Comedy blog

20 free comedy recommendations for the Edinburgh Fringe 2015

edinburgh fringe free comedy recommendations

As is coming to be expected, there is an incredible haul of comedy that you can see for free (or for what you think it is worth) at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015.

The various free/pay what you want offerings have opened up the Fringe to a whole new audience and a whole new set of acts more open to experimentation and pushing boundaries.

Here are 20 great, exciting, original acts putting on shows at the Edinburgh Fringe that are either free or pay what you want (a healthy chunk are from Bob Slayer’s excellent Heroes of the Fringe roster).

mike wozniakMike Wozniak

One Man Dad Cat Band

Having seen Mike’s show in preview we were mightily impressed. Not many comics could craft a routine about a stowaway cat with anger issues, let alone a superb Edinburgh show. The tale is broken up with some of the best short sharp gags you will see at the Fringe. Pretty darn unmissable.

Mike Wozniak: One Man Dad Cat Band
Laughing Horse @ Free Sisters
6-30 August, 1.15pm

ali briceAli Brice

Eric Meat Has No Proof, Only Memories Of Pasta

An ever-growing presence in the Weirdos comedy collective Ali Brice’s debut hour was a highlight of the festival for anyone who loves their comedy ridiculous with a side of silly. Brice’s tortured alter ego Eric Meat returns with a host of other characters. Last year introduced us to Phil Collins and Neil Buchanan’s dad so Lord knows who we will meet (meat?) this year.

Ali Brice: Eric Meat Has No Proof, Only Memories Of Pasta
Heroes @ The Hive
6-31 August, 1.30pm
PWYW or £5 to guarantee entry

joz norisJoz Norris

Hey Guys!

He’s Joz. He’s great. And often very, very funny. Go see him.

Joz Norris: Hey Guys!
Heroes @ The Hive
7-30 August, 2pm
PWYW or £5 to guarantee entry

mark stephensonMark Stephenson


Mark’s show in 2013 was one of the most impressive debuts we’ve seen in a long time, managing to be bleak, touching, uplifting and meticulous in its struggle to understand the modern world. Two years on, we’re hoping he’ll be even better.

Mark Stephenson: Amsterdam
Banshee Labyrinth
8-30 August, 2.20pm

ben targetBen Target

Imagine There’s No Ben Target (It’s Easy If You Try)

Since his stunning debut show saw him pick up a nomination for Best Newcomer back in 2012, Ben has kept a relatively low profile on the Fringe front, experimenting with formats and content in an attempt to create a truly transcendental show. Last year was an exciting work-in-progress, and we’re looking forward to see how things have come along.

Ben Target: Imagine There’s No Ben Target (It’s Easy If You Try)
Heroes @ The Hive
6-31 August, 3pm
PWYW or £5 to guarantee entry

chris coltraneChris Coltrane

Left Wing Propaganda Machine

Perhaps the best antidote to anyone with a post election hangover. Chris Coltrane’s shows have always focused on the lunacy of the political hierarchy and media, but most impressively the power of ordinary people to protest, make meaningful changes and have a bit of fun at the same time. If there were a few more people like Coltrane around maybe politics wouldn’t feel so bleak.

Chris Coltrane: Left Wing Propaganda Machine
Banshee Labyrinth
8-30 August, 3.30pm

candy gigiCandy Gigi

Chicken Soup

We have still to see Candy perform live, but her reputation certainly precedes her. We’re looking to a show of high energy madness that befits a winner of the Malcom Hardee Award for comic originality.

Candy Gigi: Chicken Soup
Heroes @ The Hive
6-31 August, 3.30pm
PWYW or £5 to guarantee entry

stuart lawsStuart Laws

Who Said Anything About Stopping It? (1hr Show)

Another perennial must-see at the Fringe. Stuart’s hours are always special, mixing exciting interaction and streams of well-researched and articulated nonsense with unbelievable charm.

Stuart Laws: Who Said Anything About Stopping It? (1hr Show)
Cabaret Voltaire
8-15 August, 3.50pm

michael brunstromMichael Brunstrom

The Golden Age Of Steam

Last year he performed as river in France. This year he’s discussing classic steam locomotives. Brunstrom is unique among modern comedians.

