I just got back from the Fringe and oh. my. god. So last year I went to Edinburgh Fringe Festival for the first time ever and had such an incredible time that I knew I had to go back again next year. As I write this I am on day one of my post-Edinburgh detox. I have spent the last week drinking every day and even though I felt fine I know it is probably very bad for my body.
If you are unaware of what the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is, it is a month long arts festival. Every theatre, pub, school, church turns into a venue for showcasing comedy and theatre. But mostly comedy. There is a lot of comedy.
I was there for a week just as a fan of comedy and watched on average 4 shows a day. It’s exhausting. I have no idea how the people who are actually performing every day for a whole month do it!
Here are some of my highlights:
My first night in Edinburgh got kicked off with a bang! The Wrestling is a one-off, once every two years event where pro wrestlers and comedians FIGHT. Created by comedy duo Max & Ivan (Max used to be a professional wrestler), the event is absolutely hilarious with commentary and some pretty amazing take downs and falls. Also Milton Jones & Katherine Ryan were there! What?! Great start to Edinburgh.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Family
This is my friend Ben Norris‘ show. Totally not biased. It’s about his relationship with his dad and how last summer he hitchhiked around the UK to all the different places he dad lived to try and better understand him. It’s poetic and funny and beautifully performed. Well done, Ben! So proud of you!
This one woman show by Rachael Ofori was so moving. She plays several different characters each taking a unique view of what it’s like to be a young black woman. Very funny and very real.
In Cahoots is made of up Luke & Paul and they are a sketch comedy duo. Okay, they are also friends of mine but they are so so so funny! Their sketches are so slick and well rehearsed, clever writing and they are both amazing performers. They like to play around a lot with subverting your expectations and the finale may be my favourite finale to a sketch show I’ve ever seen.
Mae is a Canadian comedian who I first discovered when she was a guest on Russell Howard’s Good News and she was doing the Free Fringe! Whoop! Mae was definitely my favourite stand up I saw this week and it was especially enjoyable because she spoke a lot about her parents and I was sitting there in the audience with my parents! Her set is a lot about sexual fluidity and I just think her politics is so on point. Would recommend!
Another sketch comedy group but this time women! Yay! Fran, Cat and Perdita are a force to be reckoned with. Their show was less of a show and more of a party with glow sticks, fake semen, songs about dick pics and George Osborne and One Direction fan fiction. It was 5pm when we came out of that show but it just put me in the mood to go out dancing!
If you are still in Edinburgh for the last week of the Fringe I would highly recommend you seeing any of these shows. If not, follow them on Twitter because no doubt some of them will tour! My final thoughts when leaving Edinburgh was would I ever do a show myself? It looks like ridiculous hard work but so much fun. Maybe that’ll be my next project. Actually figure out if I’m funny enough for the Fringe. Thanks for an incredible and inspiring week Edinburgh!
Let me know in the comments some of your favourite shows you saw or your favourite comedians in general!