Catherine Semark: Shadow Ape

Catherine Semark: Shadow Ape

Catherine Semark is a sharp, witty woman with some generally comical banter. She’s eccentric and funny, with a huge variety of interesting material in her show. The performance included brief, comical psychological studies on one member of the audience, as well as material including YouTube video suggestions and personal stories... 

Tickled Pig Presents: The Noon Show / PBH's Free Fringe

Tickled Pig Presents: The Noon Show / PBH's Free Fringe

Unfortunately, this three piece act had dwindled to two by the time I saw their performance, however Jack Campbell and Robbie Ormrod were 100% funny enough to carry the show by themselves... 

Tea Dance

Tea Dance

I had an absolutely wonderful time at this event. Hosted by the fabulous Fly Right Dance Company and Nova Scotia Jazz Band, we were treated to two hours of micro-dance classes, fantastic jazz music, scones and, of course, tea in abundance... 

Edinburgh Traditional Building Festival

Edinburgh Traditional Building Festival

This was really quite a wonderful event, although not one I would have necessarily picked for purely entertainment purposes. However, I’m very glad I attended one of their sessions; it was informative, interesting and interactive... 

Flipper Committed Suicide

Flipper Committed Suicide

Giada Garofalo is an unusual storyteller. An Italian woman, raised in a strict Catholic family, somewhat awkward on stage and debatably mentally ill (her words, not mine). But I thought she was an absolute inspiration and I’ve been telling all my friends to go see her since... 

The Revolution Will Not Be Improvised

The Revolution Will Not Be Improvised

This form of improvisation is fairly stripped back, there was minimal audience interaction and the actors tended to go off on anecdotes that just weren’t that funny. Although the general idea was an excellent one - improvising a revolution on the random ideas of the audience - the Cambridge Impronauts just didn’t manage to pull it together... 

In Cahoots

In Cahoots

In Cahoots is, to put simply, packed with ‘lol’ing - and I do mean literally laughing out loud at every single sketch. Paul G Raymond and Luke Manning are young geniuses of double act comedy, forcing my notes to read something along the lines of ‘serious laughter’ and ‘yes’... 

Darius Davies' HBÖ Special

Darius Davies' HBÖ Special

Darius Davies… I’m sort of in love with him. He has it all; a hilarious Free Fringe show, a wonderful compere (Alex Perry) and (I quote my flatmate) ‘the most piercing eyes, I felt like he was looking into my soul’... 

Offal Comedienne

Offal Comedienne

Natasha Yapp is a witty, clever and talented young woman with a flair for comedy, although it’s clear she is just beginning her career. Her material, based largely around her ethnic background, was intelligently thought out and delivered in a clear, confident manner while remaining relaxed and comfortable... 

Woolly Mammoth Panic Attack

Woolly Mammoth Panic Attack

Matt Nagin thoroughly let the Free Fringe down with his show Wolly Mammoth Panic Attack. With a title like that, I expected hilarity, hairy elephants and general joy. I got none of these, but instead unrealistic sex stories, drug abuse chat and some stereotypical Jewish jokes... 

Demitris Deech Isn't Sick!

Demitris Deech Isn't Sick!

Demitris Deech is a charmingly funny guy, who can thoroughly bond with an audience in a short space of time. Unfortunately, his show just doesn’t have the flair and wit to make it a great performance, although there definitely were some genuinely funny and clever gags... 

Sweet Pang Is Innocent

Sweet Pang Is Innocent

You will have absolutely no idea how to feel about this show upon entering, but you’ll know – having read this review – it’s a solid four star performance, and you should persevere with it... 

Museum After Hours

Museum After Hours

What could be cooler than hanging out in the Nation Museum of Scotland, having a few drinks, seeing some top notch performers and seeing some cool new exhibits? Maybe my expectations were too high, but I felt this could have been made a lot more entertaining... 

