2018 Edinburgh Fringe

Fringe Q&A: What are you putting in your suitcase?

Edinburgh Q&A

Now is about the time that comedians start packing their suitcases, as they prepare to head to the Edinburgh Festival. It looks like there's going to be some very suspicious looking shapes in the luggage at Edinburgh's airport and train station soon. Click on the titles to find out show details.

Adam Larter: Boogie Knights. Adam Larter

Adam Larter

I have several different suitcases. One for clothes and about 4 for props. I suppose the weird stuff is in the props. Weird things in there include: a light-up sword; a giant cardboard castle; and a home-made dragon costume.

Alfred Hitchcock's Writers' Room

Alfred Hitchcock's Writers' Room

A bloody handbag full of limbs!

Anna Morris: Bombastic. Anna Morris

Anna Morris

A hazmat suit and two gas masks. I mean, that's fairly tame for me. Last year's show featured two baby dolls, a gun and some severed fingers (needless to say they were all fake, don't worry). I had to explain all of these items to EasyJet security and they took the gun off me... I had my suitcase scanned once at left luggage and the guy spotted the two baby dolls and nearly collapsed.

Any Suggestions, Doctor? An Improvised Adventure in Space and Time

Any Suggestions, Doctor?

Lewis Dunn: Plungers and whisks. Absolutely essential for a Doctor Who show, it'd be like putting on Hamlet without the skull, or Pinter without the endless voids of nothing.

Archie Maddocks: Matchstick. Archie Maddocks

Archie Maddocks

Probably some plantain. You can get them in Edinburgh, but when you bite into a plantain from up there it feels like they've given up. London plantain just has a little more hope I think.

Ben Pope: Baby Sasquatch. Ben Pope

Ben Pope

This year it's probably some cardboard-backed printouts of bombscare headlines from 2015 - a prop for my show. But in 2013, I was doing a sketch show, and I had to transport a human-size Lego head to Edinburgh. Within three performances the sketch was cut from the show.

Bryony Twydle: Flamingo. Bryony Twydle

Bryony Twydle

My camel-toe cover-up. I promise you it's a prop. I promise.

Strictly Carl Donnelly!. Carl Donnelly

Carl Donnelly

Incense. One of the downsides to Edinburgh is having to rent a student house for £20,000 per room for the month. The flats can be nice and airy due to Edinburgh architects agreeing, at the start of last century, to make all ceilings 25 foot high, but they do still have a whiff of students about them. Because of this I always bring an incense burner to sort out the aroma.

Catherine Bohart: Immaculate. Catherine Bohart

Catherine Bohart

I have had my list of things to pack written since June. My OCD has its drawbacks, but forgetting to bring a toothbrush is not one of them.

Chris Turner: We're Where We Were. Chris Turner

Chris Turner

A handful of tiny straws that I stole from American coffee shops. I'm doing three shows a day, so to lessen the strain on my voice I blow through a straw whilst humming a scale. It's called strawphonation and relaxes the vocal folds. It also means that I'm often running from show to show with a straw in my mouth, humming a song, terrifying and confusing tourists in equal measure.

Ciarán Dowd: Don Rodolfo. Ciarán Dowd

Ciarán Dowd

I've got a horse's head, which if I have to go through any security checks might raise a few eyebrows. Though they'd probably assume I'm a made man and keep their mouths shut for fear of mob retribution. I wouldn't mess with a guy who carried round a horse's head - mafia or comedian - you know they mean business.

Claire Ford: Unboxed. Claire Ford

Claire Ford

A copy of Razzle from 1986. I took it with me to Australia this year. Just to clarify, it's a prop, not some sort of weird comforter - and I went via Indonesia for a few days. I flew in and out of Indonesian territory 3 times before I realised porn is illegal and punishable by prison. I'm happy to hear vintage porn is widely acceptable - even coveted - at EdFringe.

Darren Walsh: Massive Punt. Darren Walsh

Darren Walsh

A cardboard cutout shoulder. I'll use it for networking in industry bars so I can glance over it when I talk to people.

Don't Knock Your Granny

Don't Knock Your Granny

A life-sized female puppet named Regina. Fingers crossed Border Security don't think she's a kinky sex doll.

Elizabethan. David William Hughes


A copy of the sheet music to Thomas Morley's song Will you buy a fine dog? It's probably the only genuine 16th-century song about a dildo that you'll hear on the Fringe.

