Edinburgh Fringe Reviews 2011

Here's a list of the shows the British Comedy Guide team watched in 2011, with the best-rated shows at the top.

Anna Lowman says: "This show is so brilliant I fear I'll run out of superlatives for it before I finish..." Read

Charming, life-affirming and frequently devastating, Josie Long's new show is essential Fringe viewing. Read

It's rare that a set so intelligent and interesting delivers so many jokes, and rarer still to see them delivered with such energy and skill. Read

The WitTank guys are able to spin absolute hilarity out of a relatively small budget and give everyday situations a beautifully surreal spin with an ease that a lot of sketch shows lack. Read

Paul Foot is brilliant performer, with an expertly crafted surreal set. It's not a show for everyone, but it is alternative comedy at it's very best. Read

A wonderful, joke-packed hour, delivered by a master of online and onstage comedy. Read

A wild, silly, slickly performed romp that will delight anyone who has ever watched children's TV, liked Avenue Q, or committed tax fraud. Read

This is everything the Fringe should be. A tiny, stuffed, sweaty, un-soundproofed room where one of our most interesting working stand-ups can say whatever he damn well likes. Read

It's perhaps slightly surprising that Isy Suttie is still nestled away in a low-key 5pm slot despite being quite a well-known telly face these days. Read

Barry & Stuart combine brilliant magic tricks with top class humour to create one of the best shows at the Festival. Read

A great performance, made even more interesting and exciting by the genuine risks the comedian undertook to put together this remarkable show. Read

Meryl O'Rourke's charming delivery and sharply observed tales leave the audience in no doubt that they've just seen one of this year's Fringe highlights. Read

A Dead Cat Bounce gig is a lesson to us all in what a jaw-achingly brilliant mix music and comedy can be. Read

Impressively funny, thoughtful stuff, told from the perspective of a chap coming to terms with getting older. Read

It may seem strange Clever Peter are doing a 'Best Of' show when they've only done three Fringes, but their sketches are so good they are definitely worth repeat viewings. Read

Zoe Lyons keeps her audience together with her mix of light and dark, snuggies and a fondness for fudge. Definitely worth seeing if you get the chance. Read

You know that a comedy show is brilliant when the time just seems to fly by and you leave hungry for more. This describes musical duo Jollyboat's show. Read

To spend an hour with the Englishmen will see a lot more belly laughs than many of the sketch shows at the Fringe. Read

Webster is the sort of natural performer who can't help but capture your attention. He maintains a strong presence throughout the set, and his command of the room is doubtless. Read

If you are seeking happiness then going to see Jason Cook's show about the subject is a pretty good place to start. Read

Tom Bell has a great, off-beat turn of phrase and this show may be on the shambolic side, but it's also endlessly inventive, with a really sweet ending. Read

David Reed is a great performer and his first solo outing since the Penny Dreadfuls is a wonderfully strange, funny, fascinating show. Read

This musical pair, playing as part of the Free Festival, really is deserving of an hour of your time. Read

Rich Hall's Hoedown is hugely entertaining, musically and comically, with Hall providing the wit and wisdom up front, and the band playing it impressively straight behind. Read

Taking on her first Fringe, Sadia Azmat taps into a rich comic vein with her stories of working in a call centre. Read

Andrew Lawrence has mellowed significantly. It's a solid show which should still appeal to fans with dark taste... only now they can bring their friends. Read

Seymour Mace uses art, poetry, dance, 'impressinations' and some audience participation involving balls to cheer everyone up. Read

A wonderfully entertaining hour and the only show that hosts the World's Shiftiest Looking Seagull Award. Read

Doctor Brown certainly has balls, as you will no doubt see, and his interaction with the audience is very bold. Read

Cabin Fever does get off to a rather sedate start, but for the most part this is a hugely entertaining show. Read

Bad Bread is a wonderfully funny show with three excellent comedians which telly addicts will go absolutely mad for. Read

Andi Osho's material is punchy and pacey and she has some superb lines on a range of mundane topics. Read

Matt Kirshen delivers some amusing anecdotes about embarrassing situations, delivered in an assured and confident manner. Read

A surreal show that is silly and obscure, yet clever and incredibly well put together. Read

If you require a man who is enthusiastic, meaningful, incredibly friendly, full of cheeky charm, and hugely funny, Chris Ramsey confidently gives every box a large tick. Read

Morgan & West get a solid 4 stars for a genuinely rich, wholehearted, fun family entertainment with mind-boggling trickery and many comical hum-dingers. Read

Bob and Jim bring a contemporary edge to the old music hall acts in their new show Modern Urges, an all singing all dancing variety extravaganza with lashings of triumphant tomfoolery. Read

We get straight into the jokes without introductions or set-up and, with sketches lasting more than a minute a rarity, the pace rarely lets up. Read

Compellingly camp Aussie crooner Bob Downe has been away from the Fringe for four years, but absence clearly makes the heart grow fonder, and Bob go blonder. Read

Despite Andrew Bird's son having just been born on the very day this review was conducted, he still put on a great show. Read

It's well worth a visit to the Gilded Balloon to see this very funny lady. Read

A well-rehearsed show with a wonderful rapport, not just between the cast themselves but also amongst them and the crowd. Read

The Beta Males weave a hilarious web in The Train Job, executed with brilliant timing and delivery. Read

It's very tightly choreographed and the performances are incredibly intense. Read

Idiots Of Ants always have nice ideas and they are an incredibly likeable bunch. Read

