Here's yer next batch.
Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel
Underbelly George Square, 13:30, August 5th-21st. Paid. Improv
Austentatious are a big smash hit at the Fringe every year these days, so everybody has their favourite memories of them. Mine are of incessantly walking up and down their several-blocks-long queue in 2013 every day trying to convince people they wouldn't get a seat and they should come and see my show instead. Great days.
Bearpit Podcast (Podcast): 100 Year Anniversary
Pleasance Dome, 23:30, August 23rd & 26th. Paid. Conceptual
Bearpit's gone from being something silly in the back room of a pub I heard people saying good things about in 2013 to one of the best-loved bits of stupidity at the Fringe. They're back again for another one-off. Every year I keep promising to go and I keep missing it, so this time I promise to miss it and perhaps reverse psychology will have its way with me.
Becky Walker's Mandatory Rest Break
Heroes @ Bob's BlundaBus, 16:30, August 20th-24th. PWYW. Storytelling
Becky's a familiar figure to Heroes fans as one of the ace people who help keep the wheels of the Heroes of Fringe machine going round. This year she's doing her very own show. Becky's such a natural storyteller and fun person to watch that she puts full-time comics who've been doing it for years to shame.
Ben Clover: Mystery Gimmick Stand-Up Show
Just The Tonic @ The Mash House, 12:00. PWYW. Stand-Up
My favourite bit of Ben's involves him doing an impression of how Spanish people try to get past one another in the street. It's very funny. I have no idea if it's in this show. This is another one of those "Well I've met him and I like him, so I'll put him in the list" entries. But what I've seen him do is always good. Plus there's a mystery gimmick!
Ben Van Der Velde: Barbarians
Laughing Horse @ The White Horse, 17:30. Free. Stand-Up
This is one of those shows where if it turns out the promo shot is just a promo shot, I'll be really disappointed. Ben just looks really good holding a battleaxe. Mind you, he has just walked the entire tube network for charity, so come the Fringe he might be a bit too tired to swing an axe around. I hope not, though. Trade descriptions n all that.
Benji Waterstones & Jake Baker: Performance Anxiety
Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters, 15:15. Free. Stand-Up
Ok, first things first with this one - I don't know Jake Baker. Never met the guy. Got nothing against him, I just don't know him. He might be brilliant. That's the caveat for this one. Benji Waterstones, though. Ooh, now there's a funny boy. He was my favourite one at Party Piece a few months ago. So you're in for a treat with this one.
Underbelly Cowgate, 14:40. Paid. Sketch
Funny old world, innit? I feel like if you look at the promo shot for Benji and Jake up there, you can tell it's two stand-ups doing a two-hander. You look at this one of Best Boy and you can tell they're a sketch double-act. What's that about? Is it because they're stood closer together? Anyway. Best Boy are a sketch double-act, and a very good one. They've got a great Superman skit.
Beth Vyse: As Funny As Cancer
Gilded Balloon @ The Counting House, 17:45. PWYW. Storytelling
Uh-oh, here comes trouble! Last year, sassy old Beth decided to do a show about her surviving cancer. It was supposed to be a one-off thing before she went back to her daft character stuff. It ended up being such a big hit that it's back for another full run. It's very touching and heartfelt and still as stupid and overblown as Beth always is.
Beth Vyse As Olive Hands In: All Hands To The Pump...
Heroes @ The Hive, 15:10. PWYW. Character Comedy
And if Beth's true-life storytelling show makes you curious about what her previous shows were like, she's returning to her signature character Olive Hands for something stupid and ridiculous set on a boat. I'm expecting loads of really bad nautical double-entendres, and Ali Brice in leopard-print. Can't wait.
Birthday Girls: Sh!t Hot Party Legends
Pleasance Courtyard, 21:45. Paid. Sketch
Don't be fooled by their offensive show title - these girls are a lot of lovely fun. Birthday parties are my bread and butter, really - remember I'm one of the most highly-sought-after children's party entertainers in the South London area - so it says a lot that I still enjoy the work of Birthday Girls even after all I've seen. You'd think I'd say "Birthday girls? Pah! Busman's holiday." But I haven't said that, so there.
Bob Slayer: 24 Hour Shows
Heroes @ Bob's BlundaBus, 22:45. PWYW. Storytelling
Chief Hero Bob's 2015 show, ostensibly about him being a jockey, usually ran to about 3 hours because he has too many stories to tell and can't decide which ones to settle for. This year he's combating that by doing a different hour-long show every day over 24 dates. It's pot luck which combination of stories you get. Knowing Bob, they'll all be enormously fun and ridiculous.
Brickhead: Yeah Yeah, Yeah?
PBH @ Sabor, 23:30. Free. Clown
A few years ago I did some clowning workshops with Dr. Brown. I got a huge amount out of them and they helped my process a lot, but I did struggle to get my head round it a bit. Dan Onslow didn't, he took to it incredibly well and was a clowning natural. Now his alter-ego Brickhead is one of the funniest new creations on the clowning scene, and well worth a watch.
