Best improv shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016

Our pick of the best examples of off-the-cuff comedy

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Best improv shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016

Racing Minds

The Fringe guide is chock-full of intricately plotted comedy shows with award-savvy themes, creative callbacks and shocking twists. But what about the fast-thinking groups who conjure comedy from nothing but a few props at the whim of their audience? Here we salute some of the best improv acts heading to this year's Fringe.

Aaaand Now For Something Completely Improvised
Heading this list by virtue of their 'top of the brochure' cunning title, improv group Racing Minds return for their fourth Fringe.
Pleasance Dome, 3–29 Aug, 11.50am, £8–£10 (£7–£9).

Abandoman: Life + Rhymes
Set in 1993, this is your chance to shape the future history of improvising hip-hop group Abandoman.
Underbelly, George Square, 3–29 Aug (not 15, 22), 8.45pm, £14.50–£15.50 (£13.50–£14.50).

Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel
Last year's sensational show returns. Help create a brand new Austen story, performed in period costume and with live musical accompaniment.
Underbelly, George Square, 5–21 Aug, 1.30pm, £11.50–£12.50 (£10.50–£11.50).

Baby Wants Candy: The Completely Improvised Full Band Musical
Each night, the very first show title shouted out gets turned into a 'proper' musical. Past performers include 30 Rock and SNL alumni.
Assembly, George Square, 3–28 Aug, 9.30pm, £14–£15.

Nina Conti: In Your Face
Nina turns audience members into puppets using unique facemasks and improvises a show around her guests. As seen on Live at the Apollo.
Pleasance Courtyard, 3–29 Aug (not 16), 8pm, £15.50–£17.50 (£14–£16).

The Noise Next Door's Comedy Lock-In
The boys return for their ninth Fringe with two shows (the other a more family-oriented affair). Noise Next Door are masters at improv and exude a warm, childlike joy.
Pleasance Courtyard, 3–28 Aug (not 16), 10.50pm, £12–£14 (£10–£12.50).

Shhhh – An Improvised Silent Movie
A silent film accompanied by live ragtime piano and inspired by movies and performers from the 1920s. Particularly suitable for international audiences and people with hearing difficulties.
C Nova, 6–20 Aug, 5.15pm, £9.50–£11.50 (£5.50–£9.50).

Nina Conti: In Your Face

Improvised comic ventriloquism from Conti, who manages to weave humour and poignancy into her shows. Her puppet creations include Monk (a cynical monkey) and Granny (an elder Scotswoman).

Baby Wants Candy: The Completely Improvised Full Band Musical

Veteran improvisers give you a brand new on-the-spot musical each night.

The Noise Next Door's Comedy Lock-In

Fast-paced improvised characters, scenes and sketches.

Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel

Austentatious and Underbelly Productions The sell-out Regency hit returns! Austentatious is back in Edinburgh for a special limited run. Join the all-star cast as they improvise a brand new Jane Austen work before your very eyes, based on a single audience suggestion. Previous masterpieces include Sixth Sense and…

Abandoman: Life + Rhymes

  • 4 stars

Underbelly Productions by arrangement with Dawn Sedgwick Management The year is 1993. After destroying rural Ireland’s talent show circuit, hip-hop improvisers Abandoman are teetering on the edge of international fame. This is their access-all-areas story: the highs, lows and a cast of characters… that changes every…

Shhhh – An Improvised Silent Movie

i Bugiardini (Italy) A completely improvised silent movie accompanied by live ragtime piano music, inspired by the films and ambience of the 1920s. Every day six actors and a piano player will create a new play on the spot, inspired by the masterpieces of Chaplin, Lloyd and many other silent stars. An international…

Aaaand Now For Something Completely Improvised

Racing Minds Fringe sensations Racing Minds are back after three sell-out years! A doddery grandfather can't quite remember his ripping yarn, but with your help a mystery stuffed with hilarious characters, whip-smart wit and breathtaking twists will take hasty shape before your very eyes. Anything could happen, but…

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