Edinburgh Fringe

21 sketch, character, clown recommendations for the Edinburgh Fringe 2017

Looking for something more than conventional stand-up comedy at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017? Don’t worry, there are loads of idiots out there pretending to be other people, or conjuring up imaginary worlds or playing with props and people in fun, inventive ways.

We’ve collected our favourites in this selection of the best character/sketch/clowning shows to see at this year’s festival.


lucy pearman edinburgh fringe

Lucy Pearman

Maid of Cabbage

Lucy came to our attention thanks to a wonderful performance in LetLuce’s Sea Men (A Naval Tale) in 2015, a show that combined brilliant homemade props, a rollicking adventure and lots of Ronan Keating. Since branching out as a solo act, she’s taken weirdness to new levels, performing as a giant egg in her 2016 effort. From an early preview, this year’s show is just as mad.

Lucy Pearman is Maid of Cabbage
Heroes @ Monkey Barrel
Aug 3-27, 12.30pm
£5/PWYW


adam larter edinburgh fringe

Adam Larter

L’Art Nouveau

Head of cult comedy collective Weirdos, Adam Larter is one of the hardest working and form pushing performers on the alternative comedy circuit. He’ll have more creative ideas in one day than most comedians will have in a career. A man who takes the ridiculous very seriously, which is what we like.

Adam Lart: L’Art Nouveau
Heroes @ The Hive
Aug 4-26, 1pm
£5/PWYW

Flo and Joan edinburgh fringe

Flo and Joan

The Kindness of Stranglers

A new pair to us, but one that come with a lot of buzz around them. They went viral last year with The 2016 Song, but by all accounts this is just the tip of a musical talent that has drawn comparisons to Flight of the Conchords among others.

Flo and Joan: The Kindness of Stranglers
Just the Tonic @ The Tron
Aug 3-26, 2.20pm
£5

trygve wakensaw edinburgh fringe

Trygve Wakenshaw

Trygve vs A Baby

Trygve has been one of the stand-out Fringe performers in recent years, with several shows of superb, near-wordless clowning that show off his immense physical skills that can create worlds of immense silliness. Here he’s competing against a baby for the audience’s attention. It will be a tough batter. Trygve is also performing alongside Barnie Duncan in the show Different Party, which also looks great.

Trygve vs A Baby
Assembly Roxy
Aug 3-27, 3pm
£11-£12.50


marny godden edinburgh fringe

Marny Godden

Marny Godden is One Tooth

Recent Fringe shows have seen Marny introduce audiences to a range of oddities, including a lady with a penchant for hoovers and a remarkably cheeky Moses. Here she plays One Tooth, the punk with a heart of a gold who struggles to chew.

Marny Godden is One Tooth
Heroes @ The Hive
Aug 3-27, 3.45pm
£5/PWYW


michael brunstrom edinburgh fringe

Michael Brunström

Parsley

A truly unique performer who manages to stand out as weird even among the Weirdos collective that he is a leading member of. He’s performed as a river and played himself as a cello, and now he’s performing for an hour in a show all about parsley.

Michael Brunstrom: Parsley
Heroes @ Dragonfly
Aug 16-27, 4pm
£5/PWYW


Beth Vyse

Olive Hands in A Show of Hands

Creator of some of the most insane and ridiculous shows ever seen at the Fringe, Beth has recently given birth to her first child. Will motherhood tone down her antics? We think not.

Beth Vyse: Olive Hands in A Show of Hands
Heroes @ Monkey Barrel
Aug 5-27, 4.05pm
£5/PWYW


goose edinburgh fringe

Goose

Amphetawaltz

A solo sketch show of immense energy. And sweat.

Goose: Amphetawaltz
Assembly George Sq Gardens
Aug 3-27, 4.30pm
£11-£12.50


ingrid oliver edinburgh fringe

Ingrid Oliver

Speech

Ingrid has Fringe experience as part of celebrated sketch duo Watson and Oliver, but this is her first solo effort. And it looks like an interesting one. The Doctor Who star plays a mix of characters, all giving the speech of their lives, from TED talks to bridal toasts.

Ingrid Oliver: Speech
Pleasance Courtyard
Aug 2-27, 4.30pm
£8-£9


ben target edinburgh fringe

Ben Target

Orangeade

Ben’s Best Newcomer nominated show in 2012 remains one of our favourite Fringe experiences of all time. Since then, he has continued to experiment and push the limits of what an hour performance can be.