Enter the Dragons

Enter the Dragons

An inflatable swan, a giant claw, Wilderman costumes, an antique accordion, a mirror ball helmet, a dozen inflatable bananas, a medieval Barbie, two spiralisers, goggles, a loop pedal, several sets of false teeth and too many wigs. I think we're gonna need a bigger suitcase.

Angry Face Emoji. Image shows from L to R: Ryan Dalton, Esther Manito

Esther Manito

Box set of One Foot In The Grave. I'll lock myself in to my room, blast it on my laptop and be transported to my happy days in the 90s - my parents watching One Foot In The Grave.

Evelyn Mok: Bubble Butt. Evelyn Mok

Evelyn Mok

My anti-snoring sling that I have to use to counteract my severe sleep apnea. It is a sling made out of Velcro that you are to wear whilst sleeping. It looks like a bandage that you would get wrapped around your face in olden times, after you had your wisdom teeth extracted. It supports your chin and keeps your mouth closed in your sleep as to help you prevent obstructive snoring. I look like a bell-end in it, but I will be damned if I let it impede my Fringe-sexscapades! (Totally kidding, I have no romantic prospects. I am so alone).

Felicity Ward: Busting a Nut. Felicity Ward

Felicity Ward

I have a £10 magic sparkles unicorn pyjama and eye mask set. It's the cheapest contraceptive I've ever found.

Flo & Joan: Alive on Stage. Image shows from L to R: Nicola Dempsey, Rosie Dempsey

Flo & Joan

Five recorders, and a bridesmaid dress. We're hoping to run into Richard Curtis while we're up to pitch him our Four Weddings and a Funeral prequel.

Foxdog Studios: Robot Chef. Image shows from L to R: Lloyd Henning, Peter Sutton

Foxdog Studios

A fire extinguisher - it's a must when your Risk Assessment contains the word "FIRE" multiple times. We'll also be taking a range of homemade, 3D-printed tech made to look like children's toys.

Fringe Wives Club: Glittery Clittery

Fringe Wives Club

Tessa Waters: Our giant velvet vulva costume, her name is Laguna and she is the mascot for our game show 'Lagoon of Mystery' - named for a euphemism that Carrie Fisher (a personal Fringe Wife idol) invented for her own vulva, when confronting George Lucas about a Leia toy wearing that iconic slave bikini - "You have the rights to my face. You do not have the rights to my lagoon of mystery!" What a goddamn shero.

Hans - Like a German


My accordion has had me stopped at a few airports, as have some of my costumes... Let's just say the hotpants raised a few eyebrows at Doha.

Harry and Chris Save the World. Image shows from L to R: Chris Read, Harry Baker

Harry & Chris

1,000 copies of British Comedy Guide, which we do read every week (or does it come out monthly?, or is it just online?)

Ivan Aristeguieta: Juithy. Ivan Aristeguieta

Ivan Aristeguieta

I always travel with a small action figure of Mr Miyagi from my favourite movie: The Karate Kid. If I'm doubting about my show I talk to him and he replies: "Walk left, safe. Walk right, safe. Walk in the middle, you get squished like a grape."

Just These, Please

Just These, Please

A smaller suitcase. Which, as an object, isn't weird but - conceptually - it's basically luggage inception.

Laura Davis: Ghost Machine

Laura Davis

My host costume for the show. It's a DVALA queensize duvet cover from Ikea, complete with an entirely separate sheath costume of portable lights which I call my 'underghost'.

Laura Lexx: Trying. Laura Lexx

Laura Lexx

Sims 4 and my cross stitch... yeah, that's right I have some damned cool hobbies. I need mindless crud to do between shows and teaching my Sim dog how to speak is pretty much as mindless as it gets.

Lemons. Lisa Klevemark

Lisa Klevemark

There won't really be anything outrageously weird in my suitcase, as I'm planning to source props locally. So if there is a citrus fruit shortage in all Edinburgh supermarkets in August, you can blame me. I go through five lemons per show, plus one orange, and perhaps one or two limes, as well as one bottle of lemon juice.

Lolly Jones: Fifty Shades of May. Lolly Jones

Lolly Jones

Theresa May's wig and a bondage kit. That's basically my show right there. Let's hope that it doesn't get mixed up on the luggage belt. It could really improve someone's holiday.

