Edinburgh Fringe

26 stand-up comedy recommendations for the Edinburgh Fringe 2017

Unsure what comedy shows to see at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017? Don’t panic! Once again, Laugh Out London has it covered.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be bringing you various comedy recommendations across several categories of carefully picked shows we know we’ll love and hope that you do to.

We kick off the series of articles with our picks for the best paid-for stand-up shows to see at the Fringe. This includes several shows that are pay-what-you-want (PWYW), meaning you can pay a nominal fee to guarantee a seat or risk turning up on the day itself and then give a donation at the end.

As usual, we’ve missed out a few of the big hitters who you should know and love already (James Acaster, Sara Pascoe, Mark Steel etc) to focus on less well-known performers who you should love soon if you don’t already.

fern brady edinburgh fringeFern Brady

Suffer, Fools!

2016 was something of a breakout year for Fern at the Festival, with multiple glowing reviews and sell-out performances for a show that was honest, angry and very funny. Hopefully 2017 will see her continue to build on that success.

Fern Brady: Suffer, Fools!
The Stand
2-27 Aug, 12.05pm

eleanor morton edinburgh fringe

Eleanor Morton

Angry Young Woman

From her early shows that incorporate more elements of music-based whimsy, Eleanor is really emerging as a strong, politicised voice with important things to say. She is angry, she is young, she is a woman. She is also very funny.

Eleanor Morton: Angry Young Woman
The Stand
2-27 Aug, 12.05pm

sofie hagen edinburgh fringe

Sofie Hagen

Dead Baby Frog

Hagen was the deserved winner of Best Newcomer in 2015 for a show that beautifully wove her early love of West Life, mental health issues and body positivity. This year’s hour is about “anger and a funeral”. That sounds right up our street. Also, props to Sofie for making her gigs anxiety-safe, meaning, if someone has anxiety over attending the show, they can email Sofie at anxietytour2016@gmail.com to discuss what she can do to help.

Sofie Hagen: Dead Baby Frog
Bedlam Theatre
2-28 Aug, 2pm

john luke roberts edinburgh fringe

John-Luke Roberts


A must-see show at every Fringe now, John-Luke Roberts has been one of the most consistently funny and inventive stand-ups at the Festival for several years. Recently he’s developed his clowning side to perform as a monster combined with elements of his deceased father.

Heroes @ Monkey Barrel
3-27 Aug, 2.10pm
PWYW/£5 advance


Ali Brice

Ali Brice’s Never-Ending Pencil

Ali’s last few Fringe appearances have been as an assortment of strange and wonderful characters, all held together by the tragic figure of Eric Meat – a lonely man with a moustache. This year, Ali’s dropped the characters to perform stand-up as himself. It’s a brave move, but based on an early preview, one that is looking like it will work out.

Ali Brice’s Never-Ending Pencil
Heroes @ The Hive
4-26 Aug, 2.30pm
PWYW/£5 advance

pat cahill edinburgh fringe

Pat Cahill

The Fisherman

Another must-see at every Fringe now. Cahill is Simon Munnery’s rightful heir to the crown for absurd, playful philosophizing, pushing comedy to its silliest limits.

Pat Cahill: The Fisherman
Heroes @ Monkey Barrel
3-27 Aug, 2.50pm
PWYW/£5 advance

Tessa Coates


One of several sketch stars maker a solo debut at this year’s Fringe, Tessa is a member is one third of the critically-acclaimed Massive Dad who had a smash hit show in 2014. Her blurb for this solo effort promises “character and story-telling with very intense academic research”.

Tessa Coates: Primates
Pleasance Courtyard
2-26 Aug, 3.30pm

tom neenan edinburgh fringe

Tom Neenan


A master story-teller, Neenan has built a cult audience for his superb and silly yearns on such well-ploughed areas as hauntings and aliens. This year he tells the life story of the nation’s favourite animal lover.

Tom Neenan: Attenborough
Underbelly Med Quad
2-27 Aug, 3.55pm

John Kearns

Don’t Worry They’re Here

Since winning Best Newcomer in 2014 and Best Show at the Fringe a year later, Kearns has only gone from strength to strength, turning those false teeth and monk wig into a character of immense reflection and sophistication.

John Kearns: Don’t Worry They’re Here
Heroes @ Monkey Barrel
4-27 Aug, 5pm
PWYW/£7 advance

bec hill edinburgh fringe

Bec Hill

Out of Order

One of Laugh Out London’s favourite acts, Bec’s shows are always a joy to behold, overflowing with creativity and imagination and with a firm emphasis on making sure everyone has a great time. This year the audience gets to dictate the order of the show by choosing topics from a selection post-it notes.

Bec Hill: Out of Order
Gilded Balloon Teviot
2-27 Aug, 5.15pm

Lauren Pattison

Lady Muck

A newcomer for us, Lauren is impressing the circuit with her fresh, acerbic observations. She’s already supported Katherine Ryan on tour and this debut hour is hotly anticipated.

Lauren Pattison: Lady Muck
Pleasance Courtyard
2-28 Aug, 5.45pm

adam hess edinburgh fringe

Adam Hess


No act at the Fringe this year will provide more laughs per minute than Hess. Relentless and hilarious.

Adam Hess: Cactus
Heroes @ The Hive
4-27 Aug, 6pm
PWYW/£6 advance

grainne maguire edinburgh fringe

Gráinne Maguire

Gráinne with a Fada

Another long-time favourite of Laugh Out London, Grainne is ascending the political comedy mountain with her love of Ed Miliband and popular attacks on Ireland’s archaic attitude to women’s reproductive issues.

