This article is sponsored by Pleasance.

The Pleasance returns to Edinburgh with a packed programme of festival favourites

The Pleasance returns to Edinburgh with a packed programme of festival favourites

Seann Walsh, Back From The Bed

The best in theatre, comedy, magic and more will be performed in person, with plenty available to watch online

Taking the Fringe by storm on its arrival in 1985, Pleasance Edinburgh has been a beloved festival staple ever since. With its mission to discover and nurture fresh artistic talent from across the globe, the Pleasance has been delivering inspiring Fringe programmes year on year and opened a base in London's Islington in 1995.

They've just announced a fantastic line-up as the venue makes a triumphant return to Edinburgh this month, bringing a wide range of entertainment to Pleasance Courtyard and the Edinburgh International Conference Centre from Friday 6 to Sunday 29 August, with some superb online efforts helping broaden the festival's reach. Two of the Pleasance's favourite comedians Seann Walsh and Mark Watson are amongst the acts you won't want to miss, with their shows Back From The Bed (formerly Same Again?) and This Can't Be It.

The Pleasance returns to Edinburgh with a packed programme of festival favourites

Tessa Coates, Campfire (WIP)

Also looking to make us laugh, the world's longest running live comedy show NewsRevue is back, promising a fast-moving mix of sketches and songs as it hurtles through global news and current events at breakneck pace. Sell-out star Tessa Coates returns with Campfire (WIP), there's bracing self-scrutiny from Njambi McGrath in Accidental Coconut, and Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2019 nominee Ivo Graham gives us Hyper Reality, billed as a 'shambolic new hour of frantic domestic updates.' Star of The Inbetweeners Joe Thomas brings his debut stand-up show, Trying Not To Panic, to the Pleasance and another Edinburgh first-timer, comedian Aurie Styla, hopes to make his mark on the festival scene following three sold-out UK tours.

The pick of the Pleasance's stage productions includes Will Shakespeare writing a masterpiece in plague quarantine in Bard In The Yard: The Scottish Play, while A Rubbish Midsummer Night's Dream adds some enjoyably inexpensive props to proceedings. Oscar Wilde is the inspiration for The Importance Of Being… Earnest? which sees the cast drop like flies and audience members being called upon to help. Storyteller John Kirk has a crack at Roald Dahl's exuberantly silly kids' yarn The Twits, and at the other end of the spectrum Fringe First winner Apphia Campbell will be performing her stunning solo show inspired by the life of Nina Simone, Black Is The Color Of My Voice, alongside her award-winning Woke. And I Am Not Victoria Wood introduces us to Maddie North, a former Victoria Wood tribute act now recording vlogs in her mum's spare room.

The Pleasance returns to Edinburgh with a packed programme of festival favourites

The Importance Of Being...Earnest?

Testament to the Pleasance's dedication to supporting the most innovative of emerging artists is Screen 9, a remarkable verbatim piece exploring the responses of survivors of the 2012 Aurora, Colorado shooting, which occurred inside a cinema during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises – it is the recipient of the Pleasance's Charlie Hartill Theatre Reserve. While Patricia Gets Ready (for a date with the man that used to hit her) is the inaugural recipient of the Charlie Hartill Development Fund For Artists Of Colour and sees the titular character reflect on her relationship with her ex and look honestly to the future.

For those unable to make it along in person, amongst the highlights available to stream through Fringe Player are Tall Stories' reimagining of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's much-adored children's book The Snail And The Whale. Award-winning writer Rob Ward takes a look at the new battle lines in the fight for equality in Conversations. And new pilot programme The Edinburgh Fringe Digital Showcase will offer a plethora of cutting-edge shows, in partnership with The Academy Of Music & Theatre Arts at Falmouth University.

With such an exciting array of options, from the flat-out funny to the thought-provoking and eccentric, and with promising newcomers taking their place alongside old favourites, it looks like the Pleasance have put together a programme to remember.

To book tickets, browse the full line-up and find out more visit

A Pleasance @ EICC
Lennox 1 @ EICC, Edinburgh, EH3 8EE
B Pleasance Courtyard
60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9TJ


Apphia Campbell presented by James Seabright Award-winning solo returns for four shows only. Against stunning gospel and blues sung live, two women 42 years apart join the struggle for American civil rights. Both are faced with the same choice: fight or flee? Woke won the coveted Scotsman Fringe First award and was highly…

Njambi McGrath: Accidental Coconut

The Kenyan-born comedian examines her own story under the Brexit spotlight.