Ben Target’s Orangeade
Heroes @ Dragonfly
Aug 3-27, 5pm
£5/PWYW


sleeping trees edinburgh fringe

Sleeping Trees

At The Movies

One of the breakthrough sketch acts of last year, Sleeping Trees are an unknown quantity for us, but enough people we respect have raved about them to make us very intrigued.

Sleeping Trees: At The Movies
Pleasance Dome
Aug 2-28, 5.30pm
£12-£13


kat bond edinburgh fringe

Kat Bond

Loo Roll

Another Weirdo with great ideas, Kat Bond’s show finds the sketch star left by her family in a bin, outside Papa Johns in Luton. She sets about finding them with only a loo roll for company.

Kat Bond: Loo Roll
Pleasance Courtyard
Aug 2-28, 5.45pm
£9-£10


Spencer Jones

The Audition

One of the greatest things about recent Edinburgh Fringes is the emergence of Spencer Jones as a mainstream success. After two superb shows of prop-based nonsense, Spencer is a regular on Upstart Crow and has his own sitcom in the works. But it’s the live environment where he shines.

Spencer Jones: The Audition
Heroes @ Monkey Barrel
Aug 4-27, 6.20pm
£7/PWYW

 


jon pointing edinburgh fringe

Jon Pointing

Act Natural

Jon came to our attention in the brilliant Pls Like, a BBC 3 gem written by Liam Williams that spoofed the impenetrable world of YouTubers. He’s taking those acting skills to the Fringe this year where he plays Cayden Hunter, an esteemed actor now teaching the artform in a workshop.

Jon Pointing: Act Natural
Pleasance Courtyard
Aug 2-27, 7.15pm
£10-£11


Helen Duff Edinburgh Fringe

Helen Duff

When The Going Gets Duff

A gloriously silly clown who can do a great brummie accent. Her show’s blurb also says doughnuts may be shared. So get a ticket.

Helen Duff: When the Going Gets Duff
Assembly Roxy
Aug 2-27, 7.35pm
£10-£12


joseph morpurgo edinburgh fringe

Joseph Morpurgo

Hammerhead

His Desert Island Discs-inspired hour in 2015 was an inspired and exhilarating multimedia wonder that never let up on the laughter or the imagination for one second. Joseph has a lot to live up to, but we have full faith in this show where he plays a visionary performer discussing his genre-defying version of Frankenstein.

Joseph Morpurgo: Hammerhead
Pleasance Courtyard
Aug 2-28, 8pm
£11-£12


Tom Walker Edinburgh Fringe

Tom Walker

Bee Boo

An unhinged clown who received many plaudits last year, as well as Best Show nomination at this year’s Melbourne Comedy Festival.

Tom Walker: Bee Boo
Underbelly, George Sq
Aug 2-27, 8pm
£10-£11


steen raskopolous edinburgh fringe

Steen Raskopolous

The Coolest Kid in Competitive Chess

The return of this masterful Aussie improviser who has found TV success of late with a starring role in BBC’s Top Coppers. He’s also performing with Carlo Ritchie in the improvised storytelling show The Bear Pack.

Steen Raskopolous: The Coolest Kid in Competitive Chess
Underbelly, Cowgate
Aug 3-27, 8pm
£11.50-£12.50

 


dirty white boys edinburgh fringe

Dirty White Boys

Stupid

A new act for us, but their Best New Act award at London SketchFest 2016 makes us very keen to see what the fuss is about.

Dirty White Boys: Stupid
Just The Tonic @ The Caves
Aug 3-27, 9.20pm
£5/PWYW


zach and viggo edinburgh fringe

Zach and Viggo 

Zach and Viggo

Their 2016 show was a real clowning treat, complete with tiny hands and lycra. We loved it, and this follow-up is up high on our list of 2017 must-sees. Both Zach and Viggo have fun sounding solo efforts too!

Zach and Viggo
Underbelly, Cowgate
Aug 3-27, 9.30pm
£10-£11


red bastard edinburgh fringe

Red Bastard

Lie With Me

The first time I saw this bouffon performer in 2014 was one of the most terrifying and exhilarating shows I’ve ever seen, with the audience willing pawns in a game played by this mad devil.  This year he has come to Edinburgh to expose the lies we tell our lovers and those bastards who made us lie in the first place. Scary stuff.

Red Bastard: Lie With Me
Pleasance Courtyard
Aug 2-27, 9.30pm
£10.50-£11


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