Edinburgh Festival comedy highlights for a fiver

This article is from 2009

Five pound note

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.

A-Team - The Musical

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

Tom Allen

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

Will Andrews

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

Dan Atkinson

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

BBC Comedy Presents

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

Des Bishop

The ever-popular Bishop combines comedy with Emotional Turmoil in his latest show Desfunctional.
Assembly, Thu 6 & Fri 7 Aug. 8.45pm, £5

John Bishop

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

Kevin Bridges

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

Cardinal Burns

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

Daliso Chaponda

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

Bridget Christie

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

Clever Peter

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

Comedy Zone

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

Neil Delamere

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

Pippa Evans

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

Mick Ferry

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.

Ginger and Black

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

Janey Godley

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

John Gordillo

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

Matt Green

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

Richard Herring

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

Wil Hodgson

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

Idiots of Ants

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

Miles Jupp

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

Russell Kane

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

Helen Keen

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

Tim Key

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

Shappi Khorsandi

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

Lady Garden

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

Lloyd Langford

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

Andrew Lawrence

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

Zoe Lyons

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

Rebus McTaggart

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

Sarah Millican

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

Patrick Monahan

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

Justin Moorhouse

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

David O’Doherty

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

Penny Dreadfuls

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

Jarlath Reagan

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

Jon Richardson

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

Scottish Falsetto

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

Laura Solon

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

Andrew Stanley

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

Tiffany Stevenson

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

Eleanor Tiernan

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

Danielle Ward

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

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

Rosie Wilby

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

Tom Wrigglesworth

This charming comedian discusses restoring train karma with his Open Return Letter to Richard Branson.
Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 5–Sat 8 Aug. 7pm, £5

Booking Information

0131 623 3030

Gilded Balloon Teviot
0131 622 6552

The Lot
0131 225 9922

0131 556 6550

Sweet Grassmarket
0870 241 0136

08445 458 252