As always, there is a veritable glut of comedy shows at this year’s Fringe and while it would be categorically impossible to attend them all during our relatively-brief festival, there are a number of big names which it would be a huge shame to miss. Here are our top picks among the big-names at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe.
It just wouldn’t be the Edinburgh Fringe without an appearance from seminal British comic Phill Jupitus. One of the country’s top comedians, Phill is a self-proclaimed lover of the Scottish capital and returns this year for a string performance at the legendary Stand Comedy Club on York Place. Please note that Phill Jupitus is performing five separate shows at this year’s Fringe. Full details on edfringe.com.
The Stand Comedy Club 3 & 4 (Venue 12)
There was a time when it looked as if the Godfather of alternative comedy had packed it all in, but, this being Sayle’s second appearance at the Fringe in 4 years, that thankfully doesn’t seem to be the case. A string of recent high scoring reviews suggests Alexei Sayle is far from finished yet.
Underbelly Med Quad (Venue 302)
Janey Godley’s Podcast Live at the Fringe While Janey Godley has made quite a name for herself as a first-rate Donald Trump annoyer, that’s not all she’s got in her canon. She’s also a first-rate stand-up writer and comedian and the Glasgow native is rapidly building up a devoted following, both on social media and the real world. New Town Theatre (Venue 7) Aug 12
Craig Ferguson is back at the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time in more than two decades to perform a live radio broadcast based on his hit late night US TV show, which came to an end in 2014. For two weeks the live show will be beamed to the US on Sirius XM and will include calls from American listeners. Prepare for a show like no other.
Gilded Balloon at Rose Theatre (Venue 76)
Frankie heads back north of the border to air his new show Prometheus Volume I, the first of eight instalments. Fresh from his successful New World Order series on the BBC, it’s great to see the Glaswegian hasn’t turned his back on traditional stand-up. Fans of the highly divisive comedian can expect the usual dark and edgy material. You might want to leave granny at home for this one.
Venue 150 at EICC (Venue 150)
Regular viewers of Frankie Boyle’s New World Order and ‘Autopsy’ political satire specials on the BBC will have seen a lot of Sara Pascoe in recent years. Indeed, Sara is no stranger to TV work, but, first and foremost, she has been one of the best stand-up comedians in the business since she started up in 2007.
Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)
BAFTA winner Hardeep Singh Kohli’s trademark dry wit and politically-charged material are back at the Fringe once more. Hardeep’s new show Alternative Fact promises to split many a side while genuinely offering something a little different.
Assembly George Square Studios (Venue 17)
Jerry Sadowitz: Comedian, Magician, Psychopath! Jerry’s no holds barred brand of black comedy isn’t for everyone, but for those who are hard to offend, this might just be the show for you. He once described Bernard Manning as the ‘good cop to my bad’, but the American-born Scottish comedian has been going for years, so he must be doing something right.
Assembly Rooms (Venue 20)
One of the wittiest and most intelligent comics going, Jo Caulfield is no novice to the Edinburgh Fringe, having appeared a number of times over the years. The Welsh-born writer and comedian has made a name for herself nationwide on hit shows such as Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Mock The Week. Her live shows are energetic, full of surprises and well worth heading along to witness for yourself.
The Stand Comedy Club (Venue 319)
Limmy: That’s Your Lot – The Book Tour How to describe Limmy? The Glaswegian admits himself that he made it awfully late in the day, but over the past 6 or 7 years he has risen to become one of the most popular comedians to have ever emerged from Scotland. While his rather unique material has always divided opinion, Limmy’s genius cannot be called into question. This year’s Fringe sees Limmy roll out his new book: That’s Your Lot, which promises to be even dafter and darker than ever before. This show includes an audience Q&A and book signing.
New Town Theatre (Venue 7)
Lucy is another Fringe veteran whose stand-up routine is among the best in the United Kingdom. The Croydon-born actress, writer and comedian has been a TV and radio regular for many years. Her hilarious new show Choose Your Battles promises to pack a punch.
Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)
Before he emerged victorious from America’s Got Talent and racked up 22 million views on his YouTube channel, ventriloquist Paul Zerdin was already well-known in the United Kingdom. Fresh from his headline shows in Las Vegas, Paul will perform three shows at this year’s Fringe – make sure you get along to see at least one of them!
Assembly Hall (Venue 35)
Illinois-born adopted Brit Ruby Wax boasts enough stage presence and energy to enthral the Usher Hall. Since she finsihed her music and drama studies at the Royal Scottish Academy back in the 1970s, the 64-year-old has turned her hand to a bit of everything. Her new show, A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled, comes highly-recommended.
Underbelly George Square (Venue 300)
When Al Murray first debuted his now legendary Pub Landlord character at the 1994 Edinburgh Fringe, few could have imagined that we’d be welcoming the Buckinghamshire comic back to pour another pint all these years later. Murray’s return is a testament to his enduring popularity and consistency. With the comedian still only 49, we expect it’ll be quite some time before we hear the bell rings for last orders.
Assembly George Square Gardens (Venue 3)