Edinburgh Fringe Review

Edinburgh Fringe Review: Felicity Ward, Pleasance Courtyard

Australian whirlwind Felicity Ward is relatively restrained this year. Last year’s show was about her problems with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and her fear of not getting to the toilet on time. This year her new show, 50% More Likely to Die - the stat relates to people who suffer from anxiety and depression - is more of a relatable story of everyday angst.

Edinburgh Fringe Review: Brennan Reece, Pleasance Courtyard

It is always interesting to see how a new comedian moves from doing short club sets to a full hour in Edinburgh for the first time. I was particularly intrigued by youthful Mancunian Brennan Reece after seeing him do well in a couple of comedy competitions, including winning the English Comedian of the Year in 2015. After seeing his debut show here I expect he will go on to win more awards in the future.

Edinburgh Fringe Review: Adam Hess, Heroes @ The Hive

Last year Adam Hess picked up an Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer nomination for his debut show. This year he is back and faces the tricky second show syndrome. It doesn’t seem that tricky to Hess though. If anything this show is better than 2015’s breakthrough hour.

Edinburgh Fringe Review: Zoe Lyons, Gilded Balloon

Zoe Lyons is one of the comedy circuit’s most reliable stand-ups, loved by both fans and fellow professionals. In fact last year her peers voted her Comedian's Comedian. So there is never any doubt that the eminently skilful Brighton resident is going to be funny. But can she add that extra something to be a contender for a major award in Edinburgh, where the judges invariably look for that little sprinkling of conceptual fairy dust?

Edinburgh Fringe Review: Lou Sanders, Pleasance Dome

Lou Sanders has most definitely got something. She is one of the quirkiest comics on the circuit with a distinctive style all of her own. It would come as no surprise if I am not the first person to call her Loopy Lou.

Edinburgh Fringe Review: Tony Cowards, Just The Tonic at The Mash House

The rise of the pun comedian has been one of the interesting developments in stand-up in recent years. Tim Vine no longer has the field to himself, there is even a UK Pun Championship to find the country’s best wordplay wizard.

But they all - even Vine - suffer from the same issue. How do you turn an art form that is best suited to lollipop sticks and Twitter into a one hour show? Even Tim Vine warns his audience five minutes in that there is another 55 minutes of the same thing coming up.

Edinburgh Fringe Review: Michelle Wolf, Pleasance Courtyard

American comedian Michelle Wolf is clearly a rising star. She has recently become a correspondent on The Daily Show and her Edinburgh Fringe debut marks her out as very talented both as a writer and a performer.

Edinburgh Fringe Review: Lewis Schaffer, Just The Tonic at Community Project


Before the Fringe started I wrote a preview of Lewis Schaffer and said something like “the good gigs are worth seeing, the bad gigs are utterly, uniquely compelling.” This was one of the good ones. Drop that dead donkey, for Edinburgh 2015 the Nunhead-based New Yorker has actually written a genuinely interesting show.

Edinburgh Fringe Review: Cheaper Than Therapy, Heroes @ Bob's BlundaBus

It’s clear from this year’s doorstep Fringe booklet that mental illness is going to be one of the recurrent themes of the Edinburgh Festival. Bryony Kimmings, who gave this year’s Welcome Address to the Fringe, is doing a show with her partner about his depression and I’ve heard great things, if that’s the right phrase, about the play Every Brilliant Thing, which covers loosely similar terrain.


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