Puzzled

Puzzled

Matthew Collins, from what I could gather from this one hour performance, is a generally lovely Irishman who can be genuinely funny and witty. Alas, his show just wasn’t particularly thrilling... 

A Polish / Scottish Odyssey

A Polish / Scottish Odyssey

Martin Stepek, the host of this show, ended by saying ‘enjoyment might not be the word, but I hope you’ve taken something from this.’ I don’t think I could put my feelings about this talk more succinctly... 

Griff Rees Jokes

Griff Rees Jokes

Lloyd Griffith and Matt Rees delivered a wonderful hour of comedy and, surprisingly, excellent vocals on behalf of Griffith. Chortling away, the audience were treated to their top notch banter and excellently delivered gags... 

The Graveyard Shift: Magic on the Dark Side

The Graveyard Shift: Magic on the Dark Side

This was the most confusing performance I have seen this Fringe. Confusing, but in a good way… I think. One part magic show, one part storytelling, one part history lesson, one part séance, Kreestan Sennakie took his audience back to the Victorian age in order to study the theories and life of Kepler - Victorian magician, performer extraordinaire and friend to the literary geniuses of the day... 

Live Storytelling

Live Storytelling

This was a pretty good performance. The Liars’ League, a London-based company of over 100 professional actors, came all the way to Edinburgh for Hendrick’s Carnival of Knowledge... 

How to Read a Story

How to Read a Story

A really interesting, informative and helpful performance, particularly for all those budding authors and performers out there. Memoirist Viv Groskop and Suzanne Azzopardi - controversial co-author of the recent Pippa Middleton’s spoof book - were our two inspiring hosts, who certainly knew what they were talking about... 

The Cautionary Tales of Struwwelpeter

The Cautionary Tales of Struwwelpeter

I was pleasantly surprised by this performance. Although the cast are young enough to be in the American High School Theatre Festival, they had the discipline and talent to really bring their show to life and give it an edge which was unnerving and verging on sinister... 

God versus The Mind Reader

God versus The Mind Reader

Mark Cairns puts on a wonderfully clever show, astounding his audience with his ‘mind reading’ abilities. With fantastically entertaining and mind blowing tricks, Cairns knows his subject and expertly fascinates his audience into stunned appreciation... 

Ulysses Dies at Dawn

Ulysses Dies at Dawn

An absolutely wonderfully theatrical and original performance brimming with intelligence and talent, Ulysses Dies at Dawn is an absolute must-see this year. Full of pulsing rhythms and raw vocals, this is an intense and intriguing performance beautifully crafted by Mechanisms – an awesomely talented group of musicians and actors... 

The Uncanny Valley

The Uncanny Valley

Superbolt Theatre are a trio of talented actors who have put together a wonderful show this Fringe, one that tugs at the heart strings and questions the future of technology in a creative and theatrical manner... 

Ghosts of the Happy and High-Spirited

Ghosts of the Happy and High-Spirited

A blend of good stand up and well-presented storytelling, Ghosts of the Happy and High-Spirited is a firmly funny and chilling hour of Free Fringe comedy. Nicholas Cooke, although more of a writer than a comedian, is a funny and energetic performer who does not shy away from telling his own cringe worthy stories – always fun for the audience... 

Gusset Grippers

Gusset Grippers

Gusset Grippers is a funny, feel good and easygoing show. Elaine Miller, once upon a time a physiotherapist, has worked hard on bringing a comedy to the Fringe that is both amusing and informative... 

Hamlette

Hamlette

I’m not adverse to Shakespeare re-imaginings. They can be funny, they can be thought provoking. Not Hamlette. Hamlette consists of a cast of four young actresses taking the story of Hamlet and butchering it into an unrecognisable, hysterical mess... 

Mr Phil Kay and Thee Cameron St. Clair are: Men Utd

Mr Phil Kay and Thee Cameron St. Clair are: Men Utd

Explicitly funny from the first chord, Phil Kay and Cameron St. Clair began with great dynamic and fantastic musical improvisation, maintaining a wonderful energy throughout the show... 

