Comedy blog

Best stand-up comedy shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

PLEASE NOTE: This is our list of comedy recommendations for 2013.

See our new list of best comedy shows for the Edinburgh Fringe 2014.

Excitement is growing at Laugh Out London towers for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013, so we thought we’d get in the mood and post some stand-up comedy recommendations.

20 best stand-up comedy shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

It’s a selection of established and newer performers all bringing their own take on a great hour of comedy in its purist form, and we think you’ll love them just as much as we do.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you more Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy recommendations, including the best free shows, best sketch/character shows, best US comics coming over and more.

In the meantime, pop these in your planner.

Mark Thomas: 100 Acts of Minor Dissent

Mark Thomas at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Mark Thomas

The smartest political comic on the UK Circuit in his Tory bashing prime. We had Mark down at our Angel gig recently to test out bits of this show where he discusses his attempts to make a little bit of a difference to the world, whether it’s training shoplifters in Harrods or letting Dan Brown readers know about the virtues of charity shops.

Aug 3-25, 7.30pm
The Stand III and IV

David O’Doherty: David O’Doherty Will Try to Fix Everything

David O'Doherty Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

David O’Doherty

The Edinburgh Comedy Award winner brings his casiotone ‘musical whimsy’ to the Fringe once again. Like Munnery, he’s a perpetual must-see for what sheer imagination he can bring to the stage, and D O D is soon to be an established Fringe legend.

July 31 – Aug 25, 7.20pm
Pleasance Courtyard
£12 -£15

Tony Law: Nonsense Overdrive

Tony Law Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

Tony Law

If Tony Law received any more stars for last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Award nominated Maximum Nonsense he would have to buy Greenwich Observatory to look at them all. In short, he’s awesome. Expect a similar stream of seemingly nonsensical brilliance that keeps going and keeps delivering and keeps you in pains of laughter.

Aug 1-26, 12.40pm
The Stand Comedy Club

Bridget Christie: A Bic for Her

Bridget Christie Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

Bridget Christie

Bridget is the perfect mix of smart, silly and surreal, combing beautiful feminist polemic with a dazzling ability to turn around on the spot. Her latest Radio 4 series will have raised her profile, and there is no doubt her new fans will be pleased with this hour, which has at its focus the decision by Bic to sale a pen for women.

Aug 3-25, 11.10am
The Stand Comedy Club

James Acaster: Lawnmower

James Acaster Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

James Acaster

After receiving a well-deserved nod in the Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Show nominations last year James Acaster is back with his nice jumpers, slacks and jokes. Few stand-ups are as sharp, engaging and viciously funny while looking like a comic book character Dennis the Menace would bully.

July 31 – Aug 25, 7pm
Pleasance Courtyard
£8.50 – £12

Pat Cahill: Start

Pat Cahill Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

Pat Cahill

We have seen Pat grow from promising newcomer rapping about his tumour-ridden dog to one of the most thrilling, in-demand acts on the London circuit. His philosophical and surreal ramblings have a real touch of Simon Munnery to them yet bring something unique to the table. This is set to be a very special year for Pat indeed.

July 31 – Aug 25, 5.45pm
Pleasance Courtyard
£8 – £10

Aisling Bea: C’est La Bea

Aisling Bea Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

Aisling Bea

The winner of So You Think You’re Funny last year, Aisling bring her debut hour to the Fringe and we are excited. You’ll recognise from her numerous TV appearances (Dead Boss, CBBC, Cardinal Burns etc) but it’s her natural charm and gift for story-telling that will make you realise stand-up is her true calling.

July 31 – Aug 26, 6.30pm
Gilded Balloon Teviot
£8.50 – £10.50

Sara Pascoe: Sara Pascoe vs the Truth

Sara Pascoe Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

Sara Pascoe

Last year’s effort was one of the most thoughtful, funny shows ever seen at the Fringe, and as her profile rises, Pascoe keeps delivering the goods. Unafraid and adventurous in her approach, she’ll take you turn the wondrous, meandering lanes of nonsense before convincing you never to eat meat again.

July 31 – Aug 26, 8pm
Assembly George Square
£8 – £12

Liam Williams: Liam Williams

Liam Williams Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

Liam Williams

Liam has enjoyed recent festival success with his Kitson-endorsed sketch group Sheeps and we are very excited to see his solo debut. His material is as dry and intelligent as a teetotal Stephen Hawking in the desert, with each word meticulously written to peer-reviewed perfection. See this clip for Russell Howard’s Good News if you don’t believe us.

