British Comedy Guide's top tips for the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe Top Tip

The British Comedy Guide team has been out and about at festivals and comedy clubs all year seeing previews of shows due to head to the Edinburgh Fringe. Here's our selection of the best of those work-in-progress gigs we've seen.

There are many promising looking shows in our listings that we haven't had a chance to check out, but do keep an eye on our recommended page as we will be including the very best shows we've seen at the Fringe itself on that page, from next week.

To find out more about any of the shows below, click on the title.

Adam Hess: My Grandad Has a Fringe. Adam Hess

Adam Hess

Adam Hess packs in the laughs at a frenetic pace, in a show that possibly will have the highest jokes-per-pound ratio on the Fringe.

Ben Target: Six Endings in Search of a Beginning. Ben Target

Ben Target

As the Six Endings in Search of a Beginning title might suggest, this is a Work-in-Progress from the cerebral show-maker, and you can imagine his WIPs must be fascinating. The finished shows always are.

Catherine Bohart: Lemon. Catherine Bohart

Catherine Bohart

The "bisexual, OCD daughter of a Catholic deacon" returns with a super fun hour centring more on her sex life this time, whilst still maintaining the same sharp eye for incisive observations on society.

The Delightful Sausage: Ginster's Paradise

The Delightful Sausage

"Yorkshire's finest meat-themed double act" is back at the Fringe with their third show. It promises to be a surreal and often troubling hour jam-packed with sketches from the charismatic pair. The comic chemistry between them is worth your ticket price alone.

Borne of Chaos. Eric Lampaert

Eric Lampaert: Borne of Chaos / Yum Yum

Now based in Hollywood, Eric Lampaert's fascinating face pops up in a couple of major movies this summer, alongside Helen Mirren, Cillian Murphy etc. The autobiographical Borne of Chaos promises to be theatrical and envelope-pushing, while Yum Yum is more interactive.

Foxdog Studios: Tomorrow's Office. Image shows from L to R: Lloyd Henning, Peter Sutton

Foxdog Studios

Describing themselves as "IT rock'n'roll superstars", make sure your phone is fully charged as this interactive comedy show uses technology to engage the audience like you may never have seen before.

Funny in Real Life

Funny in Real Life

Tucked away in the Theatre section but with plenty of laughs, a real life couple - comedian Rob Rouse and actress Helen Rutter - examine what happens when family life is no longer up for discussion onstage.

Glenn Moore: Love Don't Live Here Glenny Moore. Glenn Moore

Glenn Moore

There's plenty of comedians who can ply their trade of rapid-fire short jokes skilfully enough so that you're not left tired after a 60-minute show, but Moore is amongst the finest, and this year's show is a superb example.

Grace Campbell: Why I'm Never Going Into Politics. Grace Campbell

Grace Campbell

Grace Campbell is someone who has arrived without much fanfare so far - despite having a famous father - and this show more than does all the talking necessary. A unique perspective and voice, and even the bits about war crimes are funny.

Ivo Graham: The Game of Life. Ivo Graham

Ivo Graham

Ever the reliable Fringe act, based on the preview we saw Ivo Graham's latest hour - which is titled The Game of Life - is shaping up to be one of his strongest.

Jena Friedman: Miscarriage of Justice. Jena Friedman

Jena Friedman

Friedman's programme blurb explains this show well: "As America slips into fascism, Jena celebrates free speech while she still has it, in this unapologetic political hour of comedy."

John-Luke Roberts: After Me Comes the Flood (But in French) drip splosh splash drip BLUBBP BLUBBP BLUBBPBLUBBPBLUBBP!!. John-Luke Roberts

John-Luke Roberts

A packed absurdist hour of erudite daftness racing from Shakespeare and Nietzsche to Haribo and bums, with the saddest Oompa Loompa song you'll ever hear.

John Robins: Hot Shame. John Robins

John Robins

Never has damp-proofing a wall provided so many laughs in this polished hour on fears, anxiety and embarrassment.

Jonny Pelham: Off Limits. Jonny Pelham

Jonny Pelham

Jonny Pelham pulls off the near impossible with a frank and un-mawkish look at a highly emotive subject in a show that still packs in the big laughs.

The Kagools: Cirque du Kagool

The Kagools

If you like physical comedy and clowning, we predict you'll love Cirque du Kagool. The expressive duo get a lot of laughs out of minimal props. Don't miss their Tina Turner wig routine.

Kieran Hodgson: Lance. Kieran Hodgson

Kieran Hodgson

If you missed Kieran Hodgson's last four shows and haven't yet mastered time travel, don't worry - here is your chance to see all of these superb shows again from the cleverest boy in comedy.

Jordan Brookes: I've Got Nothing. