Edinburgh Festival Fringe has something for everyone but with so much to choose from, how can you narrow it down? Here are a few highlights in several categories to help you choose… Part 1 of our festival guide here. You can find Part Two here.
Esther Manito: #NotAllMen
VENUE: Gilded Balloon Teviot (Wee Room)
DATES: Aug 3-29 (not 16 & 17)
Esther Manito brings the Best Show at the 2021 Leicester Comedy Festival, #NotAllMen, to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August. A man masturbating on the London Underground is an unlikely source of inspiration for an award-winning stand-up show, but after seeing the hashtag ‘#NotAllMen’ circulating on Twitter, Esther Manito (Live at the Apollo, Stand Up Sketch Show) was galvanised into examining how things really are for women in the UK today. #NotAllMen takes audiences back to the 1990s and Esther’s teen years; the glory days of lad mags, landlines and cock-n-ball graffiti. A time where the media said her Middle Eastern heritage was filled with misogynistic men, whereas the West absolutely had sexism sorted.
La Clique VENUE: Underbelly Meadows Circus Hub
DATES: 5th – 27th August (not 15th or 22nd)
Born at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2004 and subsequently gaining international acclaim touring the globe, this original and trailblazing Spiegeltent-based cabaret show brings you a magnificent collection of extraordinary new artists and unmissable favourites. A decade on from winning the Best Entertainment Olivier Award and fresh from performances in London and Singapore, La Clique promises to be a night of laughs, gasps, naughtiness and the best in international cabaret.
Schalk Bezuidenhout: I’ll Make Laugh To You (Like You Want Me To)
VENUE: Gilded Balloon Teviot, Balcony
DATES: 3rd – 29th August
‘Positively a name to watch’ (Evening Standard), this South African comedy stunner returns to Edinburgh following an incredible debut in simpler pre-pandemic times. Fresh from a 2022 Netflix special, Schalk Bezuidenhout is back with love in his heart and jokes in his pocket. Many say that I’ll Make Laugh To You (Like You Want Me To) is like Romeo and Juliet, except it’s not at all and from South Africa. I mean what else can we say? It’s a comedy show. You will laugh. It’s as easy as that.
Pete Firman: Bag of Tricks
VENUE: Debating Hall, Gilded Balloon Teviot
DATES: 3rd-28th August (not 25th)
Off the back of a phenomenally successful nationwide tour in 2021, Bag of Tricks audiences can expect Pete’s trademark blend of laugh-out-loud comedy and jaw-dropping magic. This hour is Pete’s most unique yet and proves why he is one of the Festival’s most popular performers. The ‘gob-smackingly talented magician’ (Metro) has numerous television appearances under his belt, including ITV’s Tonight at the London Palladium, The Next Great Magician, Tommy Cooper Forever, BBC One’s Let’s Sing & Dance for Comic Relief, The John Bishop Show, The Magicians and The Sarah Millican Television Programme. He presents the hugely successful gameshow Don’t Unleash The Beast for CITV and has just completed filming on the second season of Good Omens, which is due to air early 2023 on Amazon Prime.
VENUE: The Attic, Pleasance Courtyard
DATES: 3rd to 29th August (not 15th)
Character comedians and IRL sisters Maddy and Marina Bye are back and physically bigger than ever. Watch clown, physical comedy and relatively high-level acting unfold before your tear-filled eyes. Tears of sadness or laughter? You decide! Prepare for a raucous hour of absurdist sketch comedy from two hot twins (not twins but can be for casting purposes). Siblings is a comedy double act and cacophony of character and sketch featuring sisters Maddy and Marina Bye. In the last four years, they have performed internationally and across the UK in festivals and on the live circuit. They have sold out three consecutive Edinburgh Fringe runs as well as a sold out extended run at Soho Theatre in 2019. In 2020, The Guardian included them as one of ‘The Sisters who became ferociously funny comedy duos’.
Kai Samra: Native
VENUE: Pleasance Dome
DATES: 3rd to 28th August 2022 (not 15th)
Following Kai’s powerful, ★★★★★ breakthrough hour Underclass, Kai Samra, the West Midlands wonder storms back to the Edinburgh Fringe with his all-new show Native. Talking race, class, immigration, his personal reflections on youth homelessness, India and, more importantly, 2010 indie-rock bands with a “lightness of touch that gets the audience onside and keeps them there” – Evening Standard. The son of Indian immigrants growing up in a low-income, single-parent household, Kai also spent his teen years at youth homeless shelter Centrepoint in Birmingham. Kai offers festival audiences a Brummie British Asian perspective and is one of the most unique and distinctive voices within the comedy landscape. A must-see comedian of his generation, “a charismatic man with a great story and the chops to tell it’ – Chortle.
