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Discover Laughter: 20 Must-Watch Comedy Shows

Discover Laughter: 20 Must-Watch Comedy Shows

Olga Koch made a significant impact at Fringe 2023 with her show, Prawn Cocktail, which combined sassy tales of a transnational hookup with a thoughtful critique of soul-baring comedy. Now, at 31, she delves into even more complex autobiographical content in her new show, focusing on wealth and relatability.

Monkey Barrel, 29 July-25 August

Emma Sidi, known for her roles in Starstruck and as a future contestant on Taskmaster series 18, originally honed her skills as a character comic at the Edinburgh fringe. She returns with a compelling new performance, emerging in disguise as Sue Gray, the grand inquisitor of Partygate turned power behind Keir Starmer’s throne.

Pleasance Courtyard, 31 July-25 August

Every fringe needs a seasoned performer testing the waters, and this year, Bobby Davro fits the bill. Known for his work in variety and as an ex-EastEnder, Davro is back after suffering a stroke onstage just six months ago. His return prompts the question: Can his material resonate at the fringe?

Frankenstein Pub, 2-25 August

Rose Matafeo returns to the fringe with her show, On and On and On, marking her first full solo act since winning the comedy award in 2018 with Horndog. After a successful run with her BBC romcom Starstruck, this show promises to be a highly sought-after event.

Pleasance Courtyard, 9-25 August

Demi Adejuyigbe aims to captivate the audience with a show that blends original comedic songs, presentations, and a single backflip. Known for his work on James Corden’s CBS show, Adejuyigbe is poised to be one of the standout US arrivals at the fringe this year.

Pleasance Courtyard, 31 July-25 August

Mhairi Black, the outgoing SNP MP once known as the youngest MP elected since the 1832 Reform Act, is converting her experience into comedy. Her debut fringe hour promises “brutal honesty” reflecting on her over 10 years in the House of Commons.

Gilded Balloon at the Museum, 31 July-25 August

Kemah Bob, a UK-based Texan, makes her Edinburgh debut with Miss Fortunate, a show about her bipolar disorder. Bob has already made her mark with the club night FOC It Up and TV appearances on House of Games.

Pleasance Courtyard, 31 July-25 August

Dan Tiernan set high expectations with his show Going Under, which touched on personal themes such as being gay but straight-seeming and dealing with dyspraxia. His debut earned him a best newcomer nomination, raising the bar for his follow-up performance.

Monkey Barrel 1, 29 July-25 August

The comedy trio Sheeps, featuring Ladhood creator Liam Williams, Stath Lets Flats star Al Roberts, and writer Daran Johnson, return to the fringe with a new set of sketches. Known for their tricky and silly performances, this trio promises to entertain.

Pleasance Courtyard, 31 July-25 August

Flo & Joan diverge from their usual cabaret style to present a one-man musical about a renowned gentleman. Known for their singing and comedic performances, this pivot to musical theatre adds a fresh layer to their act.

Pleasance Dome, 31 July-25 August

John Tothill made a unique debut last year with a faux sermon on hedonism. The teacher-turned-standup now returns with a performance that seems to revolve around biblical plagues, promising more of his distinctive style.

Pleasance Courtyard, 31 July-25 August

Jessie Cave, who transitioned from the Harry Potter movies to creating bestselling novels and comedy shows, returns to the fringe. Her new show continues her trend of introspective, emotionally intelligent performances.

Assembly Roxy, 31 July-25 August

It’s been seven years since Trygve Wakenshaw last graced the fringe. Known for his lanky, whimsical performances that follow surprising directions, Wakenshaw is back, ready to reclaim his position as a standout silent comic artist.

Assembly Roxy, 31 July-25 August

New York cabaret star Salty Brine impressed with his London debut, blending autobiography with classic albums. This year, he twists Annie Lennox’s work into a show about strong, defiant women and the little gay boy who admires them.

Assembly Checkpoint, 31 July-25 August

Known for his experimental approach to standup, Jordan Brookes returns with a new set about the Titanic and the theme of mining content from disasters. Expect a blend of humor and introspection from this innovative performer.

Pleasance Dome, 31 July-25 August

Hannah Gadsby is back, having previously made waves with Nanette. Her new set promises to be a looser and cheerier exploration of life as a successful standup comedian.

Underbelly Bristo Square, 18-25 August

Natalie Palamides, known for pushing boundaries with her previous works like Nate, returns with a romantic dramedy set in the 90s. Palamides portrays both lovers, ensuring an engaging and dynamic performance.

Traverse Theatre, 5-25 August

Urooj Ashfaq follows up her award-winning debut with a work-in-progress performance. Known for her bubbly and deceptively charming act, this new show will likely continue her trajectory in honing her unique comedic voice.

Assembly Roxy, 16-25 August

Takashi Wakasugi brings his cross-cultural comedy to the fringe. Nominated for the Melbourne comedy festival’s award, Wakasugi’s standup, with its faux arrogance and kookiness, aims to captivate UK audiences.

Assembly George Square, 31 July-25 August

Adam Riches, renowned for his outrageous character shows and interactive performances, returns with a unique piece that recreates 1980s tennis ace Jimmy Connors’ epic final hurrah. This is a must-see for fans of unconventional performances.

Summerhall, 1-26 August

Source: Fringe Festivals, Edinburgh Comedy, Entertainment Reviews