The Horne Section is one of the more elaborate events enlivening Edinburgh's twilight hours this year. Read

Pascoe's natural charm and winningly quirky delivery make up for the few weak points in the show. Read

It's elementary dear reader... an excellent, funny show from two talented chaps. Read

The Fudge Shop is simply fun - lots of fun - for the brilliantly talented performers as well as the delighted crowd. Read

Did I have fun? Very much so. Would I rather just see a full show from the brilliant Monsieur Lucont? Probably... Read

O'Neill does a commendable job of staying in control in the challenging conditions of Assembly's new noisy home in George Square. Read

Overall this is a relaxing and easy watch. Nothing heavy, and nothing that's going to change the world, but sometimes with a Fringe show that's all you need. Read

This year, Mick Ferry is presenting a fine show about the end of the world in the depths of the Gilded Balloon. Read

Alex Horne has all the skills of an inspirational lecturer but ultimately, regardless of how enjoyable the hour is, there are just not enough laughs. Read

If you want a cheery hour about clingfilm, knives and mice, give Lloyd Langford some consideration. Sure to bring a laugh and smile to any age. Read

While some jokes in the show never quite land, the Gentlemen of Leisure do manage to hit some incredible highs. Read

Nick Doody's work-in-progress show features some good material, but there's still a few bits to be improved at the time of writing. Read

Jimeoin has that rare talent of being able to carve out some of the funniest material from the simplest observations. Read

The light slowly fades on the room until you really cannot see anything. Comedy in the Dark makes for an interesting experience. Read

This character has some sharp and clever lines, but there may not be too many more miles left in Danny Pensive. Read

Thom Tuck's reports from the strange world of the Disney spin-off are tremendously entertaining, but there's an unfortunate expectation that we have intimate knowledge of the more iconic Disney films. Read

An impressive outing for the Birdman, but structurally the show is a tad wonky. Read

Crowd Pleaser is a likeable, often splendidly witty show, but also lacks any staggering moments of genius, outrage, or sustained oh-my-aching-sides set-pieces. Read

It's probably best to avoid this show if you're blissfully unaware of Green's previous work. If, on the other hand, you're one of that small, slightly odd band who loved Freddy Got Fingered: you'll laugh 'til you hurl. Read

A good debut from a strong performer, although a more laidback delivery would have helped. Read

Paul McCaffrey is decent company, but maybe just a little too plain, and whilst his act is polished, it comes across as a little wooden at times. Read

The Noise Next Door improv group are quietly becoming one of the Fringe's guaranteed bum-on-seat stalwarts. Read

Although there were humorous moments to this musical hour from Steve Pretty, there simply wasn't enough to qualify it as a comedy piece. Read

The humping, wanking, vomiting, incestuous prostitution, backstreet abortion and diarrhoea aren't the most disgusting parts of this show. Read

A mixed bag of characters from Catriona Knox, but the show certainly does have its moments. Read

This show offers an exquisite series of character portraits, but there are simply not enough laughs to qualify as a comedy show. Read

Chris Cox pulls off some incredible mind-reading stunts, but he appears to have been mis-filed under the comedy section as the show wasn't particularly humourous. Read

Gareth Richards could have done with writing a few more jokes rather than relying on a garrulous manner and waves of goodwill. Read

Misery guts Michael J Dolan delivers some funny stories, but his set does have some issues. Read

The Life Doctor is one hell of a confusing sketch show. Ambitious, but missing something. Read

This show won't change your life - unless you're an occultist who's already wavering - but a free hour with Ben Verth is very much worth your while. Read

Lady Garden's bold and impressive opening sketch promises a lot. However, the show struggles to maintain this quality and tone for the duration. Read

Three-man sketch group Sheeps has come to Edinburgh with a show which has lots of lovely ideas, but which varies in quality quite considerably. Read

While not rip-roaringly funny, Which One's Fergal? does give a professional dose of well-acted sketch character comedy. Read

A mixed bag of anecdotes and characters, from the witty to the wearisome. Read

Lee Camp clearly misses the whoops and cheers that probably greet his diatribes back home. Read

Axis of Awesome are capable of holding a show, but it felt weak and a bit insipid. Read

If you fancy a break from the rush of the Fringe, then pop along to the Gilded Balloon for some teatime entertainment of the old-fashioned kind. Read

This show contains a number of good one-liners and off the wall rants but not enough to sustain larger appeal. Read

Mark Olver presents us with dark material that jars uncomfortably with a giggly, friendly on-stage persona. Read

Some of Newall's jokes hit the spot straight away, but certain tangential elements of the show make it feel quite disjointed. Read

Ada Vidal talks about subjects including race and prejudice, subjects she has covered many times previously. Read

American comic Hal Sparks comes across as distinctively unlikeable. He has a patronising attitude and unappealing arrogance. Read

Michael Winslow - the man of 1,000 Sound Effects - demonstrates some impressive sound conjuring, but the show is more something to marvel at than laugh at. Read

Wendy Wason's show sometimes felt like a trip down memory lane at a family dinner party, rather than a comedy show. Read

There was a sense that the hour was a bit of a struggle to fill and, even with some obvious padding, the show came in under time. Read

While Tara Flynn's songs were all well and good in their own right, they were sadly not overtly humorous. Read

You come away wondering what on earth possessed them to pitch up at this Portakabin for a month with such a patchy show. Read

At points in the show the audience is forced to wonder whether they're paying to act as silent counsellors. Read

To say that Mabbs & Justice don't hit a high note is probably a compliment to the pair. Read