Michael Brunstrom: The Golden Age Of Steam
Heroes @ The Hive
18-23 August, 4.10pm
PWYW or £5 to guarantee entry

beth vyseBeth Vyse

As Funny As Cancer

Beth’s forte in recent years has been absolute madness, bringing together such influences as Les Dawson and Jane McDonald to recreate over-the-top daytime television complete with plenty of fake boobs. This year marks a change of direction though as Beth goes personal with what promises to be an open and honest show about her experience with breast cancer.

Beth Vyse: As Funny As Cancer
Heroes @ The Hive
6-31 August, 4.20pm
PWYW or £5 to guarantee entry

adam hessAdam Hess


Quite possibly the best comedy person on Twitter, Adam is also one of the best comedy people in person. After a couple of short runs, this is Hess’ debut hour and expectations are very high.

Adam Hess: Salmon
Heroes @ The Hive
7-31 August, 5.20pm
PWYW or £5 to guarantee entry

ed aczelEd Aczel

The Random Flapping Of A Butterfly’s Wings

Most comics’ favourite comic, which is saying something indeed. Ed is downbeat and low key, covering subjects that should really have no place near a comedy set. He makes it work though. And magnificently so.

Ed Aczel: The Random Flapping Of A Butterfly’s Wings
Heroes @ The Hive
7-30 August, 5.30pm
PWYW or £6 to guarantee entry

lou sandersLou Sanders

Excuse Me, You’re Sitting On My Penis Again

Lou pretty much guarantees an hour of absolute ludicrous fun with every Fringe show. Last year she had sexy vegetable calendars. Can she top it this time?

Lou Sanders: Excuse Me, You’re Sitting On My Penis Again
City Cafe
7-30 August, 5.30pm

tom parryTom Parry

Yellow T-shirt

One third of Pappy’s, Tom Parry has always brought the anarchy to one of the best sketch troupes going. His show should be something to behold without Matthew Crosby to rein him in. Parry has also has credentials as a director of shows including the critically acclaimed Max & Ivan and Beasts amongst others. It should be an exciting debut, we are hoping Fanshaw Standon will get an outing.

Tom Parry: Yellow T-shirt
Just the Tonic @ The Tron
August 6-30, 6.20pm
PWYW or £5 to guarantee entry

pat cahillPat Cahill


When I saw Pat perform recently, his entire 20 minute set was spent imagining a set of post war songs turned into strange tales of pushing puppies in push chairs and encountering girls in nightclubs. Part old-school entertainer, part Sean Lock, Pat Cahill feels like the Bob Hope for a war that never happened. It’s wonderful.

Pat Cahill: Panjandrum
Heroes @ The Hive
6-30 August, 6.40pm
PWYW or £5 to guarantee entry

john  luke robertsJohn Luke Roberts

Stdad Up

John-Luke’s shows are always supremely imaginative and supremely funny. I once saw him perform the same sketch for a full hour. It was magnificent. I don’t think this show will involve that, but it will be great.

John-Luke Roberts: Stdad Up
Voodoo Rooms
8-30 August, 6.55pm

natasia demetriou and ellie whiteNatasia Demetriou and Ellie White

Are Mother And Baby

Two of the sketch/character comedy world’s most exciting young performers team up. Nothing can go wrong, surely?

Natasia Demetriou and Ellie White Are Mother And Baby
Banshee Labyrinth
8-30 August, 8.30pm

james jamilton edfringeJames Hamilton

James Hamilton Is So Lonely

A relative Fringe veteran with his sketch group Casual Violence, this is James’ first solo effort at the Fringe. His group work has always been dark, poignant, funny and every so twisted. Will going solo bring out even more tragedy?

James Hamilton Is So Lonely
Voodoo Rooms
8-30 August, 9.30pm

liam williamsLiam Williams

Bonfire Night

It seems the grass is always browner on the other side for Liam. Recently politics have come to the forefront of Liam’s mind giving his sharp tongue a new edge, much like Josie Long’s political renaissance a few years back. A downtrodden persona is so often mishandled by other comics is mastered by Williams bringing genuine depth to the subjects he covers.

Liam Williams: Bonfire Night
Laughing Horse @ Free Sisters
6-19 August, 11.30pm | 20-30 August, 7.30pm

richard gaddRichard Gadd

Waiting For Gaddot

Maybe our biggest regret last year with regards to shows we missed. Everything we heard about Gadd’s manic, flower-chewing, mattress tossing performance last year made us very sad to have not been there in that boiling hot attic of the Counting House. We’re not doing the same thing again.

Richard Gadd: Waiting For Gaddot
Banshee Labyrinth
8-30 August, 11.30pm

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