Free doesn’t necessarily mean shite you know. I mean, sometimes it does, but that goes for paid shows as well. So here are 20 to look out for – yes, aside from London is Funny Presents (2.10pm, Ciao Roma, 64 South Bridge, headliners inc. Cardinal Burns, Phil Nichol, Hal Cruttenden!)
Nick Doody – Look At This Massive Picture Of My Face (left)
Brilliant current affairs stand-up. Aug 4-26, 8.25pm. PBH Free Fringe.
Ivo Graham and Liam Williams
Two excellent new-ish stand-ups. Aug 2-26, noon. Laughing Horse Free Festival.
Luisa Omielan – What Would Beyoncé Do?
Charismatic stand-up finds inspiration from Beyoncé in her every day life. Very funny show. Aug 2-26, 10.45pm. Laughing Horse Free Festival.
Adam Larter – Happy New Year
A man who clearly doesn’t give a fuck what people think of him. Includes fireworks, dancing and shed loads of DIY props. Aug 4-26, 1.15pm. Laughing Horse Free Festival.
Kieran Hodgson – Supervillain
One half of brilliant sketchy duo Kieran and the Joe (he’s the former). This character comedy hour shows off his considerable talents. Aug 4-25, 1.15pm, PBH Free Fringe.
Gemma Arrowsmith – Defender of Earth
Another highly talented character comic. Aug 4-25, 3pm, PBH Free Fringe.
Adam Belbin – One Half Of Next Year’s Show
Forty minutes with a superb, self-deprecating and slightly surreal comic. Aug 2-26, 4.20pm, Laughing Horse Free Festival.
Mark Cooper-Smith – Geography Teacher
One-third of WitTank and excellent stand-up in his own right. Aug 4-25, 2.40pm. PBH Free Fringe.
Robin Ince – various shows
The hardest-working man in showbiz is up at the Fringe for just two days (August 13-14), during which he will appear in approximately 5,000 shows. Catch him if you can. All PBH Free Fringe.
Zany prop-based comedy from a sweating Canadian. Aug 2-3, 5-16, 19-26, 7.15pm, Laughing Horse Free Festival.
Austentatious – An Improvised Jane Austen Novel (above)
The title says it all. Excellent improv meets period drama. Features Cariad Lloyd and Rachel Parris. Aug 2-13, 15-26. 1.30pm. Laughing Horse Free Festival.
Josie Long & Sam Schäfer’s Awkward Romance
“Tales of loves lost, loves won and loves made-up.” Get in there. Aug 13-17, 1.45pm, PBH Free Fringe.
Benjamin Crellin – Stands To Reason
Socially conscious and forthright Kiwi stand-up. Aug 4-25, 7.35pm. PBH Free Fringe.
Tom Webb’s MegaGames
Interactive show of board games where the audience are the games, as well as the participants (Human Hungry Hippos, Audience Guess Who etc). Aug 4-25, 5.30pm, PBH Free Fringe.
Susan Harrison – Folken Britain
Unacceptable pun in the title but this show will appeal to fans of slightly fantastical character comedy. Aug 4-25, 5.30pm, PBH Free Fringe.
Kunt and the Gang
Unashamedly low-brow musical comedy. Aug 2-26, 10.30pm. Laughing Horse Free Fringe.
Lewis Schaffer – No, You Shut Up!
Loveable loser bulldozes through boundaries for your pleasure/discomfort. An LiF favourite. August 2-26, 4.45pm & 8.15pm. Alternative Fringe.
Mark Stephenson – Someone, Somewhere
Ace deadpan stand-up who’s going places. Aug 4-25, 2.40pm. PBH Free Fringe.
Nick Sun – It’s Potty Time!
Unorthodox, cynical stand-up, only better than that sounds. Aug 2-26, 7.45pm. Alternative Fringe.
Also look out for Michelle De Swarte/Bobby Mair for precocious stand-up, James Redmond and Ellie Taylor for finely honed and unnecessarily good-looking stand-up, Chris Dangerfield for decadent/charismatic stand-up, Ian Smith and Tom Toal for cheeky stand-up, Ivor Dembina for Jewish stand-up and Matt Highton for surreal stand-up.