A Lizard Goes a Long Way

A Lizard Goes a Long Way

Raising a laugh and a lump in the throat all at once is a good trick – possibly the best. Gecko makes it look easy. A gifted young comic songwriter with charm and style to spare, his clever lyrical conceits and easy-going acoustic melodies have already won over fans including John Hegley, Ed Sheeran and Radio 1’s Huw Stephens... 

Marcel Lucont's Whine List

Marcel Lucont's Whine List

Marcel Lucont is one of the great comic characters of the new millenium; a soft-spoken Gallic egotist with bare feet beneath his blue suit, and a large glass of pinot noir permanently in hand... 

Til Debt Us Do Part

Til Debt Us Do Part

For many, the Edinburgh Fringe is a joyous escape from reality. While pouring away money on overpriced pints, or shelling out a small fortune on accommodation, most people try to keep their fiscal worries out of mind... 

The C/D Borderline

The C/D Borderline

“It is not possible to obtain any As or Bs in this paper,” drones the teacher’s pre-recorded voice. “If you work really hard, with a lot of luck, you might get a C. But you probably won’t... 

Alexis Dubus Verses The World

Alexis Dubus Verses The World

“I’ve done absolutely no flyering for this show,” says Alexis Dubus, “so I have no idea why you’re here.” On the evidence of …Verses the World, he’s not entirely sure why he’s here either, but we should be very glad that he is... 

Sage Francis and B Dolan Present: Strange Speech, Famous Development

Sage Francis and B Dolan Present: Strange Speech, Famous Development

You can tell a lot about a show from its audience. At Saturday’s performance of Strange Speech, Famous Development, you could tell a lot from a single audience member: Scroobius Pip, nodding along and stroking his beard in the sixth row... 

Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

This is a decently acted production of Lord of the Flies staged by Beacon Theatre Group, an amateur company of schoolchildren. It would have been perfectly fine, were the young actors capable of projecting properly... 

10 Films With My Dad

10 Films With My Dad

Some stand-up shows boil like Vesuvius – scorching hot, wild, unpredictable and slightly terrifying. 10 Films With My Dad boils like Campbell’s Chicken Soup – warm, comforting and vaguely nostalgic... 

Luath Book Banter at Henderson's

Luath Book Banter at Henderson's

First, a warning: This event has been slightly mis-advertised. The show’s description in the Fringe Programme (under ‘Spoken Word’) suggests that ticket-buyers will see a veritable smorgasbord of “debate, poetry, fiction and politics from Luath authors”... 

Crab House - A Bloody Cabaret

Crab House - A Bloody Cabaret

Musicals bring me out in a rash. I hate them with a deep, profound, physical hatred. Actually, that’s not quite true. I only hate bad, clichéd, sentimental musicals. But I’ve seen dozens of the damn things and only three which weren’t awful... 

Jay Foreman's Mixtape

Jay Foreman's Mixtape

Simultaneously endearing and unsettling, Jay Foreman is an extremely talented comic songwriter who is becoming progressively better. He certainly has some impressive tricks up his sleeve; interrupted by a latecomer, Foreman ‘recapped’ the gig by playing his last song again in under ten seconds... 

All in the Timing

All in the Timing

If one ignores the grating scene-change muzak, this was a rather good production – four short comic plays from David Ives’ All In The Timing, plus another from Mere Mortals. The show is quick and well directed, with minimal props and staging used to good effect... 

Marek Larwood - Typecast

Marek Larwood - Typecast

This is a loud and silly show. If you’ve seen the anarchic sitcom We Are Klang you’ll have a vague idea of what to expect; Larwood played a loud bumbling idiot there and he does here too... 

Rob Auton: The Yellow Show

Rob Auton: The Yellow Show

Yesterday I watched a man in a yellow coat talking about his favourite colour for an hour. It was the best thing I have ever seen on the Free Fringe. There are very few shows which change the way you see the world... 

Mark Watson's Edinborolympics

Mark Watson's Edinborolympics

Last night’s Edinborolympics was a beautiful, glorious shambles. It overran by more than half an hour, leaving the stage soaked in beer and strewn with frozen veg. One member of the audience sat behind me spent the whole show whispering ‘this is mental, this is completely mental’ to her partner in tones of hushed and incredulous awe... 

Totally Tom

Totally Tom

Totally Tom are a slick and ambitious duo. Not for them the half-arsed series of unlinked ideas which make up other sketch shows. Instead, Totally Tom have written a tight sketch-based prison drama with dozens of characters and no set... 