Gráinne Maguire: Gráinne with a Fada
Gilded Balloon Teviot
2-27 Aug, 6.30pm

John Robins

The Darkness of Robins

Along with co-host Elis James, John Robins has turned Radio X into essential listening at the weekend over the past few years, building a cult following who like to keep it session and promote the boundless possibilities of email. The duo have also gained huge respect for openly discussing mental health on their show in a compassionate and funny way, and undoubtedly these areas will be touched on in a show that comes months after the break-up of a long-term relationship.

John Robins: The Darkness of Robins
Pleasance Courtyard
2-27 Aug, 6.40pm

Sooz Kempner Edinburgh Fringe

Sooz Kempner

Sooz on Film

Sooz has shown off her amazing vocal skills in previous shows about musicals (and indeed at several Laugh Out London gigs). Now she’s talking about the movies that changes and defined her life. I like both movies and Sooz. This should be ace.

Sooz Kempner: Sooz on Film
Underbelly Med Quad
2-27 Aug, 6.50pm

Joz Norris

The Incredible Joz Norris Locks Himself Inside His Own Show, Then Escapes, Against All the Odds!!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, if you want to see the one show that’s guaranteed to cheer you up on a horrible Fringe day, this will most likely be it. Charming, amusing, playful and imaginative, Joz is a natural performer with a head bursting full of ideas nobody else will ever have.

The Incredible Joz Norris Locks Himself Inside His Own Show, Then Escapes, Against All the Odds!!
Heroes @ The Hive
3-27 Aug, 7.30pm
PWYW/£5 advance

jonny pelham edinburgh fringe

Jonny Pelham

Just Shout Louder

Another relative newcomer with a lot of acclaim so far, Jonny is building a reputation for shows of wistful, northern delight, tinged with melancholia.

Jonny Pelham: Just Shout Louder
Gilded Balloon Teviot
2-27 Aug, 7.45pm

kiri pritchard mclean edinburgh fringe

Kiri Pritchard Mclean

Appropriate Adult

Kiri’s already tasted Fringe success as part of Best Newcomer nominated Gein’s Family Giftshop, and now she’s finding acclaim as a solo act. This latest show is described as a “comedian’s morality tale about other people’s lack of morals”.

Kiri Pritchard Mclean: Appropriate Adult
Pleasance Courtyard
2-28 Aug, 8.15pm

mat ewins edinburgh fringe

Mat Ewins

Presents Adventureman 7: The Return of Adventureman

One of my Fringe highlights last year, Mat’s 2016 effort took the ridiculous to the extreme, mixing video, tech skills and a lot of madness. Our kind of show. I’m expecting this year’s effort to push things even further.

Mat Ewins Presents Adventureman 7: The Return of Adventureman 
Heroes @ The Hive
3-27 Aug, 8.45pm
PWYW/£5 advance

harriet kemsley edinburgh fringe

Harriet Kemsley

Bad At Doing

Harriet is bad at doing a lot of life’s simple tasks, but she is among the best at finding the funny in those failings and creating Edinburgh shows of real heart and humour.

Harriet Kemsley: Bad At Doing
The Caves
3-27 Aug, 9pm
PWYW/£5 advance

Jayde Adams


Building on last year’s Best Newcomer nominated show that told the story of her relationship with her sister, Jayde is back with a show about the pursuit for popularity.

Jayde Adams is Jayded
Pleasance Courtyard
2-28 Aug, 9.30pm

phoebe walsh edinburgh fringe

Phoebe Walsh

I’ll Have What She’s Having

One fourth of the sadly defunct Oyster Eyes (one of the greatest sketch acts we’ve ever seen) Phoebe is going it alone with a debut show about the struggles of living, working and finding true love in this post-truth world.

Phoebe Walsh: I’ll Have What She’s Having
Pleasance Courtyard
2-27 Aug, 9.30pm

fin taylor edinburgh fringe

Fin Taylor

Lefty Tighty Righty Loosey

Another smash hit of the 2016 Fringe, Fin received acclaim last year from all quarters for a masterful show about white, male privilege. He’s sticking with politics for this year’s show too.

Fin Taylor: Lefty Tighty Righty Loosey
The Tron
3-27 Aug, 10.20pm
PWYW/£6.50 advance

Luke McQueen

The Boy With Tape on His Face

A welcome return to the the Fringe for Luke after a year away. His 2015 show was one of my favourites that year, showcasing Luke’s ridiculous nature and aptitude at undermining any attempt to take things seriously. He’ll push most audiences, but he’ll get away with it.

Luke McQueen: The Boy With Tape on His Face
Heroes @ Monkey Barrel
3-27 Aug, 10.40pm
PWYW/£5 advance

Andy Barr Edinburgh Fringe

Andy Barr

Tropic of Admin

It’s fresh-faced Andy Barr’s debut hour, and he’s taking his audience on a trip to a desert island. He’s a performer not short on confidence, ambition and creativity with the ability to back it up. Will he escape the tedium of school administration? Will he get to love coconuts? Will he wear a dress? Head along and find out.

Andy Barr: Tropic of Admin
Heroes @ Dragonfly
4-27 Aug, 10.40pm
PWYW/£5 advance


Phil Dunning

The House of Pigs

One of my biggest regrets of last year’s Fringe was not seeing Phil’s show, which by all accounts was a late night treat. I won’t make the same mistake twice. Phil’s another oddball from Oyster Eyes going solo with an hour of absurd entertainment.

Phil Dunning: The House of Pigs
Pleasance Courtyard
2-27 Aug, 11pm

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