This has been a thoroughly enjoyable Edinburgh Fringe once again. We’ve seen a lot of great shows. There are plenty more we’d have loved to have seen but didn’t manage to. With 3,000+ shows on it would take all year to see them all, never mind the 10 days we had to see as many shows as possible.
So here’s our list based on shows we’ve seen. We would love to read your thoughts on them and know if you agree or disagree with the list and which shows you would recommend.
Our reviews of most of these shows can be viewed here
- It’s Great to be here – Rory O’Hanlon *****
Tears of laughter “gag every 30 seconds” hilarity from Rory O’Hanlon. The Irishman’s follow up to 2014’s ‘It’s great to be here’ is playing to packed houses every night at Cabaret Voltaire. It’s no wonder. He deserves to be playing in a much larger venue.
Cabaret Voltaire. Blair Street. 18.20pm Daily. Free entry as part of PBH Fringe.
- Stephen K Amos Talk Show *****
An extremely funny show thanks especially to Stephen K Amos and the great interaction between him and his funny guests Hardeep Singh Kohli and Australian Rhys Nicholson. The guests of course are different each day and its well worth going along if you can. I’m confident you will be thoroughly entertained
Gilded Balloon. £12. 15:40pm Not every day.
- The Double life of Malcolm Drinkwater ***** Play, comedy
The story revolved around Malcolm Drinkwater (Patrick Monahan) a hitman leading a double life. What was just as interesting, if not more so, was the stories of the three other characters who also lead double lives that weren’t quite what they seemed. Lively, funny and very well acted. Also stars Gary Colman, a very busy man, appearing in ‘Jo Romero – Scenes of a sensual nature’ (see below) and other shows at the Fringe.
The Counting House (Venue 170) 13:30pm Daily. £Free. (Pay what you think the show is worth). Part of the Laughing Horse Comedy Fringe.
- Stephen K Amos: Work in Progress *****
Superb, peerless hour of comedy from a master joke teller. Stephen K Amos is brilliant at getting the best out of his audience too. Even in a work in progress show the complete mastery of his craft is evident throughout.
21:10pm at The Stand 3&4. £12.
- Reginald D Hunter: Bitchproof ****
Returning to play the biggest venue of the Fringe, The Pleasance Grand, Reginald D Hunter showed exactly why he has earned the right to be playing this huge venue.
A fantastic, personal, funny and hard hitting show from the American comedy superstar. Strays near the knuckle as is his won’t. A white knuckle ride you’ll thoroughly enjoy. Not for the feint hearted.
- The man Called Monkhouse **** Play, comedy
Wonderfully told one man play regarding the theft of Bob Monkhouse’s (Simon Cartwright) joke books. Good insight into attempts to recover it and its impact upon the late comedy legend Bob Monkhouse. Full of great one liners from the comedian and nice line’s from the policeman on the case too. Watching this I could see a lot of Bob Monkhouse in Jimmy Carr. No not that, but the witty and pithy play on words which became the trademark of both comedians.
15.15pm (70mins) Assembly on the Mound. £14.
- Marriage **** Play
The Gogol play ‘Marriage’ is an enjoyable period drama-comedy looking at the attempts to marry of a rich, bachelor set in his ways. Two characters compete to get him married off. Who will succeed in getting their man down the aisle first? Or will neither win out?
There’s good humour throughout via all manner of interesting and boring (but un-intentionally funny) characters including the much put upon, but stoically reliable butler Stephen, who also appears to go by another name!
Assembly, George Square Studios 2 (Venue 17), £12-13. 2pm daily (70m)
This was a terrific, very funny and varied show covering many subjects including racial politics, racism, dating, relationships and sex.
Michael Che is a very likeable, quick witted, funny guy who had a lot to say about all manner of things. His audience interaction (even the unwanted interventions from the front row!) was brilliant. He fully lived up to the high expectations one had based on his resume including being a writer of the Tonight Show and the Jon Stewart Daily Show.
The Stand 3&4 28 York Place Edinburgh Daily 19:40 (60 minutes) £12.
- Mel Moon: Sick Girl ****
Mel Moon ‘Sick Girl’ is primarily about Mel Moon’s battle to stay alive. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more serious, yet still funny show, in all the 3,000+ shows at the Fringe this year.
This is less sombre lecture, more a cheerily upbeat story about the wonder of being alive and not taking the precious gift of life for granted. Seriously good fun.
Laughing Horse at Counting House (Venue 170) 38 West Nicholson Street Edinburgh Scotland 8th – 31st August 2015 12.05pm Daily (55 minutes) £Free i.e. pay what you think the show is worth.
- Andrew Lawrence: Uncensored ****
Different. To say the least. Very funny stand up from Mr Angry, Andrew Lawrence, who has a lot to get off his chest re the left wing dominated comedy scene, political correctness and gender politics. There are quite a few acerbic pot shots taken at his comedy peers.
Makes for a vital, very raw and above all extremely funny show. Glad to see someone taking a brave stand for what they believe, regardless of whether or not it flows in the direction of so called popular opinion.
Assembly Roxy. 20:10p.m. £10.
Highly Recommended – non comedy and theatre
- Royal Botanic Gardens *****
Nothing to do with comedy or theatre, but the Royal Botanic Garden is an awesome place to go to have a break from being entertained and flyered at. Beautiful and varied exotic plants, gardens and museum (not so good) too. Simply divine. There are a couple of Cafe’s on site too.
Daily 10am-5pm. £Free entry except to Glass house. Arboretum Place, Edinburgh EH3 5NZ.
- The Jollof Hub ****
Brand new Gambian restaurant Jollof Hub in the centre of Edinburgh. The meals and drinks were delicious and had a pleasant flavour unlike anything we’ve eaten or drunk before. Mind you the sauce was a bit too hot for my liking – my fault for pouring it on to liberally before tasting a little bit first!
Chapel Street (leading into Potterow) Edinburgh EH8 9AY Scotland Opening Hours: 10a.m. – 10p.m. A meal, dessert and drink can be enjoyed for under £10.
12 more hotly recommended cabaret, comedy shows and plays
The below are all stand-up comedy shows unless specified otherwise. We have reviewed 5 of them.
- A Storm in a D Cup Amelia Ryan – Cabaret ***
- Ahir Shar – Excellent show from newcomer from London. It’s about cigarettes, vegetarianism, extremism, disengagement, depression, environmentalism, walking and much more.
- Can’t Care, Won’t Care – Sophia Walker – Play, Spoken word ***
- Hardeep Singh Kohli: Big Mouth Strikes Again
- Human Ear – Play ***
- Jo Romero Scenes of a Sensual Nature – Play, Comedy
- Joke Thieves
- Joy Carter: Aspects of Joy
- Kate Smurthwaite: Wrong kind of feminist ***, Comedy Manifesto & Late with Kate
- Kevin J: Council State of Mind ***
- Minority Report featuring Athena Kugblenu, Judi Thomas and Nico Yearwood
- Rhys Nicholson
© Tiemo Talk of the Town
If you attended any of these shows and agree or disagree with our listing and/or would have recommended other shows we’d love to read your views. Feel free to post them directly on our blog.