Edinburgh Festival comedy highlights for a fiver
This article is from 2009.
Ooh, a Fringe in a credit crunch. It’ll be interesting times for all this year, but if you get in quick you can catch some of the best acts in exchange for a mere fiver. We’ve selected fifty of the finest shows you can see for the price of a Royal-Mile-in-August pint. Save your money for an umbrella to prod your way through the crowds. Venue booking information is at the end of the listings.
Fabulous improv group Scratch present Hannibal, BA, Face and Murdock like you’ve never seen them before.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Wed 5 & Thu 6 Aug. 5.30pm, £5
The very neat and pretty (and award-winning) Allen talks about the fairer sex in Women!.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Wed 5–Fri 7 Aug. 7.30pm, £5
The former star of Ugly Kid and Will and Greg shows that, with his fine character comedy talents, he’s anything but a Nitwit.
Pleasance Dome, Wed 5–Sat 8 Aug. 6.50pm, £5
Oo-er. Atkinson is facing Death by a Thousand Pricks this summer, which will no doubt be another wonderfully shambolic affair.
Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 5–Sat 8 Aug. 9.30pm, £5
If you can’t decide who to see, the BBC showcase is a late-night selection of some of the finest comedians you may, or may not yet, worship.
Pleasance Dome, Wed 5–Fri 7 Aug. 11pm, £5
The ever-popular Bishop combines comedy with Emotional Turmoil in his latest show Desfunctional.
Assembly, Thu 6 & Fri 7 Aug. 8.45pm, £5
After shining on Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, the Liverpudlian is coping with life in Elvis Has Left the Building.
Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 5–Sat 8 Aug. 8pm, £5
This Glasgow boy’s star continues to rise, and his show this year looks set to be a must-see. Get set for sharp lines and packed routines in An Hour To Sing For Your Soul.
Pleasance Dome, Wed 5–Sat 8 Aug. 8.45pm, £5
Two thirds of successful sketch troupe Fat Tongue, Seb Cardinal and Dustin Demri-Burns, return to the Fringe with their latest show.
Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 5–Fri 7 Aug. 5.45pm, £5
Ok, so we’re slightly cheating as his whole run is priced at £5, but An African Perspective: Westerners Calm Down! is a whole delicious hour of Chaponda’s unique perspective.
The Lot, Fri 7 Aug. 7pm, £5
Totally barking comedy from the former gossip columnist in her new show My Daily Mail Hell. She once fed a fish to Stringfellow, apparently.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Wed 5–Fri 7 Aug. 6.30pm, £5
A sketch show with pace, which returns after riding high at last year’s Festival. They’ve won awards and EVERYTHING.
Pleasance Dome, Wed 5–Sat 8 Aug. 8.10pm, £5
The longest-running showcase of the Festival returns with Jen Brister, Ed Gamble, Chris Ramsey and Gareth Richards. Perfect show for the indecisive.
Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 5–Sat 8 Aug. 10.45pm, £5
He’s an incredibly affable comedian, but we’re intrigued how long he can draw out this year’s topic in his new show Bookmarks.
Assembly @ George Street, Thu 6–Fri 7 Aug. 8.50pm, £5
The character comedian who was nominated for the if.commedy award last year, returns to show us more of her weird and wonderful creations in Your Evening’s Entertainment.
Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 5–Fri 7 Aug, £5
You might have spotted him on Michael McIntyre’s telly show, and this year Ferry makes his Fringe debut with The Comedy Final, where he’ll be compering, competing and no doubt winning.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Wed 5 & Thu 6 Aug. 10pm, £5.
The comedy partnership are here to tell you stuff with stories and comedy and songs in their new show The Extraordinary Life and Times of Harold.
Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 5–Sat 8 Aug. 6pm, £5
She’s already proved she talk the funnies for Scotland, so pop along and see what’s new in Godley’s World this year.
Pleasance Dome, Wed 5–Fri 7 Aug. 7pm, £5
Get an alternative education with the very accomplished Gordillo in F**konomics which covers insights such as ‘Sex. Man. Consequences.’
Pleasance Dome, Wed 5–Sat 8 Aug. 8.10pm, £5
Intelligent comedy from the highly amusing and terribly baby-faced Green with Truth & Pleasure. He was in a Crunchy Nut Cornflakes ad, if nothing else.
Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 5–Fri 7 Aug. 7.15pm, £5
After the triumph of his last couple of shows (oh, and the years of respected comedy before that) The Headmaster’s Son talks about having a Hitler Moustache.
Underbelly, Thu 6 & Fri 7 Aug. 8.40pm, £5
You know the deal. He’s an ex-wrestling punk who collects My Little Ponies and is a damn fine comedian and storyteller. Who better to perform Punk Folk Tales?
Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 5–Sat 8 Aug. 8.20pm, £5
If you like your comedy fast, furious and all Radio 4, then this could be the show for you. The troupe are declaring This Is War.
Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 5–Fri 7 Aug. 8.15pm
An Edinburgh institution, the Bedlam Theatre improvised troupe are here again for comedy tales and skits plucked out of thin air. It wouldn’t be the Fringe without them.
Bedlam Theatre, Thu 6–Sat 8 Aug. 12.30am
He needs very little explanation, after years of Fringe success, but Jupp is back with more well-spoken, whithering tales in Telling It Like It Might Be.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Wed 5–Fri 7 Aug. 8pm, £5
Human Dressage promises more goodies from Kane, the chirpy Essex boy with the relentless pace.
Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 5-Sat 8 Aug. 9.20pm, £5
Genuinely refreshing comedy from the off-beat Keen in The Primitive Methodist Guide to Arctic Survival.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Wed 5–Fri 7 Aug. 12.45pm, £5
You might have spotted his poetry in Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe, or you might have noticed he was nominated for the Perrier. This year he’s all about The Slutcracker.
Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 5 & Thu 6. 9.50pm, £5
She’s a book out, she’s on the telly and the world is in love with her. Yep, you’ll need to book early to get a seat in her new show The Distracted Activist.
Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 5–Sat 8 Aug. 7.40pm, £5
The all-female Hackney Empire New Act Finalists have breathed freshlife (and a side helping of intelligence) into the sketch show format. Catch them while you can.
Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 5–Sat 8 Aug. 5.20pm, £5
Welsh-boy Langford has written for such chirpy offerings as Never Mind the Buzzcocks but things might get a moany with his show Every Day I Have The Blues.
An astute performer. Wed 1–Sat 4 Aug. 8.15pm, £5
Mr Lawrence is known for dark, twisted streets of comedy dimly lit with weird anecdotes and creepy songs sung in the voice of a dead child trapped in a cupboard. However, Soul-Crushing Vicissitudes of Fortune is apparently about luck. How chirpy.
Pleasance Dome, Wed 5–Fri 7 Aug. 9.35pm, £5
Charisma oozes out of the very pores of Lyons. You can expect no-nonsense comedy here, littered with tight punchlines in Miss Machismo.
Pleasance Courtyard, Thu 2 Aug. 8pm, £5
Only a short run so move fast to catch our favourite police-based Fringe act. Ecclefechan’s best export presents crime-fighting galore in the beautifully stupid Rebus McTaggart.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Fri 7 Aug. 7pm, £5
She won the if.commedy Best Newcomer last year and has since gone from strength to strength. Millican’s talking about the sexes in Typical Woman, for which she also gets a gold star for the fab poster.
Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 5–Fri 7 Aug. 7.30pm, £5
Cheek and charm from Monahan with this year’s show Cowboys and Iranians. He can do family-friendly for The Paul O’Grady Show but we make no guarantees for the grown-upness of this offering.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Fri 7 & Sat 8 Aug. 9.15pm, £5
A staple part of the Fringe diet, Moorhouse is this year using his storytelling prowess to tackles seven tales in his show … umm … Seven.
Pleasance Dome, Wed 5–Sat 8 Aug. 9.40pm, £5
YAY! The winner of The Big Fancy Award last year returns avec keyboard for more comedy to warm your soul and make you skip all the way home. NB: skipping is not guaranteed as a result of David O’Doh-Party.
Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 5–Fri 7 Aug. 10.30pm, £5
They always sell out, and little wonder with their unique blend of sketch show/theatre/Victorian mystery that has to be seen to be appreciated. 2009 sees the Dreadfuls perform The Never Man.
Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 5–Fri 7 Aug. 8.30pm, £5
Take a break from the rushing and hollering and relax in the company of the softly-spoken Reagan. Let’s hope Man of Very Little Mystery is another one of his verbal massages.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Wed 8–Sat 8 Aug. 4pm, £5
He’s constantly worried, has the stage-persona of a fretful old man and we love him for it. This might be his biggest year yet, with his successful 6 Music Show and growing legion of fans, so rush for This Guy at Night.
Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 5–Sat 8. 8.30pm, £5
Sock Puppet Theatre You may well have seen them decorated the internet: two squeaky sock puppets telling jokes and singing songs. Somehow, this just works and this year the theatre Goes to Hollywood.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Wed 5–Sat 8 Aug. 10.15pm, £5
Top-notch character comedy from the star of Radio 4’s Talking and Not Talking, Solon is dispatching a new bunch of creations in Rabbit Faced Story Soup.
Assembly@George Street, Thu 6–Sat 8 Aug. 5.05pm, £5
The world of eBay is being tackled by Stanley in On Sale Now, a show inspired by trying to buy a laptop online. Warning: may cause frustration.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Wed 5–Fri 7 Aug. 9.30pm, £5
Stevenson has shot up the comedy ladder in the few years she’s been performing, and we’re intrigued by her show Along Came a Spider.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Wed 5 & Thu 6 Aug. 5.45pm, £5
Breathless comedy, addressing the theme of Trouble, with what we can only hope is the same top-notch material and twinkly performances she’s been dishing out so far.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Wed 5–Fri 7 Aug. 7pm, £5
Dark material but chipper delivery, Ward is a whole bunch of contradictions but, hell, it seems to be working. This year, Danielle Ward Lies, the minx.
Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 5–Sat 8 Aug. 9.45pm, £5
Felicity Ward’s Ugly As a Child Variety Show went down a storm at Melbourne this year, and we’re very excited to see what all the fuss is about.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Wed 5 & Thu 6 Aug. 9.15pm, £5
Funny Women finalist Wilby follows on her scientific theme from last year with geeky props galore in The Science of Sex.
Sweet Grassmarket, Thu 6 Aug. 7.30pm, £5
This charming comedian discusses restoring train karma with his Open Return Letter to Richard Branson.
Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 5–Sat 8 Aug. 7pm, £5
0131 623 3030
Gilded Balloon Teviot
0131 622 6552
0131 225 9922
0131 556 6550
0870 241 0136
08445 458 252