Edinburgh Fringe

20 character/clown comedy recommendations for the Edinburgh Fringe 2018

Laugh Out London brings you a list of some of the best character/clown comedy shows you will see at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018.

As usual we’ve avoided some of the bigger names and focused on newer/less-established acts who should be among your favourites, if they aren’t already. The shows are listed in chronological order for your convenience.

New for this year is our ‘must-see’ show. In each of our Fringe recommendation categories we will pick one outstanding act that you simply must see. It’s the one that’s all highlighted below.

See our other Edinburgh Fringe recommendations for 2018, including the including the best stand-up shows, the best sketch shows, the best character/clown shows, the best free comedy shows, the best musical/cabaret shows, the best theatre shows, the best special shows and the best international shows.

Adam Larter

Boogie Knights

The driving creative force behind the celebrated Weirdos comedy group, Adam is one of the true mavericks of alternative comedy, disproving the boring notion that the modern comedy circuit is less exciting and unpredictable than the 1980s. If those older comics could stop talking about The Ice Man on podcasts and actually go out and see shows from people like Adam they’d be in for a treat. His show this year brings together disco and medieval knights. At last.

Adam Larter: Boogie Knights
Heroes @ The Hive
Aug 4-26, 2pm

Ali Brice

Lemonade Stand

Another Weirdo who has several Fringe shows under his belt, all of which have displayed a real gift for creating characters that toe the line between joyous and disturbing.

Ali Brice’s Lemonade Stand
Heroes @ The Hive
Aug 2-26, 2.30pm

Luke Rollason

Planet Earth

Luke is a very exciting new face in the clowning world, showcasing a vibrant imagination and a colourful menagerie of props to bring a low-budget, one-man nature documentary set in a future where our worst predictions came true.

Luke Rollason: Planet Earth
Monkey Barrel
Aug 2-26, 2.30pm

Ben Target


If you haven’t done so already, immediately listen to Ben’s enlightening and engrossing conversation with Stuart Goldsmith on the Comedian’s Comedian podcast on the relationship between art and comedy and how a wannabe artist defines himself on the comedy circuit. It’s a perfect entry into Ben’s world, which comes explosively to life in his live shows.

Ben Target: Splosh
Heroes @ The Hive
Aug 2-26, 3.45pm

Beth Vyse

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

A very welcomed return for Beth who missed last year after recently giving birth. Once again she takes on the role of Olive Hands, a twisted TV personality obsessed with Jane MacDonald. There may be a cameo for the newest member of the Vyse household too.

Beth Vyse as Olive Hands: The Hand That Rocks the Cradle
Monkey Barrel
Aug 1-26, 3.45pm

Tom Neenan

It’s Always Infinity

A splendid storyteller, Tom Neenan guarantees a thrilling and thoughtful hour every Fringe.

Tom Neenan: It’s Always Infinity
Underbelly, Bristo Sq
Aug 1-26, 3.45pm

Tessa Waters

Fully Sik

Tessa’s been away from the UK for some time, taking her home nation of Australia by storm with her high-octane mix of cabaret and comedy. We’re very pleased to have her back in Edinburgh for what will be one of the most relentlessly fun shows of the Fringe.

Tessa Waters: Fully Sik
Heroes @ The SpiegelYurt
Aug 2-26, 5pm

John Luke Roberts

All I Wanna Do Is [FX: GUNSHOTS] With a [FX: GUN RELOADING] and a [FX: CASH REGISTER] and Perform Some Comedy!

An excellent show title for what will likely be an excellent show. John Luke is one of the leaders of the Alternative Comedy Memorial Society and has established himself as a genuine absurdist who can still write a great gag.

John Luke Roberts: All I Wanna Do Is [FX: GUNSHOTS] With a [FX: GUN RELOADING] and a [FX: CASH REGISTER] and Perform Some Comedy!
Assembly George Square Studios
Aug 1-27, 5.30pm

Marny Godden

Marny Town

Marny as Mr Fry-Up last year must go down as one of my favourite Fringe performances. She has a knack for lovable, eccentric characters that nobody else in the world could come up with.

