British Comedy Guide

External Features

Kate Copstick interview

Kate Copstick, Glasgow born actress, is nowadays considered the mother of all Edinburgh Fringe reviewers and has been writing for The Scotsman for many a year.

Howard Gorman, PPSF Webzine, 9th November 2012

Promoter seeks Fringe public break

Edinburgh would get a new public holiday under plans put forward by a leading Fringe promoter to help boost tickets sales at the end of the Festival.

Brian Ferguson, The Scotsman, 1st September 2012

Should VisitScotland do more to promote the festivals?

As Edinburgh's big festival month reaches its climax this weekend, with the Mela on Leith Links and the International Festival's grand firework finale over the castle, tourist board VisitScotland has seemingly hit back at criticism that it should have done more to promote the capital's summer festivals this year, given the competition of that big sporting event happening in England.

ThreeWeeks, 31st August 2012

Fringe round-up II - will 2012 be a turning point?

One of the running themes of the Edinburgh Fringe is the (I think perfectly legitimate) whinge that performers underwrite the whole thing - a cost that is then passed onto the punters.

London Is Funny, 31st August 2012

Fringe round-up I - clowns, rape gags and Stewart Lee

Now the 2012 Fringe is done, some closing thoughts...

London Is Funny, 30th August 2012

The future of the Fringe? Think smaller

So - officially - it wasn't as bad as everyone feared. A post-Olympic rally meant Fringe ticket sales were just one per cent down on last year, albeit spread over six per cent more shows.

Steve Bennett, Chortle, 28th August 2012

Edinburgh Fringe 2012: Ticket trouble and tantrums

So it is all over for another year, but what has the Edinburgh Fringe 2012 taught us?

Tim Clark, Such Small Portions, 28th August 2012

Who beat Olympic effect and who didn't...

Edinburgh's Festival venues have reported a mixed year after many shows went head to head with the London Olympics, The Scotsman can reveal.

Brian Ferguson, The Scotsman, 27th August 2012

That Was The Fringe That Was

It's ironic that in the year that the Edinburgh Festival Fringe introduced a Spoken Word category for the first time, its biggest comedy awards recognised silent comics.

Andrea Mann, The Huffington Post, 27th August 2012

Dear Edinburgh Fringe...

I don't quite know how to say this, but I think the performance poet Lily 'Rose' Allen put it best in the title of her award-winning 2009 Edinburgh show: "It's not me, it's you." In other words, Edinburgh Fringe... You've got fat. I'm sorry. But I'm telling you this for your own sake.

Andrea Mann, The Huffington Post, 26th August 2012

Change coming to the Fringe

This year I genuinely feel we are standing at the turning of a tide. Next year's Fringe will, I believe, look different, be different.

Kate Copstick, The Scotsman, 26th August 2012

Don't ask about dosh: The true cost of staging a Fringe

It was suddenly no laughing matter when Claire Smith decided to investigate what it really costs to put on a show at the Fringe.

Claire Smith, The Scotsman, 25th August 2012

Laughing Horse tops The Scotsman's Free Fringe picks

The Scotsman's list of the best free shows puts the score at 8-1 to Laughing Horse.

Callum Leslie, Festival Journal, 24th August 2012

Video: How did you find out about your nomination?

Some of the nominees of the Edinburgh Comedy Award 2012 reveal how they first heard they were on the shortlist for the award.

Comedy Blogedy, 24th August 2012

No stars for critics after poor showing in the football

This truly is a dark time for journalism - and I'm not talking about phone hacking or any other 'dark arts' stuff here. No, 11 men brought shame on the good profession last Sunday at the Meadows, losing the annual Amnesty International Comedians versus Critics football match by four goals to three.

Gary Flockhart, The Scotsman, 23rd August 2012

Stand-up comedy only gets better with age

Comedians Daniel Kitson and Simon Munnery demonstrate the benefit of experience at Edinburgh, where their audiences are treated to something rare in comedy - calm.

Paul MacInnes, The Guardian, 23rd August 2012

Fringe extensions - the comics with extra shows

A quick heads-up about some of the comics putting on extra shows due to demand.

London Is Funny, 22nd August 2012

Magical Edinburgh Fringe

For over 10 years I've spent most of August in Edinburgh at the festival and for five of those years I've been performing shows. Now working on a year on, year off system I took the opportunity to enjoy Edinburgh without the stress of doing a show and to catch up on what my magical colleagues were up to.

Chris Cox, The Huffington Post, 22nd August 2012

Dave's one-liner award misses the point of comedy

By suggesting humour can be captured in a few words, Dave's one-liner award sells Edinburgh fringe comedy short.

Brian Logan, The Guardian, 22nd August 2012

Feminists urge comedians to stop telling rape jokes

Fringe performers have been urged to stop cracking jokes about rape and sexual assault during this year's festival.

