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Comedy shows during the Fringe/Recommendations?

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Jakarta, Indonesia
posts: 247
reviews: 20
Comedy shows during the Fringe/Recommendations?

We're going to be in Edinburgh by chance on Aug 21st and 23nd. I've had a look online at the schedule for the fringe performances and it's quite overwhelming! Does anyone have any recommendations?

Also do I need to book tickets in advance?


Gods Country...
posts: 722
reviews: 35
1. Re: Comedy shows during the Fringe/Recommendations?

The fringe is very much a personal idea of comedy - one mans meat is another mans haggis and all that. Its the bizarre to the sublime.

The "name" shows tend to get booked up fast.

Personally I'd check out Craig Hill - also The Stand comedy club usually has a full bill of standup worth catching.

If you have no specific favs just wonder about take in the atmosphere and go into the first one that takes your fancy

Northants, UK
posts: 2
reviews: 5
2. Re: Comedy shows during the Fringe/Recommendations?

Check out the reviews and message boards on the official edinburgh fringe website (www.edfringe.com), also The Scotsman newspaper reviews can be found at www.edinburghfestivals.co.uk.

As the festival gets underway, it soon becomes clear what the "Hot Tickets" are, and these shows will sell out (more so these days as many now pre-book tickets on the internet.) If you see something you really fancy going to, I'd advise booking it up, to avoid disappointment. But it's also nice to leave a few gaps in your itinerary. When you're in Edinburgh, you'll be handed flyers and promotional leaflets and you'll see posters on walls and it's nice to choose something on a whim. Also, what you see in the official programme isn't the whole story. Lots of extra shows are announced at the last minute. You can pick up a free daily fringe guide from hundreds of places around the city. Bring your cell phone - you can phone and book whilst wandering around the city. A lot of shows don't sell out, so you'll always be able to see something, but it may not be what you're after.

Tickets can be bought through the central Edinburgh Fringe Society (phone, internet or in person) or direct from most venues. If the official edfringe site (or their booking office) notes that a show has sold out, check the actual venue. I managed to get tickets for The Odd Couple direct from the Assembly Rooms, long after www.edfringe.com had put the "Sold Out" sign up.

If the Fringe has a centre, then it's the Royal Mile, an ancient street that runs down from the castle. Here you'll find the Fringe shop and lots of street performers, plus live snippets from some of the actual shows. More recently, George Square gardens, a little to the south of the Old Town, has become quite a hive of activity. Here you'll find the Famous Speigeltent, with the Gilded Balloon Teviot and Pleasance Dome just around the corner.

If the weather is ok (which can happen in Edinburgh), then I'd head for the Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33). This is my favourite venue. Bring your programmes, leaflets and any other literature you've picked up, buy a beer and settle back to work your day's itinerary. The Pleasance Courtyard has about a dozen performance places, so you can happily see three or four shows in a single afternoon, without going anywhere else. Look out for an oldish guy in a cream suit with a black labrador. He's Christopher Richardson, who built up this venue. This is his final year.

Because of the sheer number of shows, start times are usually very prompt. Always check where the venue is and leave enough time to ensure you get there on time. For more popular shows, get there twenty minutes early and join the queue. Also, be aware that the Old Town is built on different levels. A venue may look close by, but to get to it, you may need to drop to a lower level and that could mean a longer walk than expected.

The Fringe is all about "creative freedom", so be prepared for lots of "challenging" and deliberately offensive material. With the war on terror being a topical subject, I dare say that a certain George W.Bush will receive a hell of a battering.

One final tip - dress in layers. Most of the Fringe performance spaces are not actual theatres - they weren't designed for this sort of thing. Consequently, there's no air conditioning etc. If the weather's hot, some of the venues will be like ovens.

Enjoy the Fringe. It's a disneyland for adults. You'll love it.

Jakarta, Indonesia
posts: 247
reviews: 20
3. Re: Comedy shows during the Fringe/Recommendations?

Thank you both for the tips. I'm so looking forward to this trip. We've been living in the US for a year (from Wales originally) and are feeling starved of some British irreverence!

We're going to Scotland for a wedding in Speyside and decided only last week that we may as well drive to Edinburgh as neither of us had been and may not get the chance to revisit for some years.

Paid far too much for our hotel (Glasshouse) but I'm sure we'll have a blast!