Bloody expensive innit, going to the Fringe.
So EiF thought it would provide some “Fringe on a shoestring” suggestions, so you can spend a day seeing top-quality comedy, without spending a fortune.
£25 really won’t get you very far if you’re after paid shows, because so many shows cost £10 or even £15. You’re looking at one or two of those a day, plus some of the free offerings. Even then, free shows will encourage you to make a donation at the end of a show (as beautifully summarised by old-school Jewish stand-up Ivor Dembina, “free to get in, pay to get out”). There’s no obligation of course, but if you enjoyed the show then it’s only right, no? So for the purposes of this exercise, I’ve taken a “free” show to be £2-£3 thrown in the bucket in the end.
Anyway, take a look at these:
Ivo Graham and Liam Williams –Two fine young stand-ups do the early shift at Captain Taylor’s Coffee House. You may know Liam Williams from sketch group Sheeps. Free.
David Mills is Smart Casual (left) – Dapper refugee from the cabaret circuit performs his debut solo stand-up show. Free.
Catriona Knox – Hellcat – Quality character comedy from one-third of the Boom Jennies. £10.
Benjamin Crellin – Stands To Reason – Intense and politicised stand-up from Kiwi Crellin. Free.
Heroes of the Alternative Fringe – Promises “genuine alternative comedy legend and Fringe freaks”. Includes Phil Kay’s only hour-long Fringe shows this year, from August 9-12. £5.
Luisa Omielan – What Would Beyoncé Do? – Very funny show from this charismatic debutant.
Kieran Hodgson – Supervillain – Highly talented character comic and “Kieran” from Kieran and the Joe. Look out for a wonderful Morrissey piss-take. Free.
Gemma Arrowsmith – Defender of the Earth (above) – Another character comic, this one with more experience and a CBBC Bafta-winning role under her belt. Free.
Holly Burn – the H Club – A dash of charming Geordie absurdism with your afternoon tea? £8.
Nick Doody – Look At This Massive Picture Of My Face – Topical excellence from an incisive stand-up and one-time Bill Hicks support. Free.
Set List – Improvised stand-up show with big name line-ups. Previous Set Listers have included Dara O’Briain, Tim Minchin, Rich Hall, the Pajama Men and Phill Jupitus. £11.
Silky – Nut Allegory – Liverpudlian stand-up and musical comic (with unfeasibly good guitar technique) has his debut Edinburgh show after 18 years on the circuit. £8.
Fat Kitten Improv – Popular improv troupe on the London circuit, who have two shows – a comedy speed dating show, and a “smackdown” with rival improv clans. Free.
Wes Zaharuk – Perfectly Bananas – A sweating Canadian with a shit load of props. Free.
Sarah Kendall – Get Up, Stand Up – Top Aussie stand-up (and EiF blogger) returns to the Fringe after five years away. £10.
Thom Tuck – Straight To DVD (above) – Another chance to catch one of last year’s Best Newcomer nominees about the joy and absurdity of Disney straight-to-DVD films. Free.