Nick Page: My Glorious Hypothetical Life As a Eunuch

Nick Page: My Glorious Hypothetical Life As a Eunuch

This is frighteningly honest stuff. Nick Page may be a self-confessed arsehole (three ex-wives, seven ex-fiancees, once murdered a dog, etc.) but he’s a likable performer. Unlike so many comedians who claim to have screwed up their lives, Page appears to be telling the truth... 

Peter Buckley Hill and Some Comedians XVI

Peter Buckley Hill and Some Comedians XVI

This is the show that started the Free Fringe, hosted by the man who started it. Some comedians – normally performers from other Free Fringe shows – do some comedy while Hill himself comperes in between... 

This Arthur's Seat Belongs to Lionel Richie

This Arthur's Seat Belongs to Lionel Richie

Come and watch a decent comedian in a spectacular location. Barry Ferns is gigging daily atop Arthur’s Seat, the highest point of Holyrood Park. His set is only fifteen minutes long, but the set is only a small part of the show... 

Lisa Scott Sings Blues and Jazz

Lisa Scott Sings Blues and Jazz

Lisa Scott was introduced by her venue manager as having ‘been here for many, many a Fringe’, and Scott is indeed showing her age as a performer. This shouldn’t be a bad thing... 

Josh Widdicombe: The Further Adventures of...

Josh Widdicombe: The Further Adventures of...

Josh Widdicombe has an immediately likeable stage presence, engaging the audience from the outset. He gets the topical/satirical material out of the way first, dispensing with the Olympics and the banking crisis in the same sentence, before moving on to what he excels at – observation... 

Computer Programmer Extraordinaire

Computer Programmer Extraordinaire

Raph Shirley is not funny. This show was a bonding experience for the audience. Maybe not for the silent majority who left in the first half hour, but when the rest of us left the venue I felt that frisson of compassion which passes invisibly between co-sufferers... 

Adele's Heart

Adele's Heart

Adele’s Heart is an immensely powerful new play by renowned Italian playwright Giampiero Rappa that is unafraid to tackle large and difficult issues. In an unnamed country a civil war has torn society apart, leaving only a few scavengers who hunt for food, tend their wounds, and try to avoid the falling bombs... 

Birth Order

Birth Order

Rachel Anderson needs to find a more balanced middle ground for her material. Too much of Birth Order is either disappointingly mundane or awkwardly provocative. The show begins with a couple of jokes from the latter category, including one gag about Katie Price’s son and another about John Leslie’s alleged sex-crimes... 

Davey Connor, Lucy Beaumont and Ed Patrick - The Big Comedy Showcase Show

Davey Connor, Lucy Beaumont and Ed Patrick - The Big Comedy Showcase Show

When your lineup is three unheard-of comedians, and your venue is the Gilded Balloon’s tiny “Wee Room”, calling your show ‘The Big Comedy Showcase’ is actually a pretty smart move... 

Dearly Departed

Dearly Departed

It takes a special show to make the journey to the Church Hill Theatre worthwhile. This is not that show. The CHT is off the edge of the Fringe map, me hearties, and here be dragons... 

I Am a Moon

I Am a Moon

‘I Am A Moon’ was inventive, memorable, well-acted and hopelessly crippled by technical difficulties. Normally I would turn a blind eye to these, but the show is only running for two performances and these issues almost certainly won’t be sorted out by tomorrow... 

Hamlet and Other Theatrical Nightmares

Hamlet and Other Theatrical Nightmares

This show is an odd mix, performed by the American High School Theatre Festival. Three short pieces of comic meta-theatre by different playwrights, tied together by the loose and dangerous theme of ‘why acting can be rubbish’... 

Camille O’Sullivan: Changeling

Camille O’Sullivan: Changeling

Go and watch Camille O’Sullivan. Go and watch Camille O’Sullivan and sit in the front row. If you’ve seen her before, all you need to know is that she’s as good as ever. If you haven’t seen her, read on... 

An Eggcellent Adventure

An Eggcellent Adventure

To the side, a three-piece band play smooth jazz-pop. Onstage, a group of children in swimming caps stand huddled, trying to decide what makes life worth living when you’re an egg in a fridge awaiting death... 

Dave McNeill: Canoe Ride 3000

Dave McNeill: Canoe Ride 3000

Dave McNeill oozes conviction. He drips and glistens with it. Well, it’s either conviction or sweat. Dave’s abundant perspiration is just one of the reasons his beloved gives for rejecting his marriage proposal, along with his paranoia, his belief in wild conspiracies and the fact that he’s “a complete dickhead...