Every year it’s the same. You open the Edinburgh Fringe brochure and are assaulted by the thousands upon thousands of comedy acts, music performances, kids shows and theatre productions.
The choice really is bewildering and with so much on, it’s hard to decide who to see. So let Edinburgh locals, Skyscanner, give you a helping hand with some of our staff’s personal recommendations.
Edinburgh Fringe Festival: 7th – 31st August 2009
Jason Byrne – consistently brilliant and a big favourite with the Skyscanner team, Byrne is a regular at Edinburgh festival and this is his 13th year performing a solo show. Expect sore stomach muscles and an aching face.
Jason John Whitehead – hilarious banter from a Canadian living in London; will be performing his trademark passionate, confessional stand-up on life, love, destiny and displeasures.
The Lady Boys of Bangkok – a firm festival favourite and certainly worth a look once in your life. Warning: straight men may find themselves being strangely attracted to the stars of the show.
Patrick Monanhan: Cowboys and Iranians – hilarious, rapid-fire banter from a very likeable Irish-Iranian-Geordie who must be the fastest talker in the North. A healthy balance of audience involvement and amusing anecdotes ensures a lively night with a lorra, lorra laffs.
Andrew Maxwell’s Fullmooners – brilliant Irish comedian who’s performing solo throughout the festival, but for one night only, Maxwell invites all his mates round for the Fullmooners show to do 20 minute acts; expect to see Ed Byrne, Jason Byrne and more plus plenty of dancing, singing and howling.
Abracadabra: German humour goes global – brutal, dry, shocking and surprising humour from two Deutschlanders. It’s Wunderbar!
Jon Richardson: This Guy at Night – nominated for Best Newcomer 2007 and winner of the Chortle Award in 2008, Richardson is described as "Deliciously misanthropic".
Daniel Sloss – teenagers aren’t supposed to be this funny – but this 18 year old is funny before his time. A trip back to the era of puberty, Daniel Sloss’s show is a guaranteed fun night out – a superstar comedian in the making.
David O’Docherty – winner of the most prestigious prize at the Fringe 2008 (If.Comedy Award), David O’Doherty is a clever comedian who doesn’t need to resort to vulgarity to get you laughing. Even his website is funny.
Best of Irish Comedy – great value showcase featuring three different Irish comics each night for the price of one. More than passed the ‘laugh out loud’ test with Skyscanner.
Tao: Samurai Magical Drumming – amazing taiko drum rhythms blended with precise, martial art-like movements and powerful Japanese beats – highly recommend for anyone that likes a good bassline!
Antonio Forcione – a virtuoso guitarist that will blow your mind, he has "hands like tarantulas, heart of a lion".
Power Plant – a journey though a magical world of light and sound as Edinburgh’s famed Botanic garden’s glasshouses become an array of electronic stunts, kinetic sculptures, installations and performance art.
Salsa Celtica – a Cuban-Celtic music fusion stunning combination of virtuosity and energy Salsa Celtica’s synthesis of Scottish and Irish traditional music with all the Latin American elements of salsa. For those that like their sporrans with a slice of Espanol.
Giraffes Can’t Dance (Blunderbus Theatre Company) – great show for young kids. In previous performances before the show starts the actors come round the audience asking the children what their names are, then during the performance they address them individually bring them into the story – the kids love it!
Skyscanner’s top Edinburgh Fringe Festival Tips
- Try to see a few random shows that you’ve never ever heard of before. One of the great things about this festival is discovering something new.
- Times are hard but there’s still plenty to see for cheap – The FivePoundFringe.com is a great website that have put together all the shows that cost just £5. One that caught our eye was "F**king Funny For A Fiver" – which features 5 comedians in a show lasting almost two hours. As they put it: "there’s no better value show, anywhere, guaranteed."
- Book your tickets online and then use the pre-paid ticket dispenser machines at the Box Office to them up and beat the queues.
- Take the opportunity to explore the city outside of the festival zone; take a stroll up Arthur’s Seat for great views of the city; head to picturesque Duddingston Loch and stop off for a pint in the Sheep’s Heid, or head down to Leith (home of Skyscanner!) and stroll along The Shore area with its collection of chilled cafes, pubs and restaurants.
- If you’re looking for reviews on comedians Chortle.co.uk is a great resource.