Bridget Christie: Mortal
The Stand Comedy Club, 11:00. Paid. Stand-Up
"I'm not getting up before midday for anybody!" everyone at the Edinburgh Fringe says every year, "I'm going to stay out until the small hours every night and network and party!" before the inevitable retraction - "Oh, except for Bridget, I need to see Bridget in the morning," then they scuttle off to bed and go see Bridget's great new show about mortality in the morning.
Candy Gigi: If I Had A Rich Man
Heroes @ The Hive, 13:00. PWYW. Absurdist
I guess if you really wanted to analyse things, you could say that Candy's last show sort of explored motherhood via the means of breast-feeding some celery and giving birth to a chicken carcass. This year's maybe does the same for religion and courtship rituals. It'll probably mostly involve chucking food around again, though, she likes doing that.
Cassie Atkinson: Supernumerary Rainbow
PBH @ Sabor, 13:30. Free. Character Comedy
Hollywood actress Cassie Atkinson takes you on a tour of some of her best-loved movie roles from across her incredible career before finally launching her brand new cinematic spectacular, Supernumerary Rainbow. As anybody who's seen any recent Weirdos show knows, Cassie is one of the very best at bringing ridiculous characters to life. Go see her.
Charlie Dinkin: Can't
Laughing Horse @ Cabaret Voltaire, 18:45, August 4th-14th. Free. Stand-Up
Having opened up about her history as the world's foremost child star last year, this time Charlie turns her attention to her present in a stand-up show that explores Inner Monologue radio stations and 20-second workouts, among others. I loved this in preview, looking forward to seeing the finished show.
Cheekykita: Tittitutar Town
Sweet Grassmarket, 15:50, August 15th-28th. PWYW. Clown
Cheekykita is one of the very best hybrids of clowning, character comedy and just plain stupidity out there. She also has possibly my favourite show title of the year. You might remember her from previous Fringes as one half of Dead Ghost Star. Her stuff is part-Gothic horror, part-shopping list, part-black hole, part-spider, all brilliant.
Chris Coltrane: Socialist Fun Times
PBH @ Banshee Labyrinth, 15:30. Free. Stand-Up
You've got to feel a bit sorry for poor Chris. He was just in the final stages of putting together a great satirical comedy show and then Brexit happened. Now he presumably has to write loads of new stuff about it. Mind you, he's one of the best satirical stand-ups around at the moment, so I'm sure he'll rise to the challenge!
Christian Talbot: C60
Underbelly Med Quad, 17:50. Paid. Stand-Up
Christian tried to explain what his new show's about to me. It's about some sort of obsolete format or something, kind of like vinyls or videos, that doesn't exist any more. I didn't really understand because I'm from a younger generation and we have short attention spans so struggle to - ooh look, an iPod! G2G BRB.
Colin Hoult/Anna Mann: A Sketch Show For Depressives
Pleasance Courtyard, 19:00. Paid. Character Comedy
If you don't agree that Colin Hoult is one of the best character comics in the business then you've not seen Colin Hoult yet. Recent examples of him being great include his deeply unsettling performance as Jimmy Carr in Murder In Successville. Go see him as alter-ego Anna Mann to see how brilliant he is.
Comedians' Cinema Club
Just The Tonic @ The Tron, 15:40. Paid. Conceptual
Cinema Club returns to the Tron, where it always sells out, and this time with an award nomination under its belt, so get booking quick! Come see the likes of me, Eric Lampaert, Matthew Highton, Will Seaward and more struggle drunkenly through Oscar-winning movies for your entertainment.
Comedy Club 4 Kids
Assembly Roxy, 17:35. Paid. Children's
Got little ones? Don't have little ones but enjoy comedy for little ones? Then this is for you! I'm always really bad at Comedy Club 4 Kids because I'm used to dealing with 3-year-olds so end up patronising their mostly 8-year-old clientele. Their regular acts are brilliant, though, so if you're looking for some fun to take your kids to, you can't really beat this.
ComedyOpoly: Board Games With Comedians
Heroes @ Bob's BlundaBus, 19:00, August 15th-29th. PWYW. Conceptual
I think Bob first programmed ComedyOpoly onto the BlundaBus because he had some time in the schedule to fill, and owned some board games. It's since become one of the regular institutions of the BlundaBus programme at every festival it goes to. Come play Monopoly or Jenga with some talented and funny folk.
Daniel Audritt & Sean Cannon: Breaking The Mould
Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters, 16:30. Free. Stand-Up
Oh, Lord, another one of these where I don't know 50% of the comedians involved. Again, full disclosure - I don't really know Sean Cannon. Sorry. He's probably great. But Dan Audritt is both a very good stand-up and an excellent, prolific maker of very well-written online sketches. Great writer, highly recommended.
Dan Cook: He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's Daniel Cook
Just The Tonic @ The Caves, 13:20. Free. Stand-Up
Oh, wow, guys, we need to talk about this:
I was Googling Dan Cook to bring up some of his plaudits so I could plug them here, and I found that - doesn't it look great?! Look at his little recorder! Bless him.