50 Unmissable Shows at Edinburgh Fringe 2016

50 Unmissable Shows at the Edinburgh Fringe 2016

Bring On The Edinburgh Fringe!

As ever, we’ll be jetting up to the Edinburgh Fringe, and we’ll be sharing with you the best quirky, offbeat, and downright amazing events at this years festival!

BUT FIRST! YES, IT’S OUR ONE-PAGE GUIDE TO SOME OF THE HOTTEST HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FESTIVAL PROGRAMME!

We’ve picked out some of the more accessible yet offbeat, less mainstream offerings from this years jumbo Edinburgh Fringe line-up. Also, look out for our reviews article once the festival kicks off!

Go on, knock yourselves out with fab fringe festivity!

CABARET, CIRCUS & LIVE ART

A Simple Space

A Simple Space
Aug 4-9, 11-16, 18-21, 23-25 | 3:15pm | From £10.50 | Underbelly, George Square

CIRCUS – A thrilling, breathtaking display of quick hands, strong muscles and lithe, limber bodies hurtling around the stage, which wowed us in London back in 2014 and deserves another look.

Bourgeois & Maurice: How to Save the World Without Really Trying

Bourgeois & Maurice: How to Save the World Without Really Trying
Aug 4-14, 16-28 | 9:25pm | From £7 | Underbelly, Cowgate

CABARET – Twisted siblings Georgeois Bourgeois and Maurice Maurice return to the fringe with a brand new show, featuring old favourites and future hits: including new song Chemsex Party.

Christeene: Trigger

Christeene: Trigger
Aug 17-21, 23-28 | 10:10pm | From £11 | Underbelly, Cowgate

CABARET – Potty mouthed late-night stank-maiden Christeene brings perverse punk back to the depths of Underbelly’s Cowgate venue. Filthy fun.

The Freak Fringe CabaretThe Freak Fringe Cabaret
Aug 7-11 | 11:15pm | FREE | The Free Sisters

CABARET – A late night cabaret showcase hosted by Mawaan Rizwan, promising a line up of the biggest names in alternative comedy, dance and drag. End your night in style!

Grumble: Sex Clown Saves the World

Grumble: Sex Clown Saves the World
Aug 4-9, 11-14, 16, 18-21, 23-28 | 8:45pm | From £6 | Underbelly, Cowgate

CABARET – Betty Grumble’s antipodean sex clown unleashes a potent feminist message in this raucous hour of the unexpected.

Hot Brown Honey

Hot Brown Honey
Aug 3-14, 16-21, 23-28 | 8:20pm | From £10 | Assembly Roxy

CABARET – XS Entertainment describes this show as having “more costume tear-aways than Ru Paul’s Drag Race” – we’re there! 

Joli Vyann: Imbalance

Joli Vyann: Imbalance
Aug 4-9, 11-14, 16-22 | 7:30pm | From £9 | Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows

DANCE/CIRCUS – Jaw-dropping acrobatics examining our compulsion to logon at every opportunity.

Peter and Bambi Heaven: The Magic Inside

Peter and Bambi Heaven: The Magic Inside
Aug 4-14, 16-28 | 10:30pm | From £8 | Assembly George Square Gardens

CABARET – Sleazeball supremo Asher Treleaven teams up with Gypsy Wood for an hour of low-brow high-jinks sure to result in split sides.

COMEDY

Beth Vyse as Olive Hands in All Hands to the Pump...

Beth Vyse as Olive Hands in All Hands to the Pump…
Aug 4-9, 11-28 | 3:10pm | Pay What You Want | Heroes @ The Hive

COMEDY – Beth Vyse’s As Funny As Cancer show – also back this year – was one of the funniest yet scariest hours of our life in 2015. Check her out as alter-ego Olive Hands in this cult hit in the making.

Colin Hoult / Anna Mann: A Sketch Show for Depressives

Colin Hoult / Anna Mann: A Sketch Show for Depressives
Aug 3-16, 18-28 | 7pm | From £6 | Pleasance Courtyard

COMEDY – Colin Hoult (you’ll recognise him from TV) is Ms Anna Mann – on a one woman mission to put a smile on your face, despite it all…

Eleanor Morton: Happy Birthday Katie Lewis!

