There were more than 2,000 different comedy shows to pick from at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, staging in excess of 38,000 performances. But which of them, according to the press, were the best?
As part of our coverage of the annual festival, we log every review for every comedy, which this year meant more than 4,500 reviews from just over 100 sources.
Notably, this is a drop in press output compared to 2018 – both in terms of the publications covering the festival and the number of reviews published, backing up recent concerns that rising costs involved in attending and covering the festival are impacting on coverage.
With the Fringe now complete for another year and the last ratings published, we present our annual list of shows from the comedy section of the programme that were reviewed at least 8 times and managed to average 4 stars or higher. London Hughes (pictured) was the individual to score the most 5 star reviews (seven).
Click on any name to see the show’s details and full list of reviews and feature coverage.
As in previous years of running this analysis, we would like to stress that our calculations make no distinction between established broadsheet reviewers and blogs run by fans and students, and the potentially differing views on what a five star show is; plus there is a clear bias in this list towards already established and acclaimed comedy acts who are able to attract more press attention.
A number of hidden gems will doubtless have been overlooked in this list. For example, The Dead Ducks don’t appear above as they fell below the 8 review threshold, but the two reviews they did get were both a full five stars, suggesting with more reviewers in they could have perhaps made the list.