Top 40 Edinburgh Fringe tips – part I

It’s the one they all want! No Edinburgh Fringe poster is complete without a mention of this dizzyingly important rundown

Read the top 40 Fringe tips part II

Mainline the anarchic origins of the Edinburgh Festival with this throwback cabaret show on the Free Fringe. Aug 22-26, 9pm, the Hive.

• Abandoman (left) – Party In the Key Of C Major
The return of party-starting improv hip-hop duo. Aug 2-27, 9.45pm, Pleasance Dome.

• Adam Hills – Mess Around
Cheery Aussie comic reprises his thrilling and remarkably consistent show that is entirely improvised every day. Aug 2-19, various times, Assembly Hall.

• Adam Larter – Happy New Year
Who said the fabled ‘spirit of the Fringe’ is dead? Here’s a refreshing, silly, heavily heavily propped show that is a joy. Aug 4-26, 1.15pm, Captain Taylor’s Coffee House.
• Andrew Maxwell – That’s the Spirit
Feisty topical comedy from the resurgent and brilliant Maxwell. Aug 2-27, 9.05pm, Assembly George Square

• A Barry Ferns/Lionel Richie production
Ferns (who changed his name to Richie) may not be the next Izzard/Pryor/Kitson, but his originality and enthusiasm for adventure breaths life into the Fringe. Check out his audio tour and Arthur’s Seat gala show in particular. Various times/venues.

• Discover Ben Target
Deadpan absurdist moves through the gears. Aug 3-26, 4.55pm, Underbelly.

• Billy the Mime
A fine comic over from the US, this is mime with a satirical, dark underbelly and the lad’s a brilliant performer. Aug 3-26, 6.15pm, Just the Tonic Caves.

• The Boy With Tape On His Face
More mime! Isn’t it so very now. This time with a cabaret edge, audience participation (don’t panic!) and a big venue. Heartily recommended. Aug 2-26, 9.40pm, Pleasance Courtyard.

• Cardinal Burns
Brilliant sketch duo that has a limited run so don’t miss out. Aug 20-25, 8.20pm, Pleasance Dome

A bearded giant of modern comedy. Advanced booking is sold out but 12 tickets are being released each day at 11.45pm for that night’s show (be prepared to queue for them). Aug 5-26, 11.59pm, the Stand.

• David Trent – Spontaneous Comedian
Multimedia mentalist performs his boisterous debut show. Aug 2-27, 10.45pm, Pleasance Courtyard.

• Dr Brown – Befrdfgth 
Room-dividing LA absurdist who is playful and provocative and may get his balls out. Aug 2-26, 9.05pm, Underbelly

• The Imaginary Radio Programme: Drennon Davis
MTV-bound US comedian armed with vocal dexterity and bundles of charm. Other visiting US comics to look out for are goofing oddball Will Franken and gravelly hedonist Rick ShapiroAug 2-26, 10.30pm, Assembly Roxy.
• Edinborolympics
David O’Doherty, Adam Hills and Mark Watson lark about and compete in silly events. May be wacky. Various dates, 11pm, Pleasance Courtyard.
• Elis James – Speaking As A Mother
Roguish Welsh stand-up who keeps getting better. Aug 3-27, 7pm, Pleasance Courtyard.
• Hal Cruttenden – Tough Luvvie (above)
One of the most respected comics in the country who’s likely to prove he’s also one of the best. Aug 2-26, 9.45pm, Pleasance Courtyard.
• Ian D Montfort – Unbelievable
Brilliant and genuinely uncanny piss-take of Derek Acorah et al, from the man behind silly hospital radio DJ Ivan Brackenbury. Aug 3-27, 6.35pm, Pleasance Courtyard.
• James Acaster – Prompt
Daft and beautifully executed stand-up, also probably the nicest man in comedy. *Aug 3-26, 8.15pm, Pleasance Courtyard.
• Josh Widdicombe – The Further Adventures Of
One of our finest observational comics follows up his fantastic debut last year.Aug 3-26, 7pm, Pleasance Courtyard.
Part II will follow on Saturday August 4 …

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