Edinburgh Fringe

15 free comedy recommendations for Edinburgh Fringe 2016

With the EU referendum making the pound near worthless, all shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016 may in fact be free this year.

Nevertheless, Laugh Out London sticks with its annual tradition of picking some of the best free comedy shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, including high school musicals, Harry Potter and socialist fun.

As a caveat, this is the first year we haven’t included pay what you want shows in our list of free recommendations as that format is now established enough to merit its own list, which should be published in the next few weeks. What fun.

As always though, all free show performers appreciate some money in the bucket at the end. So be generous to this lot.

i am wario edfringe

I Am Wario

Maybe the most intriguing show at the Fringe, the blurb promises a sketch show about sketch shows and Wario from Mario. It’s got notorious comedy roasters Matt Winning and Stuart Laws in it so it should deliver on some level.

I Am Wario
Sneaky Pete’s
6-27 Aug, 12.05pm

peter brush edfringe

Peter Brush

Dreams With Advert Breaks

Another under the radar comedian who had something of a breakthrough last year, thanks in part to a very flattering 4 and a half star review in Chortle. And it was a deserved review, with Brush coming across as thoughtful and funny, with smart writing complementing an awkward introvert persona that’s instantly likable.

Peter Brush: Dreams With Advert Breaks
Banshee Labyrinth
6-28 Aug, 1.10pm

laurence owen edfringe

Laurence Owen

Cinemusical High

Maybe the most talented comedian we know, Laurence is a professional composer and all round ace musician sort. He made the most of the skills in his brilliantly theatrical comedy musical last year, that took on most genres of musical theatre. This year he’s given us his musical take on U.S. high school movies.

Laurence Own: Cinemusical High
Voodoo Rooms
6-28 Aug, 1.45pm

pippa evans edfringe

Pippa Evans

Same Same But Different

A veteran of the Fringe with several shows, including her notorious U.S. anarcho folk punk Loretta Maine and as part of the truly incredible improvised musical theatre sorts Showstoppers, Pippa is going it on her on. She’s just as great being herself though, so this should be ace.

Pippa Evans: Same Same But Different
6-28 Aug, 1.45pm

alfie brown edfringe

Alfie Brown


Alfie has been coming to Edinburgh for several years now with shows that agitate, interest and provoke discussion. They’re also funny too. Scissor should be another showcase for this great mind.

Alfie Brown: Scissor
Laughing Horse @ City Cafe
4-28 August, 3pm

Chris Coltrane edfringe

Chris Coltrane

Socialist Fun Times

Depending on how you look at it, it’s either an awful or brilliant time to be a lefty political comic. Tory cuts, the rise of right wingers pushing for brexit and the refugee crisis are all reasons to feel your spirit being crushed, but on the other hand there’s plenty of hypocrisy, short sightedness and David Cameron fucking a pig to get stuck into. Thankfully Chris Coltrane has always been able to inspire a sense of hope in these dark times, an advocate for the power of positivity over scaremongering.

Chris Coltrane: Socialist Fun Times
Banshee Labyrinth
6-28 August, 3:30pm

matt winning edfringe

Matt Winning


Scottish comedian Matt Winning promises another hour of nonsense storytelling to follow his excellent 2015 show all about his relationship with Robert Mugabe. Loads of charisma and natural funny bones. Should be ace.

Matt Winning: Ragnarok
6-27 Aug, 3.45pm

lucy pearman edfringe

Lucy Pearman

Crack In Progress

As one half of LetLuce, Lucy Pearman was part of one of our absolutely favourite shows from the 2015 Fringe for their nautical, two-woman pantomime of startling imagination and colourful cardboard props. We’re not so certain what to expect from her solo show, but we’re sure it will be eggcellent.

Lucy Pearman: Crack In Progress
Laughing Horse @ Free Sisters
6-28 Aug, 4pm

jordan brookes edfringe

Jordan Brookes

The Making Of

One of the revelations of last year, Jordan Brookes was the name on most comedian’s lips as for who to see at the 2015 Fringe. And there are plenty of good reasons why, combining sold joke telling with naturally funny physicality and deep, gnawing awareness.

Jordan Brookes: The Making Of
Laughing Horse @ The Cellar Monkey
4-28 Aug, 5pm

brendon burns edfringe

Brendon Burns

Dumb White Guy

A legend of the Fringe and Best Show winner who managed to pack out his venue every day last year despite not being listed in the official programme. His blurb promises this show will be even better than last year’s. Get there early

Brendon Burns: Dumb White Guy
Liquid Room Annexe
6-28 Aug, 6.15pm

john luke roberts edfringe

John Luke Roberts

Builds A Monster

John-Luke’s 2015 show about his dead father was a sublime mix of silliness, sadness and balloons that showcased his new found clowning abilities, allowing his surreal imagination to blossom. More of the same please this year.

John-Luke Roberts Builds A Monster
Voodoo Rooms
6-28 Aug, 6.55pm

elf lyons edfringe

Elf Lyons


A recent graduate from L’Ecole Philippe Gaulier, Elf Lyons is a young comedian who now has some clowning chops to add to her engaging whimsy. This year she’s talking about how she wants to kill her mother. Expect things to get dark.

Elf Lyons: Pelican
Voodoo Rooms
6-28 Aug, 7.50pm

sofie hagen edfringe

Sofie Hagen

Shimmer Shatter

Danish comedian Sofie’s debut show last year was a beautiful hour of storytelling that delved deep into Sofie’s personal life to explore obsession, perceptions and mental health and deservedly won her acclaim and that coveted Best Newcomer award. And that was all after breaking her coccyx and losing her initial room, forcing her to do different dates in different venues. Here’s hoping for a smoother run and the same success.

Sofie Hagen: Shimmer Shatter
Liquid Room Annexe
6-28 Aug, 7.50pm

richard gadd edfringe

Richard Gadd

Monkey See, Monkey Do

No doubt the cult hit of last years fringe, Richard Gadd returns with another fine display of organised chaos. Very few comics are as bold and as creative as Gadd, His ambitious  show last year made the step up to the Soho Theatre with such ease it’s a surprise to not see him in a bigger room this year.

Richard Gadd: Monkey See, Monkey Do
Banshee Labyrinth
6-28 August, 9:45pm

harry potter edfringe

Harry Potter and the Disappointing Aftermath (An Unofficial Sequel)

After two hugely successful shows, the Weirdos crew led by Adam Larter (Harry Potter) are bringing their acclaimed take on life for Harry and the gang several years after leaving Hogwarts. This show will probably contain the most cardboard of any show on the Fringe.

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

Other recommendations

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s