The Mac Twins: Mac Yourself at Home

The Mac Twins: Mac Yourself at Home

Greeted with an Irn Bru cocktail and two bottle-blonde lassies in tartan onesies talking about their ‘mam’, it is not difficult to guess the angle that the Mac Twins are going for... 

Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo

Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo

Alone on stage, with only a uniform, an old bed and a painted sky, Andy Daniel lays out the story of sixteen-year-old soldier Thomas Peaceful, in an adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s novel from 2003... 

The Moth of August

The Moth of August

Four performers share a flat in Edinburgh, the setting indicated only by the Fringe guides and flyers which share the single table in the play’s single room with a pair of biscuit-tins... 

Baby Wants Candy Workshops

Baby Wants Candy Workshops

American improv comedy troupe Baby Wants Candy are among the most familiar veterans of the Fringe. For years they have been peddling high-class musical improv to appreciative audiences, many of whom must have wondered how on earth they manage it... 

Beyond a Joke? Comedy, Culture and the Public

Beyond a Joke? Comedy, Culture and the Public

Like many of us, Dr. Friedman has noticed the variety of audience reactions to similar or identical material, the unpredictability of laughter. Unlike most of us, he has made this phenomenon his peculiar area of research... 

Next Best Thing

Next Best Thing

Katie Davison and Jay Bennett, weary and elated respectively, open their show with an awkward blend of high-fives and handshakes and an argument over why they’re called The Next Best Thing... 

Four On Demand

Four On Demand

Four on Demand is a free lunchtime showcase for the standup skills of host Alex Hoyle, ‘the Bad Boy of Niceness’, actor and comedian Becky Brunning (Six Steps to Joy), and comedy writer Naomi Carter (Carter and Ollerton Won’t Go Quietly), plus one special guest... 

Choose Your Own Comedy Adventure

Choose Your Own Comedy Adventure

We are all, surely, familiar with the phenomenon of the choose your own adventure novel. If you will not admit to having read one, even in your youth, then you will know somebody who has... 

In Cahoots: Some Like It Hoots

In Cahoots: Some Like It Hoots

Good sketch comedy is extremely uplifting, and it’s even better when you find it at the Free Fringe in one of the innumerable odd little rooms above bars. In Cahoots provide such an experience... 

Musical Comedy Awards Showcase

Musical Comedy Awards Showcase

The acts chosen from the London competition earlier this year are as varied as they are talented, representing the old and well-loved to the new and exciting. Frequently their musical ability seems to outweigh the humour of their writing, but all of them will find enthusiastic fans at the Fringe... 

The Birmingham Footnotes: Don't Mind Me

The Birmingham Footnotes: Don't Mind Me

This is just what you want from an evening of student stand up. It’s the perfect opportunity to check out some new comedians, but without the uneasy feeling that you may be wasting your time... 

The Edinburgh Revue Stand-Up Show

The Edinburgh Revue Stand-Up Show

Every art needs its new generation of practitioners. Without new blood, old crafts like spoke-shaving and hedge-laying will die out. It warms one’s heart, therefore, to see the fresh young faces of Edinburgh students as they step forward to join the massed ranks of the stand-up comedians... 

BattleActs! - Free

BattleActs! - Free

With so much improvised comedy around, every group needs a USP. Musical, Murder Mystery, Silent Film; anything to differentiate in a genre where you can hardly sell the script. For BattleActs!, the selling-point is antagonism... 

Robin and Partridge: Robin Dies at the End of the Show

Robin and Partridge: Robin Dies at the End of the Show

I must immediately declare that I have always liked Robin and Partridge. Whenever I see their names on the bill for a London comedy night I get excited and with good reason. Whatever the mood of the room, however low the energy may have sunk, when they come on the audience wakes up and remembers that we are all there to laugh... 

Juliette Burton: Look at Me

Juliette Burton: Look at Me

Juliette Burton: Look at Me is not entirely what I would call a comedy. Certainly there are jokes in there, mostly consisting of light audience banter and innuendo of the ‘ex-boyfriend’ variety... 

Six Steps to Joy

Six Steps to Joy

With some beat poetry, some interpretative dance and their patented Joy testing machine, comic actors Becky Brunning and Katharine Marwick claim that they can pull an audience out of its rain-induced despair and bring it to Joy... 

Rainbow Rabbits with Rabies

Rainbow Rabbits with Rabies

The Free Fringe is a chaotic world. Fighting over the noise from the bar next door, hampered by erratic tech and a merry, conversational audience, Australian Fringe debutante Nicole Henriksen is remarkably unphased... 

Twice as Nice Comedy @ Maggie's Chamber

Twice as Nice Comedy @ Maggie's Chamber

The ever-popular pub The Three Sisters is a fun place to wander into and pass a couple of hours (especially when it's raining), and you could do worse than climbing up to Maggie's Chamber, where Twice as Nice Comedy serve up traditional Fringe fare: an ever-changing lineup of stand up comedians... 