The Scotsman, 22nd August 2012

The 100 best jokes from this year's Fringe

Following a debate yesterday on what makes a good gag on the Fringe, our comedy critics pick their favourites from this year's crop.

The Independent, 22nd August 2012

Fresh Fringe's 24-hour challenge!

Starting at 10am on Wednesday 22 August, an intrepid broadcasting duo of Christian Illingworth and Finlay Niven will be hosting a 24 hour radio marathon live from the Pleasance Courtyard, on Fresh Air in aid of Waverley Care, the Edinburgh-based charity supporting those affected by HIV and Hepatitis C.

Rosamund West, The Skinny, 21st August 2012

Gags... but not as you know them

This year's comedy trend at the Festival is for visual humour - Bruce Dessau introduces the new sight-gaggers.

Bruce Dessau, Evening Standard, 21st August 2012

Comics share their fest highlights

Some final Fringe recommendations from performers including Billy the Mime and Chris Ramsey.

The List, 21st August 2012

My baptism of fire with the famous on the Fringe

Gina Allum recalls David Baddiel and Bettany Hughes in Edinburgh.

Gina Allum, The Independent, 21st August 2012

Jongleurs Comics are 'owt but Idol up in Edinburgh

Club chain's acts are laughing it up...

Tommy Holgate, The Sun, 21st August 2012

'Comics should avoid the Fringe spending binge'

This year more than ever, the cost of performing at one of the main Edinburgh Fringe venues is being questioned. Why should the festival's talent carry the cost burden? Is it worth it for them? Comic/rapper Doc Brown moved into comedy from the music business - and says comedians could learn a few things from musicians.

Doc Brown, London Is Funny, 20th August 2012

James Everett adds his voice to the Fringe ticket price

'What if Michael McIntyre was charging £50? Is it then OK to pay £25 for Stewart Lee?'

James Everett, The Scotsman, 20th August 2012

The rise of the nerds

Hard science + stand-up = pure laughter. Holly Williams meets the biggest brains in the comedy laboratory.

Holly Williams, The Independent, 19th August 2012

An extravaganza of comic political ego at the Fringe

I am at the Edinburgh Fringe to see comedy shows, so what better this afternoon than a 90-minute play about a disgraced Socialist leader?

John Fleming, The Huffington Post, 18th August 2012

Hugh Grant barred from Fringe venue

Hugh Grant was turned away from a comedy show at the Edinburgh Fringe last night - thanks to overzealous bouncers.

Chortle, 18th August 2012

I hope I might get Marshall Cordell in the stocks

It is that time of the festival where people sidle up to me, eyebrows dancing a cha cha, to ask if I have "heard any buzz" about the Edinburgh Comedy Awards. And do you know, this year, I haven't.

Kate Copstick, The Scotsman, 18th August 2012

Baroness Smith steps down as Fringe chair

Baroness Smith has formally stepped down as chair of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society after 17 years in the role.

STV, 18th August 2012

The Fringe: This time it's serious

With stand-ups tackling subjects such as the riots, racism, activism and banking, the Festival has its political edge back.

Alice Jones, The Independent, 18th August 2012

Have you heard the one about rape? It's funny now

The misogyny all over the Edinburgh comedy festival isn't comedy, but rage in disguise.

Tanya Gold, The Guardian, 17th August 2012

The comedians who can't fill a venue

Nick Clark finds plenty of seats to spare at the quietest Edinburgh Fringe for years.

Nick Clark, The Independent, 17th August 2012

The fringe finds its Banksy, & where all the money goes

A guerrilla poster artist and a raft of bloggers are taking aim at the Edinburgh fringe's increasingly corporate outlook.

Matt Trueman, The Guardian, 16th August 2012

An Edinburgh comedy judge's diary: the gaffer of gaffer

As The Boy With Tape on His Face, Sam Wills drags mime into today; Nick Helm bawls audiences out. Both use games, interactivity, sketches and standup - is this variety comedy?

Paul MacInnes, The Guardian, 16th August 2012

Why Stewart Lee is wrong about the death of the Fringe

Charlie Wood from Underbelly: Stewart Lee and Tommy Sheppard's criticisms of my venue and the fringe only damage the artists they say they want to help - and make them sound like a pair of grumpy old men.

Charlie Wood, The Guardian, 16th August 2012

Fringe benefits - is Edinburgh's festival too big?

Edinburgh's Fringe Festival has introduced the world to a huge range of acting and comic talent in its 64-year history. But is its size now preventing new performers from breaking through?

Channel 4, 15th August 2012

How much do people pay for free shows?

There are 800 shows at the Edinburgh Fringe at which the audience does not buy a ticket or pay anything to enter. So, how has the "free" idea changed the Fringe and how much do people actually pay for these shows?

