Although the primary focus of the Edinburgh Fringe now seems to be a stepping stone for British acts to then get their own Radio 4 show to then get on Mock the 10 Cats, it still serves as a hub of international comedy talent that UK audiences don’t often get a chance to see.
We’ve already mentioned a few in our other recommendation lists (Bec Hill, Sam Simmons, Demi Lardner etc) but we rarely follow rules. Here’s 10 more we think it’s worth keeping an eye out for.
Al Hezb El Comedy
Another new one to us, but this group of Arab comics certainly sound more interesting than their unimaginative choice of names. Falafel is an Egyptian-American raised comedian, Houmous is first white Sudanese stand-up comedian and Baba Ganoush is an Egyptian-Iraqi Londoner.
Stand in the Square
Aug 1-25, 2.10pm
Dr Professor Neal Portenza Performs His Own Autopsy Live On Stage. One Night Only. (Obviously).
Last year Portenza was the second name behind Red Bastard on the lips of people who like their comedy with a little more personality and vitality than the standard fare. We didn’t make it along unfortunately last year, but intend to make up for it in August.
Just the Tonic at the Mash House
Jul 31 – Aug 24, 6.20pm
Red Bastard was the final show I saw at the Fringe last year. It was also the most memorable, painful, personal, uncomfortable and urgent experience I had that year. Maybe not my favourite show of last year but the one I’d recommend above all else.
July 30 – Aug 24, 7pm
American counts as international. And Neil Hamburger’s one of the finest, most disgusting, depraved and hilarious US characters to have ever been conceived. He’ll clear his throat constantly, make obscene jokes and sweat like a Scotsman in the summer, but that’s why you’re there, isn’t it?
Aug 13-24, 8.50pm
One More Thing
It’s that guy off The Office. The American one. No, not the 40-year-old virgin. Or the one with sad eyes. Yeah, that one. He’s doing stand-up now. It might be good. I’m uncertain. Worth £16? I’m not sure many things are. This might be. It’s worth noting though.
Assembly, George Square
Aug 19-24, 9.10pm
Made in France
Another act that’s been pushed by Izzard. And one that is, unsurprisingly, from France. This is Yacine’s first Fringe, but he’s been building English language audiences in London for some time now. Expect that experience to transfer to Edinburgh with slickness.
Jul 30 – Aug 25, 9.30pm
The Comedy Reserves
We’re cheating a little here as Evelyn is only one fourth of the Comedy Reserve at the Pleasance Dome. The Swedish comedian (born to Chinese parents) is promising enough to ensure a recommendation for the entire show however.
Jul 30 – Aug 25, 9.30pm
One of the biggest comedy stars in his native Germany, Mittermeier is building up a UK audience thanks in part to the backing of Eddie Izzard and a very successful 2012 Fringe run. He’s back and telling jokes in English again for a lot less than you’d expect to pay in Berlin.
Aug 11-25, 9.40pm
Swedish Odd Balls
Another Swedish comedian (as the show title might suggest) who promises to take the audience “on a trip through the lives and opinions of his northern outposts of the European Culturesphere”. He’s only up for short run so catch him if you can.
Aug 19-23, 9.45pm
An act we only vaguely know, but it’s all been good. And he’s worked with Claudia O’Doherty and he’s got more than a few awards in his native Australia so we expect him to live up to our vague expectations.
Just the Tonic at The Caves
Jul 31 – Aug 24, 10pm
When’s This Gonna Stop? (1hr Show)
An honourable mention for Stuart who, despite being very much English, was described last year as an ‘amiable Aussie’ in a review by the esteemed Broadway Baby. It doesn’t matter where he’s from he’s great if you like dynamic, exciting comedy that relies on spur of the moment fun.
Aug 2-23, 2.20pm