Eleanor Morton: Happy Birthday Katie Lewis!
Aug 16-28 | 2:25pm | £8 | The Stand Comedy Club 3 & 4

COMEDY – Anyone described as the ‘poster girl for awkward’ (Chortle) appeals to us at To Do List! Eleanor Morton reminds us a little of Josie Long, with musical interludes reminiscent of David O’Doherty.

Harry Potter and the Disappointing Aftermath (An Unofficial Sequel)

Harry Potter and the Disappointing Aftermath (An Unofficial Sequel)
Aug 9 & 16 | 11pm | £5 | Laughing Horse @ Ghillie Dhu

COMEDY – Adam Larter and co perform yet another shameless mangling of copyrighted material, in this very unofficial yet probably much funnier (and cheaper) alternative to The Cursed Child.

Jack Evans: Melancholy Poontang

Jack Evans: Melancholy Poontang
Aug 6-15, 17-27 | 4:45pm | FREE | Cowgatehead

COMEDY – Outrageous, off the wall comedy from the creator of Manchester’s Quippodrome. A unique (and uniquely offbeat) example of Northern humour at its best.

Jayde Adams: 31

Jayde Adams: 31
Aug 6-16, 18-28 | 10:30pm | FREE | Voodoo Rooms

COMEDY – Jayde’s first full length show sees this rising star of London comedy cabaret channeling Adele like nobodies business! Funny and one hell of a singer!

Kate Lucas: Whatever Happened to Kate Lucas?

Kate Lucas: Whatever Happened to Kate Lucas?
Aug 3-14, 16-28 | 10:30pm | From £6 | Pleasance Courtyard

COMEDY – Kate Lucas teasingly tongues the ‘taboo’ (Editor Rupert’s phrase!) throughout this hour of left-field musical comedy.

Komischer

Komischer
Aug 4-14, 16-28 | 5pm | From £5 | Just the Tonic at The Caves

COMEDY – Douglas Walker’s debut show last year, Moglich, was a triumph. This year we are hoping for more squirmingly intelligent sketches from this thoughtfully funny man.

Looking Out for Linda (The Remix)

Looking Out for Linda (The Remix)
Aug 6-27 | 5:30pm | FREE | Cowgatehead

COMEDY – Having seen Sam Savage perform Linda Larkin in a tiny 10 minute slot we are excited to see where this fantastic character can take us in an hour…

My Groupon Adventure

My Groupon Adventure
Aug 6-14, 16-21, 23-27 | 6pm | FREE | T-Bar

COMEDY – Does what it says on the tin. High concept humour as Max Dickins tells how Groupon taught him the joys of spontaneity (and colonic irrigation perhaps).

Sally Phillips and Lily Bevan: Talking to Strangers

Sally Phillips and Lily Bevan: Talking to Strangers
Aug 15-21 | 8pm | From £12.50 | Assembly George Square Studios

COMEDY – Sally Phillips has been making us chuckle for many years, since the wonderful Smack the Pony. She will be joined by Lily Bevan of Doctor Who fame, for a surreal look at talking to strangers.

Simon Slack – The Fantasist

Simon Slack – The Fantasist
Aug 4-16, 18-28 | 10:40pm | From £6 | Underbelly Cowgate

COMEDY – One half of comedy double act Guilt & Shame, Rob Cawsey hits the fringe solo with this fantastical one-man sketch odyssey.

Stephen Bailey: Nation's Sweetheart

Stephen Bailey: Nation’s Sweetheart
Aug 4-14, 16-28 | 7:20pm | From £5 | Just the Tonic at The Caves

COMEDY – Part stand-up gig, part gossip shop, Nation’s Sweetheart sees Stephen Bailey stepping out from Katherine Ryan’s shadow, and making a name for himself at the Fringe.

SuZanna GonZo: Dark Lady

SuZanna GonZo: Dark Lady
Aug 4-14, 16-27 | 3pm | From £3 | Just the Tonic at The Mash House

COMEDY – A rare recipient of our lesser-spotted fifth star, Katie O’Brien was our pick of the fringe back in 2014. She’s back for this crazy, kooky trip into character comedy absurdity, with Southern psychic SuZanna GonZo.

