The 2015 instalment of The Edinburgh Festival Fringe – a.k.a. The Fringe! – is mere weeks away now, and with the release of the 2015 programme last week it feels like time to start getting excited. Very, very excited.
If you haven’t seen this year’s programme yet then let us spare you the shock – it’s the size of a phone book (remember those?). We all get a bit of fatigue thumbing through such a behemoth of a book, and risk repetitive strain injuries, but highlighting it like the Radio Times at Christmas is surely one of the most satisfying thing in the world.
Based on our first read through, comedians we’ve seen in previous years and trusted recommendation here are 13 shows you should be lucky enough to see this year
1. Chris Ramsey: All Grown Up
We spent his show last year doubled up with laughter, the affable Ramsey has been to the Fringe many times and is now one of the ‘ones to see’.
2. Chris Hutchinson: Learning the Ropes
This guy has supported Chris Ramsey on tour, and we’ve seen his solo Fringe shows the last two years running. Another comedian you can’t help but like, he’ll have you wishing the show was twice as long.
3. Stuart Goldsmith: An Hour
One of our favourite ‘turn up and see what’s on’ shows from last year, it was a last minute decision we’re happy to make again. His jokes are clever and the interlinking between them was nailed.
4. Iain Stirling: Touchy Feely
A name familiar to both Fringe goers and CBBC watchers (apparently), Stirling has had sell out shows the last three Fringes – we’re always too late to get them, so grab tickets whilst you can.
5. Jo Caulfield: Awkward Conversations
One of the funniest comedians at the Fringe, and someone that can sometimes be seen in Edinburgh out with August (there is comedy all year round – see here for proof), Jo Caulfield is smart, witty and likely to need a bigger venue.
6. Tom Stade: You’re Welcome
We first saw Tom Stade at a late night ‘best of the fest’ style show, and we’ve seen him again since. Everyone in this list is going to make you laugh, but this show is definitely on the unmissable list.
7. No Such Thing as a Fish
Have you been listening to the podcast from the QI Elves? If not we seriously recommend you look it up, but in the mean time get tickets for their live recording!
8. The Thinking Drinkers’ Guide to the Legends of Liquor
Fancy popping yourself up on a bar stool and sipping at a drink whilst people educate you about the world in a fascinatingly hilarious way? Well, this is clearly the show for you.
9. Jollyboat: Nerdplay
We went to see these guys three years ago because we herd they had pirate pop songs (no, honestly) and lots and lots of puns. We’ve seen them twice more since. It’s witty, clever and ultimately just very, very silly. Well worth it – it’s even free.
10. Abandoman: Hot Desk
Ireland’s most famous comedy hiphop improv group (although possibly also their only one) sound like a disaster waiting to happen, but this was one of our favourite shows last year. Anyone who can fit jokes about unexpected items in the bagging area that are actually funny into a rap is well worth the ticket price.
11. Shit-faced Shakespeare
Need some acting in amongst all the comedy but still need a laugh? How about watching a troupe of trained actors perform Shakespeare, one of whom is absolutely hammered. Sounds odd, but is completely hilarious.
12. James Acaster: Represent
With three nominations for the best show award for his last three shows at the Fringe, it seems like most of what could be said already has. This guy will be one of the hottest tickets in this year’s Fringe.
13. BBC at Potter Row
OK, not one show but dozens, the BBC has a strong showing at the Fringe every year with loads of great shows. You’ll see big name radio broadcasts to up and coming stars – and being the BBC, all of them are free. They ‘sell’ out very quickly though, so book well in advance.
There are literally thousands of shows in the Fringe this year – it’s apparently double, yes DOUBLE the size it was a decade ago when I first started going (CHAV: The Musical and Russell Howard were highlights that year) – and all of the above are just in the comedy section. Thumb through the programme and once you’ve put your hand on ice for a bit share the shows you’re most excited about with us on Twitter.
You’ll find all of the about on Edfringe.com