Aug 1 – 25, 10pm
Just The Tonic at The Tron 
£6 – £9.50

Sam Fletcher: Drawn Out Jokes

Sam Fletcher Edinburgh  Festival Finge 2013

Sam Fletcher

Nominee for Best Newcomer last year, Sam is one of the most joyful comics on the circuit, mixing drawing, music, magic and the most incredible ‘dad jokes’ you’ll hear this year.

July 31 – Aug 26, 4.45pm
Pleasance Courtyard
£6 – £10

Edward Aczel: Lives In A Meaningless Shed

Edward Aczel Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

Edward Aczel

For anyone who has ever watched stand up and felt that it all looks the same, Ed Aczel is a must see. Anti-comedy is the tag normally given to Aczel, but we prefer comedy for people who love comedy.

Aug 1-25, 6.10pm
Underbelly, Cowgate
£9 – £11

Nish Kumar Is A Comedian

Nish Kumar Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Nish Kumar

Last year, Nish found himself the face of a questionably racist meme (like those things that young people look at on the internet). This year, he’s talking about it. And explaining what memes are to older members of the audience. A lesson in doing simple, brilliant stand-up from a young comic soon to be on Stewart Lee’s Alternative Comedy Vehicle.

July 31 – Aug 25, 8.10pm
Underbelly, Bristo Square

Paul Foot: Words

Paul Foot Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Paul Foot

One of comedy’s great weirdos. Or eccentrics. Or surrealists. Or fools. Or whatever you want to call him. No matter what, it’ll be unique. And therefore worth your time.

Aug 1-25, 7.30pm
Underbelly Cowgate

Brendon Burns Hasn’t Heard Of You Either

Brendon Burns Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

Brendon Burns

Another former Comedy Award winner, and one who’s growing up. This show involves Brendon explaining the five reasons you have never heard of him. We had him do a very early preview, and it was looking fantastic then. On highlight was Brendon analysing a live TV interview he did on Australian Morning TV. The finished show will likely be masterful.

Aug 2-25, 9.40pm
The Stand Comedy Club

Claudia O’Doherty: Pioneer

Claudia O'Doherty Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

Claudia O’Doherty

Ask any comic at last year’s Fringe what their favourite show was, and 9 out of 10 times this woman’s name would have come up. Her imaginative take on a one-woman disaster play was a revelation last year, and big things are expected in 2013.

July 31 – Aug 26, 9.50pm
Pleasance Courtyard

Josh Widdicombe: Incidentally

Josh Widdicombe Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Josh Widdicombe

Since being nominated for Best Newcomer in 2011, Widdicombe has rocketed up the UK comedy charts, becoming a panel show regular, an XFM present (the Adam and joe slot no less!) and every mum’s favourite young man. He’s back to remind people that at the heart of it, he’s still an incredibly gifted stand-up.

July 31 – Aug 15, 9pm
Assembly George Square

Nick Helm: One Man Mega Myth

Nick Helm Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

NIck Helm

Whereas Widdicombe is the mum’s comic of choice, Helm must be the teenage boys’ (however Nick has told us on twitter that “it’s mainly mums that like me” ). All shouting and rock and roll, yet all masking a lonely helplessness that gives this demi-character act enormous heart. Whether Helm can sustain that while riding high as a comic success remains to be seen, but you’ll be guaranteed laughs in any case.

July 31 – Aug 26, 4pm
Pleasance Courtyard

Tom Rosenthal: благодаря

Tom Rosenthal Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

Tom Rosenthal

A second hour from the star of Plebs and Friday Night Dinner. He performed at LOL earlier this year with tears in his eyes having earlier that day received a rather personal revelation, turning that emotion into laughs and cementing his place in our minds as a stand-up with the potential to take that most human element of the form to its extreme.

July 31 – Aug 25, 8.15pm
Pleasance Courtyard

David Trent: This Is All I Have

David Trent Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

David Trent

A favourite of Guardian readers last year, Best Newcomer nominee Trent returns with another multimedia extravaganza that will no doubt involve projectors, music and despair. It amazed us all last by demonstrating the power Sigur Ros could have on an ordinary life. We’re hoping he does the same this year with Psy.

July 31 – Aug 25, 10.45pm
Pleasance Dome

Daniel Simonsen: Stranger

Daniel Simonsen Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Daniel Simonsen

Last year’s Best Newcomer winner may feel like he has all the pressure in the world on his shoulders this time around. It’s his own doing though by being so damn brilliant in awkward, melancholic hilarity. We’ve seen two previews already, and it is shaping up very nicely already.

July 31 – Aug 26
Pleasance Dome

Other Edinburgh Festival Fringe recommendations

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