THEATRE & MUSICALS

A Boy Named Sue

A Boy Named Sue
Aug 3-14, 16-29 | 6:25pm | From £8.50 | C nova

THEATRE – Tackling heteronormativity head on, A Boy Named Sue is the story of a group of LGBT finding friends in the most unlikely places.

Big the Musical

Big the Musical
Aug 21-28 | 12pm |£11.50 | C

MUSICAL – Everyone’s favourite 1980’s Tom Hanks movie gets the musical treatment from trusted fringe stalwarts Latymer Theatre Company (Zanna Don’t, Flight of the Lawnchair Man, Zombie Prom).

Bricking It

Bricking It
Aug 4-15, 17-28 | 5:30pm |From £6 | Underbelly, Cowgate

THEATRE – Writer & performer Joanna Griffin trades places with her old man, 73-year-old Irish builder Pat. He tackles stand-up comedy, she builds the stage. What could go wrong?

Bucket List

Bucket List
Aug 3-15, 17-22, 24-29 | 3:50pm | From £6.50 | Pleasance Dome

THEATRE – From the multi-award winning team behind 2015 hit Light, this is a political and personal story of a Mexican woman’s fight for justice.

Daniel

Daniel
Aug 5-14 | 1:30pm | From £5 | ZOO

THEATRE – We don’t think this is going to be an easy watch – as no show about the aftermath of child pornography surely can be… but this promises to be thought-provoking and engaging.

Expensive Shit

Expensive Shit
Aug 4-7, 9-14, 16-21, 23-28 | Times Vary | £18.50 | Traverse Theatre

THEATRE – “One toilet attendant. Two sets of toilets. One night. Worlds apart. The story of a nightclub toilet attendant, working in the toilets of a fictional club based on the Shimmy Club in Glasgow.”

Fran & Leni

Fran & Leni
Aug 4-14, 16-29 | 3:05pm | From £5 | Assembly George Square Theatre

THEATRE – Two girls with guitars escape the twee tedium of the 70s music scene and become punk provocateurs The Rips in Sadie Hasler’s brand new work.

Growing Pains

Growing Pains
Aug 4-14, 16-28 | 4:30pm | From £6 | Underbelly, Cowgate

THEATRE – Spoken word isn’t always our cup of tea, but this one-man show from Tom Gill might just change our minds. Expect “an explosive mash-up of words, wit, and original songs”.

Hummingbird

Hummingbird
Aug 5-15, 17-29 | 9:15pm | From £5 | ZOO

THEATRE – Inspired by 1950s serial killer couple Raymond Martinez Fernandez and Martha Jule Beck (the Lonely Hearts Killers), Hummingbird promises a dark mash-up of theatre, acrobatics and visual panache.

I Keep a Woman in My Flat Chained to a Radiator

I Keep a Woman in My Flat Chained to a Radiator
Aug 5-16, 18-29 | 4pm | From £5 | ZOO

THEATRE – We’ve all been there: young, lonely, and with a woman chained to the radiator. Black comedy doesn’t come any blacker than this.

In Fidelity

In Fidelity
Aug 4-7, 9-14, 16-21, 23-28 | Times Vary | From £18.50 | Traverse Theatre

THEATRE – Rob Drummond follows up cult shows Bullet Catch and Quiz Show with a live first date experiment, exploring the true nature of love in all its complexities.

Kill the Beast: Don't Wake the Damp

Kill the Beast: Don’t Wake the Damp
Aug 3-14, 16-25, 27-29 | Times Vary | From £6 | Pleasance Dome

COMEDY – A surprise discovery as we escaped the Edinburgh rain back in 2014, League of Gentlemen-esque Kill the Beast return to the fringe with another twisted fairy-tale, this time a neon-soaked musical extravaganza.

Letters to Windsor House

Letters to Windsor House
Aug 3-21, 23-28 | 1:35pm | From £6 | Summerhall

THEATRE – Sh*t Theatre have it all – energy, humour and politics. We think it’d be hard to find someone who didn’t warm to these ladies and their very distinct style of performance.

My World has Exploded a Little Bit

My World has Exploded a Little Bit
Aug 4-16, 18-28 | 1:10pm | From £6 | Underbelly, Cowgate

THEATRE – A heartfelt yet humorous meditation on death, with songs! The Grim Reapers waits for all, but’s go down laughing!