Argonautika

Argonautika

This family friendly adaptation of Jason and the Argonauts was a fairly comical and entertaining show. The American High School Theatre Festival’s all female cast was a mixed bag of talent, though... 

Richard Gadd: Cheese and Crack Whores

Richard Gadd: Cheese and Crack Whores

Wonderfully dark and disturbing, Richard Gadd has come to Edinburgh’s Free Fringe not only to make his audience cry with laughter, but also to push the boundaries of physical comedy... 

Aaron Twitchen's Princess Guide to Dating

Aaron Twitchen's Princess Guide to Dating

Fabulous, glamorous and hilarious, Aaron Twitchen’s Princess Guide to Dating is one of the better Free Fringe shows you will see this year. It has everything from Kate Middleton appreciation to Spice Girls sing-alongs and an outstanding Britney Spears lookalike... 

Can You Hear Seagulls?

Can You Hear Seagulls?

A heart-wrenching performance by the wonderful Wotlarx Enterprises, Can You Hear Seagulls? is an hour of subtle humour and warmth. The play is a simple set up: the last afternoon of conversation between a long married couple, Jimmy and Sal... 

SemiToned: The ExeMen

SemiToned: The ExeMen

If you’re a fan of sharp, well-choreographed, funny and energetic a cappella, then I suggest you book your tickets for this show immediately. Fast paced and seamless, this 12 piece a cappella group from Exeter not only know how to sing and dance, but also how to connect with their audience through their songs and individual personalities... 

Bookshop Midnight Mayhem

Bookshop Midnight Mayhem

It’s a rare occasion when the audience is funnier than the performer. Bob’s Bookshop is a space hired by the ‘performer’ not to actually do a show or entertain his audience like you would imagine, but instead is a place for his friends to go at the end of their shows and get drunk or tell crude stories... 

Buddhist Meditation

Buddhist Meditation

If you’re interested in relaxation techniques and getting in touch with your body, then this workshop is definitely for you. However, if you’re looking for entertainment and a show that doesn’t involve participation, avoid it... 

Rebustours - Hidden Edinburgh

Rebustours - Hidden Edinburgh

This tour is absolutely one of the best literary walking tours Edinburgh has to offer. It was not only informative about the Rebus novels, but also about the history of Edinburgh. What really made the tour so enjoyable and wonderfully entertaining, however, was guide Colin Brown... 

The Curse of Elizabeth Faulkner

The Curse of Elizabeth Faulkner

The Curse of Elizabeth Faulkner was funny, entertaining and mildly unnerving; a brilliant combination of horror and comedy. In short, I absolutely loved it. The choice of venue fitted the tone well, the darkness of The Caves perfectly constructing a chilling and edgy atmosphere... 

Dido and Aeneas

Dido and Aeneas

As a fan of both classical literature and opera, I was interested to see how this show would work out, being set in the 20th century banking world. I was hoping for quirkiness, wit and stirring tragedy... 

Robert Burns and the Lassies

Robert Burns and the Lassies

This is an absolutely charming and highly informative performance, made possible by the wonderful writer and historian Allan Foster and his accompanying Scottish folk singer, Andy Chung... 

The Life and Times of Greyfriars Bobby

The Life and Times of Greyfriars Bobby

Having lived in Edinburgh all my life, I wondered how much Saints and Sinners Walking Tours could really tell me about my city. However, our tour guide, a knowledgeable Edinburgh gentleman, was a twelve-year veteran of the local walking tours scene and I was pleasantly surprised... 

The Paper Princess

The Paper Princess

This is a wonderfully charming adaptation of Elisa Kleven’s book The Paper Princess, brought to life with live music, puppetry and audience participation. Upon entering, children and adults alike are given a small cut-out paper prince or princess – choices available – and asked to decorate them with glitter and a whole array of other shiny things...