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

Feature by The Skinny | 01 Aug 2019
  • Free Fringe Comedy

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.

Legs @ Just the Tonic, The Caves

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

The Delightful Sausage @ Monkey Barrel

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

Laura Davis @ Heroes, Blundabus

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

John Kearns @ Monkey Barrel

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

Liam Withnail @ Monkey Barrel

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

Ruth Hunter @ PBH, Subway

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

Róisín and Chiara @ Heroes, Hive

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

Serena Flynn @ Heroes, Black Medicine

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

Tom Mayhew @ Just the Tonic, Mash House

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 @ Heroes, Dragonfly

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

Sam Haygarth @ Just the Tonic, Mash House

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 @ Heroes, Boteco

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

Zoë Coombs Marr @ Monkey Barrel

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 @ Monkey Barrel

Stuart McPherson impresses with his debut hour of millenial woe. Monkey Barrel (Monkey Barrel 5), until 25 Aug (not 13), 1.55pm, £5 /PWYW 

Crybabies @ Heroes, Boteco

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 @ Heroes, The Hive

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

Fern Brady @ Monkey Barrel

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 @ Monkey Barrel

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

To keep up with our review team's verdicts on this year's Edinburgh Fringe, follow The Skinny on Twitter, and sign up for our Zap! newsletter to get the best of the Fringe (and all the other great stuff going on across Scotland) direct to your inbox.