Preview: Fringe By The Sea Festival

Some of the biggest names from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival are coming to North Berwick for a one-off gig in August.

Rhys Nicholson (pictured), who has just been nominated for a Helpmann Award in Australia, will be joined by Barry Award nominated Tom Walker and Demi Lardner, winner of this year’s Pinder Prize. 

The gig has been put together by the director of Melbourne International Comedy Festival Susan Provan especially for Fringe by the Sea – an arts, music and comedy festival which takes place from August 3 -12.

Susan Provan said: “Melbourne International Comedy Festival is proud to send four of our favourite comedians down to the sea to share their massive talents with a whole new audience. We promise they are hilarious!”

The gig, on August 11, will be compered by Daniel Connell, who will be making his Edinburgh debut this August. 

Fringe by the Sea has been expanded to ten days for the first time this year and has an extended comedy programme. North Berwick is half an hour from Edinburgh by train. 

Arthur Smith will be hosting a show of Comedy Delights, featuring Glenn Wool, Simon Munnery and Elf Lyons.

Marcel Lucont, who is not appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year will be hosting a one off Cabaret Fantastique, featuring cabaret artist Mat Ricardo,  musical cabaret troupe Fringe Wives Club and comic Carl Donnelly who has been twice nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award.

Fringe by the Sea also features two late night appearances from Simon Evans, with guests Leo Kearse, Angela Barnes and Milo McCabe. 

Evans will also be bringing a one-off performance of his show Genius to North Berwick. Mark Steel, Phil Nichol, Steve Gribbin, Seymour Mace, Mrs Barbara Nice, Lucy Pearman, Lynn Ruth Miller,  Liam Withnail,  Lewis Schaffer and Charmian Hughes will also be bringing solo shows to North Berwick.  

Jerry Sadowitz and Scott Capurro are both performing special one off shows at midnight. 

The programme also includes a literary event featuring John Dowie, who will be talking about his cycling and comedy memoir ‘The Freewheeling John Dowie.’

Paul Vickers, aka Mr Twonkey, will be appearing with his band Paul Vickers and the Leg, who will be supporting Withered Hand.

And Phil Kay will be reviving his popular children’s show Gimme Your Left Shoe.

Musical acts appearing at the festival include Mica Paris, Badly Drawn Boy, Terry Hall of The Specials and the Sugarhill Gang and the Furious Five. 

Judy Murray is appearing as part of the literary programme while Lord David Steel is hosting a chat show, with guests including Roy Hattersley.

As well as two spiegeltents on the harbour the event has extended this year to include a smaller cabaret venue, inside the Scottish Seabird Centre, which will be staging a mixture of comedy and cabaret. 

General Manager Claire Smith* said:  “It’s been great fun putting together a comedy programme and we are delighted that such a brilliant array of talent will be coming to North Berwick for Fringe by the Sea.

“Getting the Best of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival to rock up in North Berwick has been a real coup.” 

The full programme has just been announced. Details here:

*who also reviews for Beyond The Joke.



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