Edinburgh Fringe 2019: The Best Free & PWYW Shows
The best free and pay-what-you-want shows at this year's Edinburgh Fringe, according to our comedy and theatre teams
It's a curious irony that as many costs associated with the Fringe – from accommodation for performers to grabbing a pint – have soared, the quality of free and near-free shows has never been better. The PBH Free Fringe, Laughing Horse's Free Festival, and pay-what-you-want shows promoted by the likes of Bob Slayer's Heroes and Monkey Barrel mean that a Fringe on a budget can offer a brilliant range of shows to experience.
This page will host a collection of the best free and PWYW shows at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe, as reviewed by our team of Fringe reviewers. We'll be updating this page throughout the Fringe; as things are just getting underway, get into the festival spirit with our local comics' roundtable on surviving the Edinburgh Fringe.
A wonderful mix of sketch, gags, clowning and downright silliness sees all possibilities for leg-related content explored. Just the Tonic @ The Caves (Just Up the Stairs), until 25 Aug, 9.05pm, £5-8/PWYW
Another hour of dystopian fun and games from Amy Gledhill and Chris Cantrill. Monkey Barrel Comedy (Monkey Barrel 2), until 25 Aug, 12pm, £8/PWYW. Extra Show: 25 Aug, Monkey Barrel Comedy (Monkey Barrel 1), 1.40pm, £8/PWYW
Better Dead Than A Coward is another imaginative hour from Australian stand-up Laura Davis. Heroes @ Blundabus (Top Deck), until 25 Aug, 9.10pm, £5/PWYW
Double Edinburgh Comedy Award winner John Kearns returns to the Fringe with a masterclass in absurdity. Monkey Barrel Comedy (Monkey Barrel 3), until 24 Aug, 4.45pm, £9/PWYW
Despite being, by his own admission, a hodge-podge of ideas, Withnail still manages to put together a coherent piece about belonging, culture and hatred. Monkey Barrel (Monkey Barrel 2), until 25 Aug, 6.40pm, £5/PWYW
Subversive So You Think You're Funny finalist Ruth Hunter presents an excellent debut hour. PBH's Free Fringe @ Subway (Main Room), until 24 Aug, 3.45pm, Free/PWYW
Are you looking for unadulterated and complete delight? Then come and get nupty with sketch duo Róisín and Chiara. Heroes @ The Hive (Big Cave), until 25 Aug (not 20), 6.20pm, £5-£8/PWYW
Uncomfortable but absorbing viewing, Baubo Goddess of Filth is a wilfully ugly clowning confession. Heroes @ Black Medicine (Basement), until 25 Aug, 10.45pm, £5/PWYW
A rousing call to arms for working class comics. Just the Tonic @ The Mash House (Just the Bottle Room), until 25 Aug, 7.30pm, £5/PWYW
Ryan Lane's well-observed characters and clever writing make for an inventive retelling of life in small town Wales. Heroes @ Dragonfly, until 25 Aug, 4.40pm, £5/PWYW
An urgent and hilarious hour tackling the climate crisis from Sam Haygarth. Just the Tonic @ The Mash House (Just the Attic), until 25 Aug, 6.35pm, Free/PWYW
Neal Portenza is Australasia’s most successful bilge pump salesman Joshua Ladgrove in this cult classic in the making. Heroes @ Boteco (Basement), until 25 Aug, 6.40pm, £5-£7/PWYW
A fantastic and inventive performer, Marr is a free-flowing ideas machine – original, innovative and above all hilarious. Monkey Barrel (Monkey Barrel 4), until 25 Aug (not 12), 7.30pm, £8-10/PWYW
Stuart McPherson impresses with his debut hour of millenial woe. Monkey Barrel (Monkey Barrel 5), until 25 Aug (not 13), 1.55pm, £5 /PWYW
A secret Nazi plot, a hodgepodge task force and a guy who really loves his mop... Crybabies' debut hour Danger Brigade is a surreal sketch tour-de-nonsense. Heroes @ Boteco (Basement), until 25 Aug (not 14), 4pm, £5/PWYW
Foxdog Studios' new show Tomorrow's Office is a madcap hour of interactive comedy that the whole audience will want to join in with. Heroes @ The Hive (Big Cave), until 25 Aug, 5pm, £5/PWYW
An accomplished hour of stand-up from Fern Brady, a performer who has earned her stripes. Monkey Barrel (Monkey Barrel 1), until 25 (not 12), 6pm, £7/PWYW
Jessica Fostekew delivers a hilarious tornado of rage on gender roles and society. Monkey Barrel Comedy (Monkey Barrel 4), Until 25 Aug (not 12), 1.30pm, £5/PWYW
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