Edinburgh Fringe

15 free comedy recommendations for the Edinburgh Fringe 2018

Laugh Out London brings you a list of some of the best free 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.

What Has The News Ever Done For Me?

What Has The News Ever Done For Me?

Grainne Maguire’s topical news quiz returns. Every day three different comics bring along the story from the news they think is the most important and argue why it’s the one you should care about.

What Has The News Ever Done For Me?
City Cafe
Aug 2-26, 11.15am

Sooz Kempner

Super Sonic 90s Kid

Pop culture obsessive Sooz tries to work out how 90s videogames have shaped her life in a show that will appeal to anyone who still shudders at the pure dread of a rising water level while in control of a hedgehog.

Sooz Kempner: Super Sonic 90s Kid
Globe Bar
Aug 4-26, 1pm

Nathaniel Metcalfe

Chameleon, Comedian, Corinthian and Caricature

Another comic whose material is shaped by the pop culture he’s consumed, Nathaniel makes a very welcome return to the Fringe after a few years off in a show directed by Fringe favourite James Acaster. Previous shows have gone deep into the Honey Monster, Disney’s The Barefoot Executive and Deep Roy.

Nathaniel Metcalfe: Chameleon, Comedian, Corinthian and Caricature
The Counting House
Aug 2-26, 1.10pm

Cassie Atkinson

Swan Song

Cassie is a huge talent with a real gift for voices, singing and all-round great performance. She’s been described as a ‘future national treasure’. We heartily agree.

Cassie Atkinson: Swan Song
Waverley Bar
Aug 4-26, 1.15pm

Ahir Shah


After being nominated for Best Show at last year’s Fringe some people may have expected Ahir to go to a bigger, paid-for venue this year. But he’s stuck to the same room at the excellent Cabarat Voltaire and the same price at a marvellous £0. And will probably doing similar well-thought and critical stand-up on issues of genuine interest.

Ahir Shar: Duffer
Cabaret Voltaire
Aug 2-26, 2.15pm

David McIver

Is A Nice Little Man

David has probably the most truthful of any show title this year. He is indeed a nice little man who will be very pleasant company for an hour of character-based fun.

David McIver Is A Nice Little Man
Aug 4-25, 2.30pm

Sofie Hagen

Tries Something

The 2015 Best Newcomer winner is back with a show that promises to be different each day, from podcasts to dance shows. It’s an exciting concept and one that will probably warrant repeat visits.

Sofie Hagen Tries Something
The Counting House
Aug 2-26, 3.30pm

Hannah and Charlie

Making It

A debut performance Fringe performance for two newcomers to the stand-up world. One was in Budgie the Little Helicopter and the other lived in China for four years and now makes her own spacesuits.

Hannah and Charlie: Making It
Canon’s Gait
Aug 15-26, 4.10pm

Louise Reay


Louise is currently going through a rather horrible sounding legal battle concerning her comments on her ex-husband in a previous show. Free speech and censorship are some of the unsurprising topics of the latest show from this natural clown.

Louise Reay: Eraserhead
Cabaret Voltaire
Aug 2-26, 4.15pm

Sean McLoughlin

Hail Mary

For the past few years Sean has quietly been making Fringe shows of subtle, thought-provoking stand-up, showcasing a real talent for strong writing that deserves a bigger audience.

Sean McLoughlin: Hail Mary
Cabaret Voltaire
Aug 2-26, 4.45pm

Arnab Chanda

Stories from Arnab

Arnab quit a promising stand-up career in 2011 to become a very successful producer at the BBC working on shows from John Kearns, Liam Williams, Romes Ranganathan and more. He’s back to tell stories about broken dreams, death and getting alopecia.

Arnab Chanda: Stories from Arnab
Banshee Labyrinth
Aug 4-26, 5pm

Tash Goldstone


A proper weirdo whose 40 minute show will tackle childhood obsessions, terrible YouTubers and why you should never eat glitter.

Tash Goldstone: Jellybean
Aug 4-12, 5.30pm

Harriet Kemsley (must-see show!)

Slutty Joan

One of our all-time favourite stand-ups, Harriet is as charming as she is brilliant as she is nuts. This year she’s getting more political, taking on slut shaming and how society judges sexually confident women. 

Harriet Kemsley: Slutty Joan
Voodoo Rooms
Aug 4-25, 5.55pm

Alexander Bennett

Housewive’s Favourite

An “emotionally broken and quietly desperate”comedian, Alexander is the creator of cult hit Hell To Play.

Alexander Bennett: Housewive’s Favourite
Waverley Bar
Aug 4-26, 7.30pm

The Piece

The Piece

I know nothing about this show other than the blurb on the Fringe website. It’s intrigued me though. “Take a glowstick.” Okay, I will.

The Piece
The Counting House
Aug 2-26, 11.05pm

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