As we all know, finding the right shows to see in amongst the huge line-up at the Edinburgh Fringe is like trying to catch fish with your hands while standing on a surfboard in the middle of a storm. The best things give you the slip, in other words.
To help you keep track (and save you from having to suffer through any mediocre shows) we’ve pulled all of the top-rated shows so far into a handy list – with links – so you can try and bag tickets before they sell out.
However, don’t just leave it to the reviewers, you can ask for recommendations and advice in our Edinburgh Fringe 2019 best bits Facebook group, as well as trading spare tickets.
1. Courtney Pauroso: Gutterplum
American comedian Courtney Pauroso makes her Edinburgh Fringe debut with a character clown show (definitely), burlesque show (eventually) and feminist allegory (sure, probably) all rolled into one surreal and stupid and heart-warming and thought-provoking and blindingly beautiful yet deceptively dark – and honestly, 100% perfect – hour of ground-breaking comedy.
2. Elliot Bibby – Magic in a Jiffy
Join Scottish Magician of the Year 2018 in this fast-moving show full of laughs and surprises. As you know, shopping online isn’t always as straightforward as it seems. With Slick tricks and a quick wit, Elliot will make your drunken late night eBaying look like the antiques roadshow rejects. His inimitable skill and seamless delivery promises to reveal the magic in the everyday.
3. Emmy Blotnick: Party Nights
Emmy’s comedy explores themes of anxiety, depression and neurosis alongside unlikely spirit guides Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Beyonce, Andre 3000 and Swedish pop songwriter Max Martin. Whether or not they can point her in the right direction is anyone’s guess.
4. Jen Brister – Under Privilege
Brister has it all: a wife, kids, a house and a job she loves (sometimes) so what the hell is she moaning about? Join Jen as she takes an irreverent look at the often controversial subject of ‘privilege’. Who has it? Who doesn’t? And why does no one like to admit they have any?
5. Jo Caulfield: Voodoo Doll
You might remember Jo from appearances on on Have I Got News for You, Mock the Week, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, The John Bishop Show, Just a Minute and Stop the Press. Her Fringe show Voodoo Doll is a laugh riot, according to critics.
6. Rob Auton: The Time Show
Following on from his shows about the colour yellow, the sky, faces, water, sleep, hair and talking, award-winning writer and performer Rob Auton turns his attention to time. He’s been called ‘A genuine original. Poetical, philosophical, humane, and funny to boot’ by the Guardian.
7. Sara Barron: Enemies Closer
Sara Barron’s new show examines kindness, meanness, ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, current husbands, all four of her remaining friends, and two of her twelve enemies.
8. Fern Brady: Power and Chaos
Fern is one of the UK’s hottest comedy stars. Her new show tackles sexuality, feminism, power, Brexit, Britishness, Scottishness and nationality all with her caustic wit, exceptional writing and electric stage craft.
9. Frisky & Mannish’s PopLab
Ten years since they burst onto the scene with their wildly popular brand of musical infotainment, Frisky & Mannish are officially Pop PhDs, fully qualified to conduct scientific analyses of the molecular intersections between every pop song ever.
10. Glenn Moore: Love Don’t Live Here Glenny Moore
Glenn Moore follows up last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Award nomination with a new hour of ‘brilliantly original’ (Chortle.co.uk), and ‘blissfully silly’ (Guardian) jokes. He used to have a very different job to this, and now he’s finally brave enough to spill the beans about it.
11. Jayde Adams: The Ballad of Kylie Jenner’s Old Face
In 2019 if you want to be a ‘successful independent woman person’ you better have something to say and you better be wearing a Serious Black Jumper™, according to Jayde. If pop stars, razors and even sausage rolls can attach themselves to important movements, why can’t Jayde Adams?
12. Chris Parker: Camp Binch
New Zealand’s beloved Chris Parker (as seen in Netflix’s The Breaker Upperers) is mincing his way over to Edinburgh with his award-winning Camp Binch. Winner of Best Show at NZ International Comedy Fest 2018, Camp Binch delivers a hilarious and cathartic retelling of growing up gay in conservative New Zealand.
New Zealand’s favourite comedy improv show Snort makes its way to Edinburgh for the first time! Cheeky, topical, and relentlessly silly, Snort sees NZ’s best young comedians build an intricate hour of far-fetched, high-stakes comedy, entirely made up on the spot.
14. Zach Zimmerman: Clean Comedy
Zach’s show blurb says: “my mom says I should focus on clean comedy for my career. F*ck that. Please join me, a Time Out New York Comic to Watch 2019 (stop it, I’m blushing) as I skewer my traumatic Southern Baptist childhood and equally painful gay NYC adulthood. It’s my debut hour at the Fringe, it’ll be equal parts adorable and hot, and will delight my mother in title only.”
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