Reginald D. Hunter: Bombe Shuffleur
VENUE: Assembly Rooms, Ballroom
DATES: 3rd to 28th August 2022 (not Mondays)
Climate change. Mass unemployment. Economic pandemics. The rise of global fascism. So, what the f*** could this man POSSIBLY say to upset you? Welcome to the world of the Bombe Shuffleur. Reginald D. Hunter is a man who shuffles conceptual bombs, juggling ‘volatile and dangerous situations without them exploding’. Armed with his ‘supreme skills as a storyteller’ (The Times), Reginald tackles head on the subjects the rest of us skirt around. The voice of his generation – searingly honest, brutally funny and uniquely placed to commentate on the unfolding meltdown of life as we know it. Buckle up for this unmissable hour of stand up from one of comedy’s true greats!
Jess Robinson: Legacy
VENUE: Pleasance Above, Pleasance Courtyard
DATES: 3rd-28th August (not 16th or 23rd)
Watch the UK’s leading musical impressionist and star of Spitting Image Jess Robinson save the world in under an hour! Join the Edinburgh favourite as you’ve never seen her before – starring in a brand-new musical multimedia one-woman show. Audiences can expect to be blown away by stunning original music and Jess’ jaw-dropping speaking and singing impressions including the likes of Olivia Colman, Zoella, Lady Gaga, Gal Gadot, Kim Kardashian and Adele to name a few. A multiple award-winning comedy impressionist and classically-trained singer, Jess Robinson has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe with a new show every year since 2014; including the wildly successful No Filter, which rounded off a critically-acclaimed, nationwide tour with a five night run at the Soho Theatre in 2019. Her podcast Stars in your Ears with Jess Robinson won best entertainment podcast at the British Podcast awards in 2021.
Tom Lucy: Melt
VENUE: Pleasance Courtyard, Upstairs
DATES: 3rd – 28th August (not 15th)
After complete sell-out runs in 2017 and 2018, Tom Lucy is back at the Edinburgh Fringe with his brand new show Melt. This fresh hour of razor sharp comedy asks the question ‘do all 25 year olds ‘get into stuff’? And is that stuff always furniture, Spotify and circumcisions?’ Starting at just 16, Tom quickly rose through the comedy club circuit to become one of the youngest professional stand-up comedians in the world, now regularly performing at the UK’s top clubs. As seen on Stand Up For Live Comedy, Roast Battle, Stand Up Central, Dating No Filter, Live At The Comedy Store, Stand Up Sketch Show and many more.
Liz Kingsman: One Woman Show
VENUE: Traverse Theatre, 1
DATES: 16th- 28th August (not 22nd August)
Following sensational critical acclaim, a plethora of 5-star reviews and sold-out Soho Theatre runs in 2021 and 2022, Liz Kingsman is bringing her outstanding One-Woman Show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August. One Woman Show follows writer-performer Liz Kingsman during a particularly high-pressure performance of her debut one-woman show Wildfowl, a show she claims is “so unflinching you’ll be begging for a flinch.” Liz Kingsman’s comedic show within a show is astoundingly funny with an exceptional gag rate. Transferring from two sold out London runs, this is one not to be missed.
Trigger warning: contains blinding ambition.
Jack Barry: Don’t Happy Be Worry
VENUE: Monkey Barrel, MB4
DATES: 3rd to 28th August 2022 (not 17th)
Hot piece of ass Jack Barry rises from the ashes of the pandemic to heal your soul like a hearty dose of medicinal magic mushrooms. Cry from laughing, laugh from crying, forget that we’re dying. Jack returns from the global, viral, fun hiatus in search of joyfulness, contentment, and an end to anxiety – if such a thing exists! Join Jack for a magical hour of mental health musings as this ‘immensely likeable and hilarious performer’ (Sunday Post) explores polyamory, pandemic weddings, drug decriminalisation, therapy, feline adoption and why fungi is the future.