Is He a Bit Simon Jay? - Free

Is He a Bit Simon Jay? - Free

With an enviable variety of excellent voices and a real commitment to his physicality, Simon Jay skilfully portrays the various characters crammed into the tragic life story of his now deceased namesake, whose autopsy the audience are privileged to attend... 

All the Fun of the Unfair

All the Fun of the Unfair

‘You’ve come on a weird night. This isn’t the actual show.’ This warning, as soon as I entered the pub’s back-room, was a fair one. While the real total was somewhat below the ‘thousand acts’ I had prepared for, nine comics and a compere is still too many people to shoe-horn into an hour... 

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

At the top of the staircase which leads to C soco, you can hear the sound of hushed voices. As you pass through the double, ply-wood doors it resolves into conversation, half-casual and half-theatrical... 

Matt Green: Too Much Information

Matt Green: Too Much Information

It’s hard to get excited about Matt Green, but it’s even harder not to be taken in by his confidence and easy charm. In Too Much Information he delivers everything you’d expect from an hour of stand up comedy, but nothing more... 

Bob and Jim - Modern Urges

Bob and Jim - Modern Urges

The performing arts are undergoing a shift in inspiration towards the early Twentieth Century: Cabaret is on the up, Burlesque is increasingly acceptable, and in Comedy it is the music-hall which is making its influence known... 

Agonise, the Comedy Problem Page - Free

Agonise, the Comedy Problem Page - Free

In their free hour, Steve N Allen and Ria Lina read extracts from Agony Aunt pages and attempt to provide better advice using songs along with suggestions from the audience.The pair vary their format, which keeps things moving... 

Grim(m) Tales of the Woods - Free

Grim(m) Tales of the Woods - Free

One cannot help but feel , when offered lesser-known tales from the Brothers Grimm, that there is probably a reason that they are not so popular. Probably the characters are less memorable, and the plots less engaging... 

Faust/us

Faust/us

Here is another show which does not make a great first impression. A man lies onstage, wrapped in cloth, covered in the magnetic tape from a large cassette, while ‘Que Sera Sera’ plays over the speakers... 

Eric Lampaert

Eric Lampaert

Eric Lampaert looks weird, he really does. Having seen him a year ago, and with some pretty odd-looking people gracing the Fringe in general, I had forgotten quite what a visual experience he is... 

David Reed: Shamblehouse

David Reed: Shamblehouse

The first thing you notice is that David Reed really has created a Shamblehouse in the Pleasance. A carefully chosen random pile of furniture, frames and other clutter, covered in little lights, fills one side of the stage, while a large wardrobe dominates the other... 

The Artisan

The Artisan

Arguably, we are witnessing what one might describe as a ‘vintage turn’ in stage-performance. For balls, parties and music nights the cabaret of the early Twentieth Century provides fashionable inspiration, while in comedy the music hall is also a desirable influence... 

Waiting For Alice

Waiting For Alice

As Lewis Carrol broods on his missing protagonist, and the White Rabbit is sent in search of an eight-year-old girl to fill the role, the Hatter, the Dormouse, the Hare and the Mock Turtle all await the coming of ‘the Alice’, the girl who will be the best character of them all... 

Frankenstein

Frankenstein

ExADUS intercut dramatisations of extracts from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with moments from and interpretations of Shelley’s own life, and the experiences that drove her to write this most successful of Gothic novels... 

My Best Friend Drowned in a Swimming Pool

My Best Friend Drowned in a Swimming Pool

In Eva O’Connor’s new play, four friends recount, and dispute, their reactions to the accidental death of one of their number in a drunken accident.The subject of teenage death and bereavement is one of those which requires careful handling... 

Marcel Lucont Etc: A Chat Show

Marcel Lucont Etc: A Chat Show

With his bare feet, eternal glass of red wine and implausibly heavy accent, Marcel Lucont is not one to let his French heritage go unacknowledged. Choosing specifically the image of the cultured, condescending Frenchman of whom we have been so afraid for the last half-century, he declares that ‘Zere is a myth that we hate you English... 

Mark Nelson - Guilty Pleasure

Mark Nelson - Guilty Pleasure

The first thing one notices about the White Belly is the air, which because of the damp in the disused bank tastes like the inside of a papier-mache aircraft hangar. Mark Nelson describes the space as his ‘comedy bunker’, and claims that when asked if he wanted a room for the festival, he replied ‘Have you got one that looks like Hitler would’ve killed himself in it?’ Without raked seats it’s hard to tell how far back the audience goes, which can be desirable for a performer, but Nelson needed no such false encouragement; he pretty much filled the hundred-and-twenty-seater venue with noisy, happy, and mostly Scottish people...