Edinburgh Fringe 2018: 10 comedy shows you must see

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There are 1,408 comedy shows alone being staged at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, far too many for one person to try to see. But these are the stand-out performers who had our critics rolling on the floor. Here’s our pick of this year’s must see comedy shows.

The Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue: Ham (*****)

Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)

“More than 20 years after first testing the pelvic floors of an audience past the point of no return, Raymond and Mr Timpkins have come to the Edinburgh Fringe. Their show is, as Freddie would sing, “a kind of magic,” as huge gulping belly laughs are created out of juxtaposing two cardboard letters, mucking about with just the words ME or IT written on a card, and endless, painfully silly, brilliantly misheard song lyrics.” KATE COPSTICK

Grant Busé: The Birds And The Beats (*****)

Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14)

“Educational, informative and entertaining, The Birds and the Beats is positively Reithian. Except the BBC’s first director general never did what Busé does with a microphone at the end of the show.” MARTIN GRAY

• READ MORE: Edinburgh Fringe 2018: Three of the best shows for children

Alistair Barrie: The InternationAL (*****)

Liquid Room Annexe/Warehouse (Venue 276)

“If you have been bored senseless listening to virtue-signalling streaks of woke, cooking up their next shot of outrage onstage, come and listen to a proper, professional comedy communicator and find out what you could have laughed at.” KATE COPSTICK

Nina Conti is Monkey (****)

Underbelly Bristo Square (Venue 302)

“Conti is a woman of, it seems, limitless imagination. She is, for the first half of this absolutely delightful show, entirely subsumed by Monkey. Once her plaything, then the vehicle for her naughty self, then her partner and now... Monkey has taken over.” KATE COPSTICK

Zoe Lyons: Entry Level Human (****)

Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14)

“If you think Zoe Lyons is hilarious behind a panel show desk, just wait till she gets on a live stage. Entry Level Human is a supremely classy piece of comedy writing and Zoe, unplugged as it were, has a charm and a command of a room that you do not get to appreciate on screen.” KATE COPSTICK

• READ MORE: Edinburgh Festival 2018: Best Fringe shows for Brexit satire

Hal Cruttenden: Chubster (****)

Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)

“Chubster is a great, cuddly, adorable, funbundle of a show. Cruttenden seems perennially, genuinely delighted to be on stage and words tumble out of him in great colourful, enthusiastic explosions.” KATE COPSTICK

Kieran Hodgson: ‘75 (****)

Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)

“How do you solve a problem like Brexit? And for dejected Remainers, how do you make it funny? Fortunately, Kieran Hodgson has achieved the near-impossible and made the common market hilarious.” JAY RICHARDSON

Lucy Frederick: Even More Naked (****)

Underbelly Bristo Square (Venue 302)

“In this hour to remember, Frederick pulls us through a comedy introduction to her experiences on How To Look Good Naked, her disastrous relationships and the hole in her heart created by the death of her mother. Sometimes the light and shade of the piece switch so fast it’s like a strobe effect. But go with it.” KATE COPSTICK

Adam Riches Is The Guy Who… (****)

Underbelly Cowgate (Venue 61)

Adam Riches Is Coach Coach 2: Coach Harder (****)

Pleasance Dome (Venue 23)

Adam Riches Is The Lone Dueller (****)

Pleasance Dome (Venue 23)

“His characters are all luxuriant in vocal tone and chestal hair, they swoop and stride, they are bold and they are dangerous. And ridiculously funny. In each of his three shows, there is a beautifully written core script.” KATE COPSTICK

• READ MORE: Edinburgh Fringe 2018: 18 must-see shows picked by The Scotsman’s critics

Jo Caulfield: Killing Time (****)

The Stand 3 and 4 (Venue 12)

“Caulfield is whip-smart, her stories as insightful as they are hilarious, her wicked barbs towards others balanced by a tendency to be as honest about her own failings. Of course, every comic is presenting a version of themselves, the one that will get the most laughs, but the on-stage Caulfield always rings true.” MARTIN GRAY