Best comedy shows at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015

What to see at Pleasance, Assembly, The Stand, Underbelly, Gilded Balloon and Assembly Rooms

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This article is from 2015.

Best comedy shows at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015

Adrienne Truscott’s a One-Trick Pony

Following the unveiling of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme, we've chosen our pick of the comedy on offer during August.

Adrienne Truscott’s a One-Trick Pony
Proving that she’s nothing of the sort, the Wau Wau Sister lays bare society’s prejudices and problems.
Gilded Balloon, 5–17 Aug, 8.15pm

Alex Edelman: Everything Handed to You
Last year’s Best Newcomer returns with more stories and jokes about ‘responsibility and being overwhelmed’.
Pleasance Courtyard, 5–30 Aug, 8.30pm

Alex Horne: Monsieur Butterfly
Back with a limited run of his nominated show of 2014, a typically ambitious multi-faceted spectacular.
Pleasance Courtyard, 15–29 Aug, 7pm

Bridget Christie: A Book for Her
Another early slot for the 2014 Edinburgh Comedy Award winner allows proper stand-up to get an airing from the off.
The Stand, 8–31 Aug (not 17), 11am

Felicity Ward: What if There is No Toilet?
The Aussie whirlwind has a very delicate personal issue to discuss.
Pleasance Courtyard, 5–31 Aug (not 17), 9pm

Fern Brady: People Are Idiots
One of Scottish stand-up’s rising stars will be telling it like it is.
The Stand, 6–30 Aug (not 17), 12.10pm

Jamie Kilstein: Sober Song Rants and a Cat Story
The US rabble-rouser returns with more strong opinions. And a guitar, would you believe.
Stand in the Square, 18–31 Aug, 8.20pm

Joseph Morpurgo: Soothing Sounds for Baby
The Austentatious fella will have to go some way to top last year’s superb Odessa.
Pleasance Courtyard, 5–31 Aug (not 18), 8.15pm

Kyle Kinane: Ghost Pizza Party
Another of the acclaimed American comics heading our way is merging spectres with slices. Or maybe not.
Underbelly Cowgate, 6–30 Aug (not 18), 10.10pm

Lazy Susan: Double Act
Arguably the top female sketch duo from 2014. Can they follow it up with another hit?
Pleasance Dome, 5–31 Aug (not 19), 8.10pm

Liam Williams: Bonfire Night
A comedy award nominee last time: what fate awaits the innovative stand-up this August?
Free Sisters, 6–19 (not 17), 11.30pm; 20–30 Aug, 7.30pm

Luisa Omielan: Am I Right Ladies?!
Three nights only for the sassy lassie with a Beyoncé fixation.
Assembly George Square, 13–15 Aug, 8.45pm

Mark Steel: Who Do I Think I Am?
The political comic gets personal with a show about his own adoption.
Assembly George Square, 5–30 Aug (not 17), 8.15pm

Nish Kumar: Long Word … Long Word …Blah Blah Blah … I’m So Clever
Should have been nominated for the big comedy award last year: will the judges make amends this time around?
Pleasance Courtyard, 5–30 Aug, 7.15pm

The Pin: Ten Seconds with The Pin
They blazed a genuine sketch show trail last year and we’re heavy with anticipation of what the duo have in store for 2015.
Pleasance Dome, 5–31 Aug (not 17, 24), 7pm

Sam Simmons: Spaghetti for Breakfast
The Barry Award winner brings us more of his absurdist fare.
Underbelly Potterow, 5–30 Aug (not 17, 24), 9pm

Stewart Francis: Pun Gent
The finest punmeister in the business makes his official solo Fringe debut.
Assembly Rooms, 5–30 Aug (not 6, 17), 8.10pm

Tim Key: Work-in-Slutgress
The comedy poet’s last two shows have featured a bath and a bed. What next, we wonder?
Pleasance Courtyard, 19–31 Aug, 9.45pm

Tommy Tiernan Alive in Edinburgh
An improv show, but not like we know it, as the Irish comedy icon makes it up all out of his own head.
Gilded Balloon, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 Aug, 7.30pm

Trevor Noah: Lost in Translation
The new Daily Show host gives us three dates before heading off into the crazy world of US satirical telly.
Assembly Hall, 28–30 Aug, 10.30pm

This article is from 2015.

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1. Chris O'Neill11 Jun 2015, 9:34am Report

The "best" shows before they are staged. The "best " shows are all in pay to play venues when the actual BEST shows for the last 2 years have been on the Free Fringe. Just pretend to do journalism rather than PR quotation:(

2. Brian Donaldson11 Jun 2015, 9:30pm Report

You're absolutely right, Chris. The PRs told me to compile this selection and I haven't personally seen any of these acts at the Fringe during the past few years. Not quite all (nice bit of close reading there, Chris), but 19 out of the 20 shows above are non-free which perhaps reflects the ratio of paying v free across the vast comedy section of the Fringe programme. Then again, maybe it doesn't: it doesn't really matter as this list was a personal opinion

3. Louise Stevenson12 Jun 2015, 12:15am Report

In fairness to Chris, what he takes issue with is the assertion that these are the best SHOWS to see, not performers. Additionally, while you have one free fringe act in there, the sub-heading reads "What to see at Pleasance, Assembly, The Stand, Underbelly, Gilded Balloon and Assembly Rooms" - all paid venues. If it was an opinion piece it should have been contextualised as such, something along the lines of "Brian Donaldson gives his top tips for Fringe shows this year". I understand why Chris and others are disappointed, all this is doing is giving free publicity to acts which are already well-known, are likely to be presenting the same or very similar as years before and as already has been said, not been seen yet.

4. Brian Donaldson12 Jun 2015, 10:54am Report

Hi Louise, some fair points there and perhaps there is an issue with the way the article was presented, but it was part of a series of 'Best' at the Festival: Theatre, Dance, Kids etc. Of course, we're not saying that there isn't going to be anything better during August as there will ultimately be shows and performers which come out of nowhere and blow us away or improve on past efforts.
I'm also not sure that these acts are all 'already well-known'. Perhaps within the comedy fraternity but is Kyle Kinane or Fern Brady a household name? As for them 'presenting the same or very similar', this is a little insulting to acts who put their heart and soul into writing and performing a new show for this year: assuming you go to see Jamie Kilstein and Tommy Tiernan this August, my bet is that you won't be able to say they are doing the same old-same old.
I mainly take exception to Chris' accusation that this is somehow nothing other than a PR job with the subtext that Paid Equals Bad/Free Equals Good. It might come as a surprise to Chris and others that there are plenty of acts doing free shows who have got PR representatives.

5. Kev Sutherland17 Jun 2015, 6:52am Report

You can please some of the people all of the time, but you'll never please an Edinburgh comedy act that you missed.

Yours, one of the 1100-odd acts who'll be telling everyone they were 21st on this list

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre - Minging Detectives, Gilded Balloon, 10.30pm Aug 5 - 30 tinyurl.com/soxgb15

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