Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Highlights

The Fringe is back! Trust us, here's the comedy shows you need to go see at the 2021 Edinburgh Fringe

Article by Polly Glynn | 03 Aug 2021
  • Nish Kumar

The Edinburgh Fringe is rolling back into town. Although it won’t be the same merry chaos at the same scale as previous years, we’re very pleased that we’ll get to sit in the dark and chuckle with some strangers as the inevitable consequences of the night before catch up with us. Here are our top comedy recs for the festival.

As always, the Big 4 (Pleasance, Underbelly, Assembly and Gilded Balloon) have a selection of comedy treats. First up, Spontaneous Potter. Look, we know old J.K.’s no longer flavour of the month, but the Spon Pot gang certainly are. Featuring the likes of Mara Joy, M.C. Hammersmith (aka Will Naameh) and the silliest of Snape impressions, indulge in a bit of charming improv with Spontaneous Potter (Gilded Balloon Teviot, Wine Bar, 22-29 Aug, 5pm).

We’d also suggest bagging a ticket to Paul Black’s Worst Case Scenario, the Glaswegian actor, comedian and social media star’s Fringe debut. After his sketch show Pity Party, first shown on BBC Scotland in 2019, was particularly well-received we’re very excited to see Black’s first stage sketch outing at Gilded’s inventive MultiStory venue (MultiStory Main Room, 18 & 19 Aug, 9pm).

However, Monkey Barrel Comedy has the lion’s share of stuff we’re desperate to see. It’s packed full of work-in-progress shows from big names like Ed Gamble (Monkey Barrel, 20-26 Aug, 5pm) and Nish Kumar (Monkey Barrel, 16-22 Aug, 7.15pm) alongside Fringe standouts like Josie Long (Monkey Barrel, 4-6, 23-29 Aug, 8.30pm) and Ahir Shah (Monkey Barrel, 10-15 Aug, 5pm). We also want to shout out local faves Krystal Evans and Amy Matthews sharing an hour (Monkey Barrel, 18-21 Aug, 7.45pm) as well as the most chaotic and pound-for-pound best value late-night show going, ACMS, or the Alternative Comedy Memorial Society to those not in the know (Monkey Barrel, 5 & 12 Aug, 10.15pm).

And although we’re relieved that live comedy is back in-person, there’s still a bunch of online shows we think you’ll like. Pick of the bunch comes from one half of Fringe 2019’s hidden-gem The Living Room. Clowning comic Gemma Soldati comes to the virtual festival with The Adventures of Sleepyhead, a dreamy comedy for all ages (Assembly Showcatcher, 6-30 Aug, £8).

Because of the panny-d, more show announcements will be coming thick and fast over the next wee while. Keep an eye on our socials for more top picks.