As the Edinburgh Fringe is well underway, it is easy to start wondering where did the summer go and look forward to pumpkin spice latte season. However, there’s still plenty of time to plan ahead, so we thought we’d put together some shows worth watching. This year, The Fringe is as busy as ever, with over 3,000 shows to choose from. And being bombarded with flyers on the street can make it even more confusing. Not to worry though, we’ve got you covered: we put together a list of several Fringe shows that shouldn’t be missed.
5:30pm at The Gilded Balloon – Debating Hall ( August 12- 17)
Following her sell-out Fringe performance in 2022, Grace Campbell brings a brand new stand-up show about her love life and relationships with men for five days only this Fringe. A highly hilarious, fiery performance for both men and women that addresses her complex nature, sex, obsession with relationships, and the reasons behind the issues Grace has been experiencing throughout her life. This relatable and provocative act of unfiltered realism will make you chuckle most of the time: she is authentic, fiery and straightforward; all qualities that make for a memorable show.
3:25pm at The Voodoo Rooms – The Speakeasy
Shelf is a musical comedy double act consisting of Rachel WD and Ruby Clyde. It is the duo’s second time at The Fringe, where they absolutely smashed it with the debut performance, Shelf, last year. With one of the performers being tone deaf, the show is more like a musician and a dancer ensemble, however, this only added to their comedic charisma. As two childhood friends told their story with some song elements about being mistaken for teenage boys, the show Teenage Men will signify a level-up from boys, to men. Plus, this is part of the Free Fringe, so the show is a ‘pay what you can’ kind of gig.
12:10pm ; 1:35pm ; 3:00pm at Monkey Barrell – The Tron (August 14 – 16)
Last year, Harriet Kemsley brought her light-hearted take on the beauty industry and self-love. The name of the show was based on a childhood discovery Harriet unravelled recently; a box full of memories from when she was eleven. She designed a dream holiday island destination called Honeysuckle Island, yet there was a cellulite machine amongst all the awesome things to do like zip lines and water parks. Harriet Kemsley tackled not only the unrealistic expectations of society towards women and their looks but also being a first-time mum to a daughter while jokingly addressing her marriage and beauty solutions. This year, Harriet is only coming back to us for three days with multiple shows a day, so we can’t wait to find out what Work In Progress looks like!
9 pm at Pleasance Courtyard – Pleasance One
We went to see Mark Watson’s show ‘This Can’t Be It’ last year: it was the beginning of the show, and the mic stopped working: the fact that everyone was already almost crying with laughter is a great testament to Mark and his 22 years of experience as a comedian. Mark is a bit of a legend at The Fringe and has so many jokes up his sleeve you will leave with a sore belly. ‘Search’ is about Mark’s life, the struggles as a father, his son getting his first phone and his “70-year-old dad has been through the most frightening experience of his life”.
6:10pm at Underbelly, Bristo Square – Cowbarn
And for the magic lovers, Magical Bones is a show of breakdancing, a celebration of street culture and real magic. The act brings back the childlike wonder, making us believe in the impossible again. It is a show full of life, jaw-dropping tricks and radiant charisma. When asked about this year’s show, Bones says: “Magic can inspire, and a lot is about trust. I’ve always used magic to share my experiences of street culture & lifestyle and all the heroes that have inspired me – this show is no exception. I have poured my heart and soul into these new effects pushing myself to the realms of impossibility, and I believe this is my most ambitious project to date.” You can tell how much work has gone into making the performance, and magic has been brought to life in Edinburgh this August.
Various times at DoubleTree by Hilton, City Centre – Monboddo
Drag queens, cabaret and wine tasting? The perfect combo is coming back to The Fringe this year Their 2022 Fringe debut poured 3,000 glasses of wine for over 1,000 audience members at the MONO restaurant. The show sees a charismatic duo guide wine lovers through three delicious wines, and mouth-watering food pairings, all topped off with a dash of audience engagement and a side serving of singalong. Vino aficionado, Beth Brickenden from The Three Drinkers, Amazon Prime TV promises: “This year will be bigger, bolder & right in the thick of the action; we’ll have new wines, a new venue, fresh pairings, exciting competition prizes and brand-new tunes, but the same old trollops hosting! Expect buckets of laughs, special guests & more raucous tasting notes.”
5:40pm at Gilded Balloon Teviot – Turret
Shane Daniel Byrne is bringing some feel-good Irish comedy to Edinburgh this year, so expect to hear plenty of Irish accents in the queue for the show. Shane is bringing his award-winning show to the Edinburgh Fringe, as well as having won second place at ‘So You Think You’re Funny’ in 2019. But He’s Gay is a show about coming out in your twenties, growing up as a gay boy and going to an all-boys Catholic school, and you don’t have to be Irish to enjoy yourself. So far, the show has been selling out multiple days in a row, so do book in advance!
7pm at Gilded Balloon Teviot – Dining Room
Michelle Brasier: Reform is the perfect example of making lemonade after life gave you lemons. Michelle tells her story of getting scammed during the pandemic after being sold a pilates reformer for a suspiciously cheap price. It’s a musical about staying kind and seeing the best in people, coaching a scammer through a guided meditation when they’re having a panic attack for not paying you back and how to make a show about the bad things that happen to you. The songs are hilarious, the vocals are outstanding and the trio seem like all-round decent people. You’re in for a treat!
Multiple times a day at Murrayfield Ice Rink
Those who appreciate pondering over the meaning of life, aesthetically pleasing installations and acrobatics should go see IMA at the Murrayfield Ice Rink, an immersive physical theatre and circus show. Coming from Hungary, the show takes the audience on a journey of life, the universe and showcases how small our individual human existence is in the grand scheme. Embark on an immersive journey that captivates all the senses, with clever lighting that invokes pure escapism for those 40 minutes. Plus, there is no dialogue, so it’s suitable for pretty much everyone over the age of 12.
So, here’s our wee round-up of noteworthy Fringe shows to see. Whichever you choose, you’re in for an evening of side-splitting comedy and pleasant surprises.