It’s that time of year again…
Tiernan Douieb picks out 18 Edinburgh Fringe shows you probably shouldn't miss.
Somehow it is August again.
Don’t worry, I’m not baffled by how time works. I’ve got a watch and it has a proper big and little hand on it and everything. I just mean that time seems to fly by in a way that makes me assume it’s having a lot more fun than anyone else.
So again, here I am, looking to the Edinburgh Fringe as I prepare to spend yet another month of my life in a city that seemingly decided against having a summer some time ago.
There have been billions of things I’ve wanted to write about in the last few weeks. Or things I’ve wanted to tweet jokes about. But everything has been kept for my new show resulting in lost followers as all I do is try and persuade people to see me on the live stage instead.
But I am pretty happy with my show. Sort of. I feel it’s probably the strongest show I’ve written so far and once I iron out the last few creases I think I’ll have something to be proud of.
Then I can take it to Edinburgh and have it ignored for a month before coming back in September with a horrible feeing of anti-climax and the fear of an increasingly empty diary.
I am being a drama queen somewhat. I have said to myself hundreds of times that I’m doing the full month again mainly to make my new show so honed that I can take it on the road again next year.
And that’s it. No other hopes of anything else. Just 22 opportunities to get the best show I can. And I fully expect to go back on this way of thinking three days into the Fringe when I’ve got all caught up in its madness once again. I can’t wait.
So look, obviously you’re going to come and see my show this year. Probably more than once.
But apparently there’s other shows at the Edinburgh Fringe festival or something? Well there are a few and I thought I’d give you a non-definitive list of some you should check out based on my opinion which is a great opinion. So here you go:
Keith Farnan: Anonymous, 18.00, Underbelly
One of my best comedy buddies, Farnan’s show this year is superb. Fascinating subject, top story telling, great jokes and several Star Wars references. Buy tickets.
Bec Hill: Caught On Tape, 17.30, Gilded Balloon
One of my other best comedy buddies, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Bec preview this show about 6 times and it’s really grown into a hugely fun, uplifting and hilarious show. You will leave with a smile on your face. Buy tickets.
Nish Kumar: Long Word…Long Word…Blah Blah Blah…I’m So Clever, 19.15, Pleasance Courtyard
Watched Nish’s last preview of this last night and it blew me away. Passionate, smart and such strong and well written gags. One of the few shows that made me go ‘shit, I need to step up my game’ which is great. Go see this. if Nish isn’t a contender for the awards then I don’t know what the point of anything is. Buy tickets.
Grace The Child: Playground Politics, 16.30, Bob’s Blunderbus
Sadly this is only on from the 6th to the 10th because all of the Fringe should see this. Grace is only 12 years old, a CC4K workshop student, and owner of one of the darkest senses of humour I know. Buy tickets.
LetLuce: In Sea Men (A Naval Tale), 16.00, Just The Tonic At The Caves
LetLuce made me laugh more last year than anything else I saw at the Fringe. Top silliness performed with maximum gusto. They are brilliant. Buy tickets.
Adam Hess, Salmon, 17.20, Heroes At The Hive
Adam is a very funny man, annoyingly good at Twitter and if the Fringe judges are at all smart this year, he’ll be up for a Newcomer Award pretty swiftly with this show. Buy tickets.
Chris Coltrane, Left Wing Propaganda Machine, 15.30, Banshee Labyrinth, PBH Free Fringe
Chris is a stalwart of the political comedy circuit, and runs the superb Lolitics club in Camden. Also he’s a chum of mine and his show this year is great. Buy tickets.
Jonny And The Baptists: The End Is Nigh, 19.50, Summerhall
Bloody love these two. I haven’t seen this show yet but judging by everything else they do, it’ll be brilliant. Trust me. Buy tickets.
Every Brilliant Thing, 14.05, Summerhall
Saw this last year and left, like all the audience did, in floods of tears. Beautiful, touching and so wonderfully written. Performed by Jonny Donahue from Jonny and the Baptists (see above) and one of my favourite plays from recent years. Just astounding stuff. Buy tickets.
Alternative Comedy Memorial Society, 22.00, Heroes at the Hive (not Fridays or Saturdays)
Where you will see some of the weirdest and most wonderful acts and experiments of comedy all Fringe. I’m making a brief appearance on 13th August 13 I think. Buy tickets.
Lolly Adefope: Lolly, 16.30, Pleasance Courtyard
I keep hearing she is excellent from lots of people I trust with comedy knowledge. So they’re probably right. Buy tickets.
Stuart Goldsmith: An Hour, 16.55, Canon’s Gait PBH Free Fringe
This will no doubt be one of the most solid hours of stand-up on the Fringe. Stu is effortlessly engaging and if he can’t charm you then no one can. Buy tickets.
The Comedian’s Comedian Podcast, 22.55, Black Medicine (selected dates only)
Hosted by Stu (see above) he manages to get fascinating comedy insights from an array of often famous comedy guests. If you’re interested in how it all works in our brains, go to this, then download and listen to the podcasts. Buy tickets.
Laura Lexx: Lovely, 16.05 Underbelly
This is Laura’s debut show and she’s called it ‘Lovely’. Probably because she is. And she’s also very funny and hugely affable. If you don’t warm to her in seconds it’s because you’re dead inside and should leave the show and go see a doctor immediately. Buy tickets.
George Egg: Anarchist Cook, 14.45, Gilded Balloon
Cooking. Laughter. Free pancakes made on irons held up by Gideon bibles. What else do you need to know? Buy tickets.
Howard Read: Man, 16.20, Banshee Labyrinth, PBH Free Fringe
Howard is a brilliantly funny man. I mostly work with him on children’s shows but his adult stuff is also not to be missed. Expect filth and silliness presented by a man in a lovely suit that he’s had made especially. Buy tickets.
Don Biswas: Dyspraxia And Politics, 21.30, The Laughing Horse at Counting House
I’d never seen Don before till a preview in Brighton last night and was really impressed. Strong gags and political views I like. It’s free too, so why not go take a punt? Buy tickets.
There’s obviously tons more – John Luke Roberts, Mark Thomas, Bridget Christie, Tiffany Stevenson, etc, etc – but I can’t be bothered to type more things so just go, be adventurous. Check out acts you haven’t heard of. Pay attention to word of mouth. Stumble across venues you didn’t know where there. Read flyers. Look at posters. Drink terrible beer. Take a pack a mack. Eat a potato. Come see my show 22 times. It’s at 14.30 at the Liquid Room Annexe on the Free Fringe. Click here for all the details.
And here’s 1 whole minute of it:
It’ll be a bloody brilliant month, summer or not. See you there, or see you on the other side.