomenon with over 60 million downloads since it launched in early 2016. Deborah Frances-White and her special guests record her hit comedy podcast at the prestigious Pleasance Grand. Expect discussions about the noble goals of…

Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Fri 2 Aug

The Grand

£17.50 (£15) / 0131 556 6550

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Sat 3 Aug

The Grand

£17.50 (£15) / 0131 556 6550

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Sun 4 Aug

The Grand

£17.50 (£15) / 0131 556 6550

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Late Night Lip Service

Gilded Balloon presents… Global sensation Gingzilla – the award-winning, bearded belle of the Fringe’s most debaucherous ball – and the utterly iconic Late Night Lip Service are back! Featuring heart-stopping live performances, the Fringe’s wildest stars, lip-sync battles, midnight madness and much, much more from the…

Rose Theatre, Edinburgh

Fri 2 Aug

Main Theatre

£10 / 0131 622 6552

Preview Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Sat 3 Aug

Main Theatre

£12.50 / 0131 622 6552

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Thu 8 Aug

Main Theatre

£12.50 / 0131 622 6552

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

…and 8 more dates until 24 Aug

Luisa Omielan: Politics for Bitches (Extended Cut)

Austin Talent Three nights only! After a sell-out run in 2018 and a BBC One series of the same name, BAFTA Breakthrough Brit and star of Live at the Apollo, Luisa returns with her third smash-hit solo show for a special extended cut. This time, it’s the unedited, uncut and uncensored version. Tackling promiscuity to…

Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh

Fri 23 Aug

Debating Hall

£20 (£18) / 0131 622 6552

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Sat 24 Aug

Debating Hall

£20 (£18) / 0131 622 6552

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Sun 25 Aug

Debating Hall

£20 (£18) / 0131 622 6552

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Nick Offerman: All Rise

Kilimanjaro Live in association with UTA Join the star of Parks and Recreation and Fargo for an evening of deliberative talking and light dance that will compel you to chuckle whilst enjoining you to brandish a better side of humanity than the one to which we have grown accustomed. Genuflection optional: in my church…

Assembly Hall, Edinburgh

Sat 24 Aug

Main Hall

£25 / 0130 623 3030

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Nish Kumar: It's in Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves

Phil McIntyre Entertainments Ltd present Double Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Nish Kumar is back at the Fringe. The title is a quote from Terminator 2. There will be jokes about politics, mankind's capacity for self-destruction and whether it will lead to the end of days. Good fun stuff. He's the host of The Mash…

Assembly George Square, Edinburgh

Mon 19 Aug

Gordon Aikman Theatre

£16 (£15) / 0131 623 3030

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Tue 20 Aug

Gordon Aikman Theatre

£16 (£15) / 0131 623 3030

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Wed 21 Aug

Gordon Aikman Theatre

£16 (£15) / 0131 623 3030

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

…and 4 more dates until 25 Aug

Rob Auton: The Talk Show

Comedy about talking by writer and performer Rob Auton, following on from his shows about hair, sleep, water, faces, the sky and the colour yellow.

Assembly George Square, Edinburgh

Wed 31 Jul

Five

£7 / 0131 623 3030

Preview Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Thu 1 Aug

Five

£7 / 0131 623 3030

Preview Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Fri 2 Aug

Five

£12 (£11) / 0131 623 3030

2 for 1 Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

…and 23 more dates until 26 Aug

Rose Matafeo: Horndog

Berk's Nest in association with Avalon Management The Edinburgh Comedy Award 2018 Best Show winner returns for one week only. Rose Matafeo has kissed nearly 10 men in her life aka she's a total horn dog. But what is horniness? Is it that intangible essence of excitement and opportunity? A fire that flickers in the…

Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Tue 20 Aug

Pleasance Beyond

£14 (£13) / 0131 556 6550

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Wed 21 Aug

Pleasance Beyond

£14 (£13) / 0131 556 6550

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Thu 22 Aug

Pleasance Beyond

£15 (£14) / 0131 556 6550

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

…and 2 more dates until 24 Aug

Rose McGowan: Planet 9

Cloud9 Management Best-selling author, actress and activist Rose McGowan makes her debut at the Fringe. Through memoir, music, storytelling, projections and performance Rose creates a new world of possibilities: Planet 9. She invites the audience on a healing journey of discovery to this new planet. The antidote to all…

Assembly Hall, Edinburgh

Thu 15 Aug

Main Hall

£20 / 0130 623 3030

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Fri 16 Aug

Main Hall

£22 / 0130 623 3030

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Sat 17 Aug

Main Hall

£22 / 0130 623 3030

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Sun 18 Aug

Main Hall

£22 / 0130 623 3030

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Sara Barron: Enemies Closer

Show And Tell in association with Dawn Sedgwick Management 2018 Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer nominee, Sara returns to the Fringe following her five-star debut hour and two sell-out runs at London's Soho Theatre. Her stunning new show examines kindness, meanness, ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, current husbands…

Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Thu 1 Aug

Upstairs

£6.50 / 0131 556 6550

Preview Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Fri 2 Aug

Upstairs

£6.50 / 0131 556 6550

Preview Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Sat 3 Aug

Upstairs

£12 (£11) / 0131 556 6550

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

…and 21 more dates until 25 Aug

Whose Line Is It Anyway? Live at the Fringe

Brett Vincent for Get Comedy Following a total sell-out run in Edinburgh two years ago (including extra shows), as well as sell-out runs at the London Palladium and The Royal Albert Hall, Clive Anderson once again takes the reins as many of the original cast members reunite in this now legendary live version of the…

Underbelly Bristo Square, Edinburgh

Wed 31 Jul

McEwan Hall

£12.50 / 0131 510 0395

Preview Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Thu 1 Aug

McEwan Hall

£12.50 / 0131 510 0395

Preview Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Fri 2 Aug

McEwan Hall

£12.50 / 0131 510 0395

Preview Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

…and 23 more dates until 26 Aug

Craig Ferguson: Hobo Fabulous

Craig Ferguson gives his first UK stand-up show in over 25 years.

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