Octopus

Octopus
Aug 4-14, 16-28 | 1:45pm | From £6 | Assembly George Square Theatre

THEATRE – 2016 marks 40 years of punk, and Octopus sees three women forming a punk band in this suitably rebellious comedy about resisting definition.

Pond Wife

Pond Wife
Aug 4-14, 16-28 | 1:20pm | From £6 | Underbelly, Cowgate

THEATRE – The Little Mermaid gets the pop diva treatment in this musical magical mash-up from breakthrough duo Holly&Ted.

Royal Vauxhall

Royal Vauxhall
Aug 3-14, 16-21, 23-29 | 1o:10pm | From £6 | Underbelly Med Quad

THEATRE – Did you ever hear the one about Freddie, Diana and Kenny’s big ol’ gay night out at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern? True-life culture-clash comedy musical with a sizzling score from Des O’Connor (not that one!).

Scorch

Scorch
Aug 5-8, 10-15, 17-22, 24-28 | 6:05pm | From £9 | Roundabout @ Summerhall

THEATRE – A millennial coming of age story, which explores what happens when you step outside the safety of your online persona.

Scorched

Scorched
Aug 5-14, 16-21, 23-29 | 3:30pm | From £7 | ZOO Southside

THEATRE – Previous Fringe First winners Open Sky tell a tale of war heroism through the eyes of Jack, a decorated veteran suffering from dementia.

Tank

Tank
Aug 7-20 | 1o:30am | From £6 | Pleasance Dome

THEATRE – Breach Theatre follow up their award-winning show ‘The Beanfield’ with this offbeat theatrical retelling of scientific of NASA’s bizarre quest to talk with dolphins in the swinging sixties.

The Forest

The Forest
Aug 22-25 | 10:30am | £10 | Pleasance Courtyard

THEATRE – A multi-sensory production for audiences with Profound and Multiple learning disabilities. Join Thea and Robin on a departure from reality into the unknown.

The Toyland Murders

The Toyland Murders
Aug 3-9, 11-16, 18-23, 25-28 | 12pm | From £7| Bedlam Theatre

THEATRE – A ‘puppet noir adventure’, as a ragdoll police inspector and a teddy bear deputy delve into the notorious Toyland underbelly. Evidement.

Wonderman

Wonderman
Aug 3-7, 9-14, 16-21, 23-28 | 6:05pm | From £6 | Underbelly Potterrow

MUSICAL – Roald Dahl’s short stories leap from the page in this gig-theatre spectacular from National Theatre Wales and Gagglebabble.

World Without Us

World Without Us
Aug 3-7, 9-14, 16-21, 23-28 | 11:30am | From £10 | Summerhall

THEATRE – Belgian performance artist troupe Ontroerend Goed return to the fringe with a provocative piece ‘What if there was a world without us?’.

xx

xx
Aug 6-13, 15-20, 22-28 | 6:55pm | £7 | Paradise in The Vault

THEATRE – Experience one of 36,000,000,000,000 possible variations as xx allows an algorithm to randomly generate characters. Anything could happen. Even entertainment.

BONUS BALLS

Cassie Atkinson – Supernumerary Rainbow

Cassie Atkinson – Supernumerary Rainbow
Aug 6-9, 11-16, 18-23, 25-27 | 1:30pm | FREE | Sabor

COMEDY – ‘Future national treasure’ Cassie Atkinson’s mind is like a rainbow of gallivanting unicorns. Strap on your horn and take a ride.

Eurobeat

Eurobeat
Aug 3-15, 17-22, 24-29 | 9:45pm | From £8.50 | Pleasance Courtyard

COMEDY – The Eurovision parody is refreshed for 2016 with a galaxy of star casting including the legendary Rula Lenska and Lee Latchford Evans from Steps.

Worst Show on the Fringe

Worst Show on the Fringe
Aug 6-28 | 2:30pm | FREE | Movement

COMEDY – No-star wonders take top billing in this showcase of hard done by yet hardworking performers. Give ’em a chance. Who trusts reviewers anyway?

Stuart Wilson

About 

I am Joint Editor at To Do List. I like: nice pubs, film marathons, not doing real marathons, bad comedy, plays/musicals with shorter second halves, and the Oxford comma.