Experience the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from your Sofa

With the inevitable news that this year’s Edinburgh Fringe is cancelled, a gaping hole has been left in many people’s summer calendar. No longer will up-and-coming comedians lose £10k on their debut show, university drama troops fit 15 people into a flat containing two bedrooms and a box room or professional flyerers harass you with the call of their people: "Free Sketch Comedy Show – starts in 15 minutes".

However, all is not lost as there’s plenty of Fringe shows available to watch online. You too can replicate the Fringe experience by drinking a bit too much, eating food that is far too unhealthy for you, asking your neighbours to put on some loud music to bleed into your apartment, then clicking on one of the links below.

Fleabag

Fleabag recently announced that it would be broadcast live online to help raise money for those affected by Covid-19. First performed at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe, winning a Fringe First Award, this is an excellent chance to see a stunning production Fleabag is available to stream in the UK and Ireland on Soho theatre’s On Demand site as well as on Amazon Prime Video. The production is available for a 48-hour download for £4, with the option to donate larger amounts of money.

Out of the Blue

Oxford University Students, Out of the Blue, have been coming to the Fringe for no less that 16 years and are one of the UK’s top a cappella groups. A strong array of vocal talent led them to semi-final position on Britain’s Got Talent back in 2011. Last year’s reviewer commented, "every member of Out of the Blue has prodigious talent, limitless charm and a great haircut". Here’s a chance to watch their 2015 show.

Kunt and the Gang

Remember that time an Essex Council odd job man rode the social media boom to become a minor internet superstar? No? Well, Kunt does, because it was him!

RIP Kunt and the Gang, 2003-2016: no dead of course, merely semi-retired. If you’ve never come across Kunt and the Gang, firstly check the box that says you’ve over 18, then take the chance to watch festival filth from the Essex Council odd job man turned (minor) superstar.

Tartuffe

Is it really a Fringe if you’ve not watched a student version of Moilières classic, Tartuffe. Here's a front row seat (quite literally) to RUDS (Reading University Drama Society) 2016 performance.

Daft Wee Stories by Limmy

With a selection of stories from his Sunday Times bestseller, Scottish comedian Brian Limond, aka Limmy has found lockdown makes little difference to his life: "I'm quite a hermit," he says. "I don't drink anymore, I don't go up the town and I'm not interested in events and parties. This has made no difference to my life." He’s also streaming a new three-part series Limmy’s’ Homemade Show on the BBC iPlayer.

James Whale Radio Show

These days known for his TalkSPORT & TalkRADIO shows, back in 1988, Whale was the late-night talk show host for Leeds based Radio Aire, which was also simulcast on Yorkshire Television – and went so well that it began to air nationally across ITV. Featuring the first TV performance by Alan ‘AHA’ Partridge himself – Steve Coogan, who was at the time a voice artist for Spitting Image the show made it up to the 1989 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where you can catch some of Steve’s early impressions, including George Formby, Ronnie Corbett and Jeremy Beadle.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this article has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now