Steven Brocklehurst, BBC News, 15th August 2012

Celebrity obsessions

It's normal for teens to obsess over famous people, but Amy Lame, Dan Wright and Vikki Stone have carried their obsessions into adulthood. Si Hawkins asks if its time for an intervention?

Si Hawkins, Fest Mag, 14th August 2012

Fringe 2012: Comedy highlights so far

Dr Brown, Shit-Faced Shakespeare, Pappy's, Alfie Brown, Jim Jefferies, Eddie Pepitone.

The List, 14th August 2012

Poll: Has the Fringe finally sold out?

Are diverse performers and audiences being priced out or is the original fringe still more inclusive than exclusive?

Ellie Freedman, The Guardian, 13th August 2012

Five of the best new comedy shows to arrive this week

Cardinal Burns, Terry Alderton, Idiots of Ants, Simon Amstell and more.

The List, 13th August 2012

The sketch show has left the pet shop

Standup pushed the traditional sketch show off our TV screens, but a modern twist on it has taken wing at the Edinburgh festival.

Paul MacInnes, The Guardian, 13th August 2012

Two Jews jabbering about sex, drugs and suicide

At the Edinburgh Fringe, I know comic Lewis Schaffer and bumped into comic Laura Levites. It turns out they were both brought up in Great Neck, New York, but had never met. I suggested we should have a chat. Two New York Jewish comedians. What was I thinking? I hardly got a word in.

John Fleming, The Huffington Post, 10th August 2012

New talent at the Edinburgh Fringe

Edinburgh Year 34! I've been going to Edinburgh each August since I was student in 1978. This year as ever I'll be looking for shows to commission for Radio 4 later in the year, comedians and writers to develop series with and new for 2012 brand new comedians for a new show this October, Fresh from the Fringe.

Caroline Raphael, BBC Blogs, 10th August 2012

Radio 4 at the Edinburgh Fringe

Radio 4 is returning to the the world's largest arts festival this month - The Edinburgh Fringe. Over 100 shows and masterclasses are taking place on the BBC's pop-up site in Potterow - including many Radio 4 shows.

Clarissa Maycock, BBC Blogs, 10th August 2012

Fringe shows find new ways to tackle political comedy

From a play about coalition government to a standup show by a journalist, the fringe is finding new takes on political satire.

Brian Logan, The Guardian, 9th August 2012

A critic's journey through the Edinburgh festival

Paul MacInnes is spending the month in Edinburgh as a judge for the Foster's comedy awards. Follow his progress as he tackles the best and worst the festival has to offer.

Paul MacInnes, The Guardian, 9th August 2012

A comedy judge's diary: Easyjet gags get upgrade

Josh Widdicombe is wowing Edinburgh festival crowds with his observational jokes that tap into hot topics for the younger generation. Should comics stick to what they - and we - know?

Paul MacInnes, The Guardian, 8th August 2012

Edinburgh comics after they come off stage: in pictures

From Kristen Schaal to Russell Kane, Stewart Lee to David O'Doherty, see comics caught when their defences are down - just moments after they come off stage, photographed at last year's Edinburgh festival by Nick Collett. An exhibition of these photographs, made possible by EdinburghisFunny, is on now at the Underbelly bar and cafe.

Nick Collett, The Guardian, 8th August 2012

The comics from Scandinavia

Scandinavian comedians hope to cash in on success of crime dramas.

Nick Clark, The Independent, 8th August 2012

Top five comedy shows at the Fringe

Our critics' verdict on the best of the Fringe's comedy shows so far, including sterling shows from arch misanthrope Lewis Schaffer and the charming slapstick comedy of Kaput

The Scotsman, 7th August 2012

The unusual venues of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

A working office, an allotment, a school, a cafe and on top of a Routemaster bus. These are all venues at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Liz Rawlings, BBC News, 7th August 2012

Free Fringe shows come of age in the battle for awards

Free comedy shows are now as important to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as ticketed events, the organiser of the main comedy awards has said.

Brian Ferguson, The Scotsman, 6th August 2012

Edinburgh fringe comedy roundup

The absurd, the heartfelt and the personal were all ripe for humour in a week that proved the continued worth of the fringe.

Stephanie Merritt, The Observer, 5th August 2012

Top comics play it straight at Fringe

Some of Britain's top comics are putting away their one-liners to perform in straight dramas at the Edinburgh Festival.

Paul Bignell, The Independent, 5th August 2012

Edinburgh fringe favourites on the dark side of comedy

Being a comedian isn't all glory, champagne and laughing at Jimmy Carr's gags on 8 Out Of 10 Cats. Nine acts from this year's fringe reveal the reality of being funny for a living.

