Ah, Edinburgh. Where you’re bombarded with more flyers than you could ever read and there are up to 300 shows on at any given time. The daily programme reads more like the Sky TV guide. That is, if everything was worth watching and the actors were personally begging you to choose them.
When there’s so much going on you must choose carefully. It’s heart-breaking to waste a precious hour on the Edinburgh equivalent of the shopping channels.
So, if you’re struggling to draw up a schedule, here are seven shows that you’re unlikely to regret…
The Ruby Darlings Show
These gals voice all the ups and downs of womanhood with original songs and sweet melodies, with a full five-piece band to back them up. The show is as crass and raucous as it is hysterical, reclaiming those ‘unladylike’ subjects like poo, masturbation and ‘gifts’ from ex-boyfriends. It’s refreshing, it’s liberating, and you will definitely leave singing.
Free show, 10.50pm at Voodoo Rooms until 24th Aug (not Tuesdays), p.17 in Fringe guide.
Click ‘NEXT’ to have a chat with Shakespeare’s ghost…
Ian D Montfort’s Midday Séance
In this spoof séance Ian D Montfort conjures the spirits of William Shakespeare and the audience’s deceased pets, with varying success. Sometimes skilful, but mainly silly, the show mocks the ‘art’ of the séance, while using the tricks of the trade to bamboozle a crowd of sceptics. OK it’s not particularly believable wizardry, but it is very funny – and there are still a few mysteries that leave you scratching your head.
£5, midday at Heroes @ Bob & Miss Behave’s Bookshop until 25th Aug, p.98 in Fringe guide.
Click ‘NEXT’ to see a group that do everything from dubstep to Disney…
The Sons of Pitches: Boiler Alert
Comedy, improv, beat boxing and ridiculously tight harmonies, these guys put on an a cappella show packed with movie themes and tenuous links. This feel-good performance spans everything from dubstep to Disney without ever missing a beat, and there’s an adorable kind of connection between these likeable young lads. Aww.
Free show, 11.30pm at Laughing Horse @ The Counting House until 24th Aug (not 10th), p.17 in Fringe guide
Click ‘NEXT’ for comedy that gets the brain working…
Carey Marx: Abominable
If you like your comedy wordy, make space in your diary for Carey Marx. His dry and cynical humour plays with the boundaries of political correctness, leaving you wondering whether you should feel offended or not. It’s intelligent, strangely absorbing and really quite personal, with stories about his turbulent relationships with family pets and a bit of constructive criticism for Warwick Davis.
Free show, 7.15pm at Canons’ Gait until 24th Aug (not 12th), p.66 in Fringe guide
Click ‘NEXT’ for a way to try before you buy when it comes to comedy…
Something of a wildcard, this show features four different comedians every night, each offering a sneak peek in to their full Fringe show. OK, so it’s a bit of a gamble, but it’s definitely one worth taking even if it’s just for the compares, Pete Otway and Brennan Reece.
Free show, 11.45pm at Laughing Horse @ City Café until 24th Aug (not Mondays), p.112 in Fringe guide
Click ‘NEXT’ to meet the UK’s pun king, dressed as a chicken…
Darren Walsh: Chicken Meow!
Puns, puns, puns and more puns. This guy is the UK pun champion, and if you meet him in the street he’ll dish out puns on demand. And sometimes he’s dressed as a chicken. His 30-minute show is surreal and fast-paced, and he even throws in songs in animal voices, the exclusive accent wheel, and proof that he really knows what women want.
Free show, 7pm at Heroes @ The Hive until 24th Aug (not 11th or 16-18th), p.78 in Fringe guide
Click ‘NEXT’ to listen to a gay guy with Asperger’s sing dirty songs…
Robert White: The Curious incident of the gag and the gun-crime… plus more stuff!
Adorable and disconcerting in equal measure, this show offers a look in to the life of a gay man with Asperger’s syndrome, with insights that can get a little too personal. With an overly literal brain that ‘thinks in jokes’ he battles his demons through songs filled with taboos and dirty words, while striving to build relationships with a bewildered audience.
Free show, 5.30pm at Heroes @ The Hive until 24th Aug (not Mondays), p.148 in Fringe guide