Preston Reed

Preston Reed

There's a disconnect between what you see and what you hear at a Preston Reed gig. Shut your eyes and you might well imagine two or three guitarists trading licks on stage with a drummer backing them up... 

Singing a Different Song

Singing a Different Song

Singing a Different Song was a cosy affair. Jonathan Wood and Friends, a trio of amiable musicians, greeted the majority of their small audience personally as they entered, giving the concert the feel of a welcome reunion, an event that could just as easily have taken place in the comfort of a living room or around a warm campfire... 

Scottish Music Traditional and New

Scottish Music Traditional and New

The bagpipes might be the butt of more jokes at the Fringe than any other subject. Anyone tempted to poke fun at or curse this most Scottish of instruments, however, would have to think twice after hearing the Whistlebinkies' presentation of Scottish Music Traditional and New... 

Idiots of Ants ANThology

Idiots of Ants ANThology

Idiots of Ants absolutely hate the fourth wall. They smash through it with a regularity and enthusiasm rarely seen from other sketch groups. Right from the get go in this showcase of their best sketches from the last five years, Idiots of Ants set about deconstructing the sketch format with a sequence depicting hapless Nazis and British interrogators appalled to discover that they are in fact only actors performing in front of an audience in Edinburgh... 

Luke Wright - Your New Favourite Poet

Luke Wright - Your New Favourite Poet

Luke Wright doesn't invite audiences to buy a printed anthology of his work after he performs: he invites them to buy his CD. Wright's poems may already sparkle with wit on paper but they're never better than when delivered by the man himself and he knows it... 

The Poozies with Su-a Lee and Signy Jakobsdottir

The Poozies with Su-a Lee and Signy Jakobsdottir

The Poozies’ music is delightful enough as it is, but there were a few extra hands on deck for the Celtic folk band's return to The Queen's Hall: internationally travelled and renowned musicians Su-a Lee and Signy Jakobsdottir... 

Valery Ponomarev Quintet

Valery Ponomarev Quintet

Valery Ponomarev cuts an unassuming figure on stage: he’s a diminutive man who enjoys his own stage banter a touch more than anyone else in the room. You might not immediately believe he cut his chops with Art Blakey and the Messengers until he starts playing... 

Man 1, Bank 0

Man 1, Bank 0

Patrick Combs once deposited a junk mail cheque for $95,093.35 into his bank account and it cleared. Combs presents a comic tale of accidental fraud from the mid-90s, a jovially delivered 'up yours' to bankers who, even in those pre-credit-crunch days, apparently had it coming... 

The Great American Songbook

The Great American Songbook

Richard Michael and Family draw from a great songbook indeed, but they can’t be accused of too much deference to their source material. Running through classics from Bill Evans, Duke Ellington, Count Basie and more, this four-piece throws in the odd change-up: what if Bach had arranged ‘Fly Me To The Moon’? Does ‘Come Fly With Me’ sound better in seven? These little touches keep potentially over-familiar tunes from grating and make for an amiable, if never stunning, evening of acoustic jazz... 

The Durham Revue

The Durham Revue

The Durham Revue don't know when to end a sketch. That's not necessarily to say that their sketches are always too long; in fact, in a show that just scrapes past the 50 minute mark despite being billed as an hour long, they could afford to be more substantial... 

Kieran and Joe: Friends of Steel

Kieran and Joe: Friends of Steel

Kieran and Joe may have gone from a trio to a duo since their last trip to the Fringe but fans can rest easy: the loss of a man doesn’t mean a loss of laughs. A sketch group of sorts, Kieran and Joe's show is again presented as a personal training course, this time a lesson in making and keeping friends, that sees the pair run through a number of friendship plays, demonstrative exercises and stories from their past intended to bring the audience together in friendship even as they fall apart on stage... 

The Trench
BOBBY WINNER

The Trench

For the opening 20 minutes of The Trench everything is rhythmic. The verse, naturally, through to the audible drops of water in the deepest tunnels of the trenches to the clashes of hammers and chisels used therein: all sounds chime in regular unison to the extent that the actual music, provided by Alexander Wolfe, does not simply accentuate the action so much as form part of it... 