James Kettle, The Guardian, 4th August 2012

Edinburgh fringe festival: a guide to the comedy tribes

From Jimmy Carr and Stewart Lee to relative newcomers, James Kettle separates the stars and artistes from the weirdos.

James Kettle, The Guardian, 4th August 2012

'Bring on the wall' for Harry Hill's mad art

Like so many of the country's top comedians, Harry Hill honed his art at Edinburgh's Fringe Festival. But this year, the comic
returns not just as a stand-up, but also with his own art exhibition, which is as quirky and madcap as the man himself.

Tim Cornwall, The Scotsman, 4th August 2012

Underbelly vs Stewart Lee: The Fringe kicks off

The 'Etonian cabal' running the festival hit back at comedian after his withering critique of their work.

Nick Clark, The Independent, 4th August 2012

The fine art of doing stand-up abroad

As the world's comedians descend on Edinburgh for the festival, Holly Williams asks six globetrotting stand-ups what happens when they take their show abroad.

Holly Williams, The Independent, 4th August 2012

BBC Radio Scotland at the Edinburgh Festival 2012

This year Off The Ball starts off BBC Radio Scotland's stint at the Festival. There's a debut too from Vic Galloway who takes his Monday night show through to Edinburgh with guests including Frightened Rabbit.

Alan Braidwood, BBC Scotland, 4th August 2012

Video: Rhod Gilbert's top tips for making it in comedy

To mark the opening weekend of the Edinburgh fringe festival - and tomorrow's Guide comedy special - top comedian Rhod Gilbert takes us through a few tips to making it big on the stand-up scene. What to drink, how to handle hecklers, how to get really stressed ... it's all here.

Rhod Gilbert, The Guardian, 3rd August 2012

Eddie Izzard to perform at Edinburgh Festival

Eddie Izzard is making a surprise appearance at the Edinburgh Festival this year.

London Is Funny, 3rd August 2012

How does BBC Comedy find the funny in Edinburgh?

At Edinburgh Festival Fringe more than 2000 comedy shows and plays are performed over three weeks each August. For some in BBC Comedy it means preparing for a marathon viewing session.

BBC Ariel, 3rd August 2012

Edinburgh Fringe hopes for Olympian success

The Edinburgh Fringe is beginning its three-week run confident the Olympics will not dampen tickets sales.

BBC News, 3rd August 2012

The best of comedy at the 2012 Fringe

Dylan Moran, Tim Key, Russell Kane, Jimmy Carr amongst big names set to perform.

Brian Donaldson, The List, 2nd August 2012

Five Fringe double acts that'll have you doubling up

Shirley & Shirley, Jack & Niki, Max & Ivan, Croft & Pearce and Pajama Men are the hot tickets.

The List, 2nd August 2012

Fringe factions: The Political vs The Surreal

"Politics is not a game," said Winston Churchill. "It is an earnest business." But that doesn't mean it can't be the subject of comedy, as Thom Tuck and Josie Long prove; Rhys Darby and Paul Vickers are two men who are very serious about being silly

Iain Gorman, The Skinny, 31st July 2012

Fringe factions: The Freshers vs The Sophomores

Chris Stokes and Rob Beckett are no strangers to the Fringe, but this year they're back with their very own shows; that 'difficult second show' can be a challenge for some performers, but Cariad Lloyd and Doug Segal are full of enthusiasm.

Lizzie Cass-Maran, The Skinny, 31st July 2012

Stewart Lee: the slow death of the Edinburgh Fringe

For decades, the Fringe has been a utopia for artists and performers - but now profit-obsessed promoters are tearing it to pieces. They must be stopped, says one Fringe veteran.

Stewart Lee, The Guardian, 30th July 2012

Top 5 sketch comedy shows at the Fringe 2012

The Silky Pair, Hennessy & Friends, Beard, The Pin and Graham Rex among the best Fringe sketch teams.

Brian Donaldson, The List, 30th July 2012

Comedy advice to Fringe newbies

Richard Herring, Paul F. Taylor, Gareth Morinan, Erich McElroy, Andrew Ryan and more receive some sage comedy wisdom.

The List, 29th July 2012

Scandinavia at Fringe 2012

A look at Daniel Simonsen, Magnus Betnér and Carl-Einar Häckner.

Jay Richardson, The List, 29th July 2012

Mark Thomas and Ross Sutherland theatre debuts

A guide to Mark Thomas and Ross Sutherland's Fringe theatre shows.

Mark Brown, The List, 28th July 2012

New 'Spoken Word' category houses some Fringe acts

Performers in the new strand include Luke Wright, Mark Grist, Alex Keelan and Claire Mooney.

Charlotte Runcie, The List, 27th July 2012

Harry Hill exhibits paintings and sculptures

TV Burp comedian displays other side in My Hobby.

Allan Radcliffe, The List, 27th July 2012

Share this page