Marny Godden: Marny Town
The Hive
Aug 3-27, 6.20pm

Lucy Pearman (must see show!)

Fruit Loop

Last year Lucy made a real breakthrough with her cabbage-based show, picking up a Best Newcomer nomination for a show that was perfect in its nonsensical, playful chaos. She’s sticking with the food theme this year and from early sets we have seen it is perhaps even more absurd but just as wonderful.

Lucy Pearman: Fruit Loop
Monkey Barrel
Aug 2-27, 6.30pm

David Earls is Brian Gittins

Don’t Feed The Monkey Man

A real favourite of many comedians, including Ricky Gervais (David has worked on several of his projects), Brian Gittins is a character you tend to love, or absolutely despise. We’re on the side of the former, most definitely.

David Earls is Brian Gittins: Don’t Feed The Monkey Man
Heroes @ Boteco
Aug 2-26, 6.40pm

Elf Lyons


One of many comedians to have progressed through the ranks of the Ecole Philippe Gaulier clown school (see LOL favourites Dr Brown, John Luke Roberts, Holly Burn etc) Elf is another Best Newcomer nominee from last year looking to follow up on that success.

Elf Lyons: Chiffchaff
Pleasance Dome
Aug 1-27, 6.50pm

Christopher Bliss

I Spy With My Little Eye Something Beginning With Why Have You Been Sleeping With My Wife: A Play by Christopher Bliss

Another contender for best show title. Rob Carter is the man behind Christopher Bliss, a terrible author whose lack of talent is only matched by his giant ego. Think Garth Marenghi, but even more pathetic and deluded.

I Spy With My Little Eye Something Beginning With Why Have You Been Sleeping With My Wife: A Play by Christopher Bliss
Pleasance Dome
Aug 1-26, 7pm

Freya Slipper


Winner of the Funny Women award, Freya Slipper is a hugely talented comedian and writer whose debut character show sees her set off to space.

Freya Slipper: Linda
Underbelly, George Sq
Aug 1-27, 8pm

Steen Raskopolous


A brilliant improviser, Steen is the Adam Riches school of playful and unpredictable audience interaction.

Steen Raskopolous: Stay
Underbelly, Cowgate
Aug 2-26, 8pm

Sam Nicoresti


The Sam half of superb sketch duo Sam and Tom goes it alone for what should be an hour of silly antics.

Sam Nicoresti’s Bedtime
Black Medicine
Aug 15-26, 8.15pm

Kieran Hodgson


One of the most talented performers around (you should hear his Andrew Scott impression) Kieran’s previous shows on his cycling obsession and his desire to compose symphony gained rave reviews and market out Kieran as the latest in a long line of impressive British comedy actors that can combine great physicality, top-notch writing and a knack for bringing to life lovable, eccentric characters. This year’s show focuses on the UK’s decision to join the EEC in the 1970s. If anyone can make it funny, Kieran can.

Kieran Hodgson: ‘75
Pleasance Courtyard
Aug 1-26, 8.15pm

Emma Sidi

Faces of Grace

It’s Emma’s third hour of quality character comedy. This year’s effort includes dancing.

Emma Sidi: Faces of Grace
Pleasance Courtyard
Aug 1-26, 8.30pm

Helen Duff

How Deep Is Your Duff?

A proper clown who’s not afraid to go intimate with her material.

Helen Duff: How Deep Is Your Duff?
Heroes @ The Hive
Aug 2-26, 9pm

Story Beast

This is Bardcore

Former Beta Male John-Henry Falle resurrects his Best Newcomer nominated medieval storyteller for more tales of inter-dimensional folk horror.

The Story Beast: This Is Bardcore
Underbelly, Cowgate
Aug 2-26, 10.40pm

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