Maddie Campion: 20 Uses for a Lovedoll. Maddie Campion

Maddie Campion

I haven't got her a seat on the train so am having to pack my show partner (deflated)... she's a Lovedoll.

Maisie Adam: Vague. Maisie Adam

Maisie Adam

Immodium. All I'm saying is I'm very nervous for the Fringe.

Matt and Ollie are... Dads!

Matt & Ollie

A toothbrush. Oh, not so weird, you say? What if I told you that the toothbrush originally belonged... to Bernard Reeves. (Bernard Reeves is the weirdest bloke in my pottery class). So pretty darn weird!

Nathan Lang: The Stuntman. Nathan Lang

Nathan Lang

Five kilos of dried super-long spaghetti. I had to order it in bulk but I only use two strands per show.

Nicky Wilkinson: Happy. Nicky Wilkinson

Nicky Wilkinson

1,500 pies. Who puts 'free pies' on all their marketing? Me, I do.

Owen Roberts: I Let a Six-Year-Old Write My Show. Owen Roberts

Owen Roberts

There are many weird props in my show, I guess that's what you get when you let a child write it for you. But probably the weirdest is a puppet of an animal that is half shark, half vagina, or as it is most commonly known a 'Gino Shark'.

The Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue: Ham

Raymond & Mr Timpkins

We have many props, some of which could be seen as weird. Perhaps the oddest, and the one that got us detained at Oman airport, is a doll with eyes that light up red.

Rob Oldham: Worm's Lament. Rob Oldham

Rob Oldham

FIFA 17. My flatmates, Jacob Hawley, and Jack and Josh from Moon, are acclimatised to FIFA 18, but I'm not. I'm bringing this so that I can absolutely do them with the 2016-17 Atletico Madrid team rather than losing the whole time and going off to sulk in my room.

Robin Morgan: Honeymoon. Robin Morgan

Robin Morgan

The autobiography of Eggheads star CJ De Mooi. It was going to be used in the show, but I've since dropped that bit, but I'll still take it up as I spent £2 on it from Amazon, and seems silly otherwise.

How To Be A Bad Girl. Sabrina Chap

Sabrina Chap

My vibrator - as it helps me loosen up my neck muscles for singing. No really. Also, lots of kazoos.

Tania Edwards: Not My Dog. Tania Edwards

Tania Edwards

Nappies. I have a little boy now and he's coming with me. I will be up at 5am for all the wrong reasons. On the plus side he always listens to my post-show analysis without trying to tell me how his gig went, and he's cleaner than a lot of people I've shared flats with in the past.

The Kagools: Kula

The Kagools

Two Sinclair C5s. They don't fit in our suitcases but we bring them every year anyway. Gotta get about.

Tinderella - An Adult Panto

Tinderella Panto (answered by Paul Arends - producer, writer, director, panto dame)

Definitely 5 blow up dolls. THEY'RE FOR THE SHOW. Also, it gets lonely in Edinburgh.

Tom Houghton: The Honourable. Tom Houghton

Tom Houghton

My friends take the micky out of my Magic : The Gathering collection. It's a fantasy card game that I've recently got back into and I am currently trying to convert everyone I know. If you play it and see me at the Fringe, stop me and challenge me! Genuinely, please do. I play mainly blue control, but I'm building a new green/black fungus deck.

Just Like That! The Tommy Cooper Show. John Hewer

Tommy Cooper Show

John Hewer: Tommy always toured with about seven big trunk cases full of props, most were fairly bizarre... Probably the weirdest is the false leg. "I got it for my wife as a Christmas present. It wasn't her main present. It was a stocking filler..."

Vulvarine: A New Musical


Writer Robyn Grant: A salt lamp and a lot of sage to purify the air and ward off dark spirits. Last year at the Fringe I stayed in what can only be described as the bedroom from The Exorcist. There were no windows and claw marks at the Victorian wallpaper. A stain on the carpet that could have only been blood. A dim flickering single bulb. It was honestly horrifying. This year I'm going prepared.

Writer Daniel Elliot: A piping bag. Because it's my co-writer's birthday, I'm making a themed Vulvarine cake and I've got to get the labia just right.

Werewolf: Live. Jon Gracey

Werewolf: Live

The combo of evil cloak, werewolf head and judge's wig. Luckily I build shows around my sexual preferences.

Published: Thursday 26th July 2018

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