Ivo Graham: Hyper Reality

Off The Kerb Productions Life coming at Ivo ever faster; Ivo trying to respond ever funnier. You know the drill. A seventh hour of frantic domestic updates from the Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Show and Dave's Joke of the Fringe nominee 2019. As recently seen on Have I Got News For You (gentle satire), Celebability (animal…

Seann Walsh: Back From The Bed

Off The Kerb Productions I renamed the tour. Sticking with Same Again? felt a bit triggering after the year we've had. So it is now called Back from the Bed. Some of the material will be the same as I had always planned and some of it will be new because it will be difficult to avoid mentioning the last year in which…

Screen 9

Piccolo Theatre and The Pleasance At the Colorado premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, a community was torn apart by gun violence. But while their hearts were broken, their community was not. This hard-hitting verbatim piece follows the survivors remarkable true testimonies of the infamous Batman Shootings as they attempt…


Canal Cafe Theatre and Emma Taylor This multi-award-winning show is flawlessly delivered by four outstanding performers at lightning speed and expertly accompanied by an on-stage musical director. NewsRevue's exceptional writing, superlative performances and ever-original takes on current affairs have made it a Guinness…

The Importance of Being… Earnest?

  • 2 stars

Say It Again, Sorry? Interactive, hilarious and a 'guaranteed great night out' ★★★★★ ( A faithful revival of Wilde's classic play is in chaos after the actors start dropping like flies. Will you step into the spotlight, tread the boards and save the show? 'An entirely unique, unpredictable and hilarious…

Joe Thomas: Trying Not To Panic (WIP)

  • 3 stars

Joe Thomas is a 37 year old, weary, cheeky young anxious, old upstart who once played Simon in inbetweeners and then played Simon in some other shows and now plays no-one. This is his debut stand-up show called Trying Not To Panic. Joe talks about subjects including childhood, fame and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Roald Dahl's The Twits

John Kirk and The Pleasance Mr and Mrs Twit are nasty disgusting people who enjoy playing horrible tricks but, when the Roly Poly Bird visits from Africa, their whole world is literally turned upside down! Adapted from Roald Dahl's classic story, join storyteller John Kirk as he invites you into a brilliantly bonkers…

Aurie Styla: Live

Hannah Layton Management Aurie Styla is probably the best British comedian that's never been to Edinburgh. Instead, he's sold out three UK tours, supported Mo Gilligan, has been seen and heard on Jonathan Ross' Comedy Club, Don't Hate The Playaz, Comedy Guide to Life, BBC Radio 4 / Radio London and Black British and…

Black is the Color of My Voice

Apphia Campbell presented by James Seabright Direct from sell-out performances in London and on tour, Fringe First award winner Apphia Campbell returns with her stunning solo show inspired by the life of Nina Simone. Five shows only! 'Campbell may wear Simone's trademark head wrap but her performance goes beyond…

Bard in the Yard: The Scottish Play

Will & Co The Bard needs your help! Shakespeare has been sent to Scotland to write a masterpiece, but apart from meeting a witch and penning a rough draft of a speech about a dagger, he's got nothing! The King will have his head on a stick if Will dares show his quill in London without a Scottish play. Join the Bard…

I Am Not Victoria Wood

Pepita Productions 'Impressively evocative' ( After a sell-out run at Brighton Fringe, Julia Knight brings her solo play to Edinburgh for five shows only! Meet Maddie North, a former Victoria Wood tribute act now recording vlogs in her Mum's spare room. This touching and funny show sees Maddie revisiting…

Mark Watson: This Can't Be It (Tour Preview)

Impatient Productions At 41, skinny national treasure Mark Watson is halfway through his days on earth according to his £1.49 life expectancy app. Life is in the best shape in living memory… but one problem remains, and it's a huge one. Spiritual enquiry meets high-octane observational comedy as Taskmaster survivor…

Patricia Gets Ready (for a date with the man who used to hit her)

  • 3 stars

Martha Watson Allpress Patricia has spent a year crafting a kick-ass speech while recovering from an abusive relationship. But when she bumps into her ex on the street, and accidentally agrees to dinner with him that night, she's got some big decisions to make; what to wear? What to say? And whether or not to go? Join…

Tessa Coates: Campfire (WIP)

Berk's Nest After two sell-out Edinburgh runs, one third of Massive Dad ('Hilarious' ★★★★ (Guardian)) returns to Edinburgh, armed with her useless degree in Anthropology, for a show about how we got here and where we're supposed to go next. Co-host of the critically acclaimed podcast Nobody Panic. As seen in Mae Martin's…

A Rubbish Midsummer Night's Dream

  • 4 stars

Fairies. Goblins. Donkeys… Super soakers!?!? Four idiots wearing bed sheets as togas, attempt to stage Shakespeare’s mischievous comedy, using only a box of pound-shop props, a camel onesie, some lightsabers and a ladder they found by the bins. Described as ‘like Horrible Histories but funnier’ (Primary Times), Rubbish…