Medieval and Spanish Blues: Guitar and Song

Medieval and Spanish Blues: Guitar and Song

Frenchman Claude Bourbon's one-off evening of Medieval and Spanish blues opened with what at first seemed to be a lengthy instrumental number: as fine a demonstration of Bourbon's dexterity with an acoustic guitar as could be hoped for, which helped the audience forget their surroundings and embrace the fantasy of a Mediterranean evening... 

WitTank

WitTank

WitTank have a star in their midst. The trio have appeared on BBC3 and all three of them are involved in projects independent of WitTank at this year's Fringe. Despite all this mutual success one member of this often surreal sketch group shines brighter than the rest: Naz Osmanoglu... 

Angels in Heels

Angels in Heels

Angels In Heels opens with high ambitions: a class of sixth formers giggle and misbehave as they and the audience are treated to a brisk history of Manchester from the industrial revolution to the Madchester days of the late 80s and early 90s, before the students - faced with the full arc of the city's varying fortunes - wonder what memories Manchester will leave them with... 

John Scott - Totally Fed Up

John Scott - Totally Fed Up

Locally born John Scott is back at the very club where he made his start in comedy in the late 90's, now with his second full-length Fringe show. Scott's launching point, a 2010 government questionnaire issued to measure national happiness, essentially gives him free reign to have a rant on any topic that gets his goat, be it religion, politics, social media or even other comedians... 

When Alice (Cooper) Met (Prince) Harry

When Alice (Cooper) Met (Prince) Harry

There are reasons to be sceptical coming into When Alice (Cooper) Met (Prince) Harry. The show's Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme entry promises 'quirky and touching solo comedy' with little further detail and its posters, though they certainly scream 'eclectic', don't shed any further light on the show's content... 

Dean Friedman - In Concert

Dean Friedman - In Concert

You could be forgiven for rolling your eyes at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme's description of singer-songwriter Dean Friedman as 'legendary': one single that peaked at #26 on the Billboard Charts does not a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominee make... 

The Edinburgh Revue Sketch Show

The Edinburgh Revue Sketch Show

The Edinburgh Revue are an energetic bunch, never more so than during this show's opening sketch, a whirlwind rendition of the history of Edinburgh from dinosaurs through William Wallace and right up to the present day that has all five cast members dancing around on stage with a vigour that shows an invigorating disregard for their cramped surroundings... 

The Edinburgh Revue Stand Up Show

The Edinburgh Revue Stand Up Show

Shaggy haired and stunningly bearded, Noah Torn launches the Edinburgh Revue Stand-Up Show with a bang. The opening moments of Torn's set risk bewildering his viewers somewhat, what with his claim that he likes to warm up by fighting with an audience member and his invitation to participate in a knock-knock joke that he later reveals will only work if the audience collectively pretend to be out of the house, but this unconventional comedian eventually wins the crowd round... 

Proof

Proof

Proof tells the story of Catherine, a young woman coping with the loss of her father Robert, once a brilliant mathematician who revolutionised his field before suffering a mental breakdown in the later years of his life... 

Hurt and Anderson: Scenes of a Vignette-ish Nature - Free

Hurt and Anderson: Scenes of a Vignette-ish Nature - Free

This one's a toughie. Georgia Hurt and Laura Anderson are probably two of the most likeable comedians you'll see at the Fringe this year and it's clear from their regular corpsing that they have a whale of a time together on stage... 

Beard

Beard

Beard may be appearing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the first time this year, but Rosa Robson and Matilda Wnek aren't newcomers to the student comedy scene, having worked together as part of the Cambridge Footlights... 

Free Footlights

Free Footlights

If there's a theme to Free Footlights, a somewhat eclectic collection of stand up bits, monologues and comedy songs from members of the Cambridge Footlights, it's a streak of self-deprecation...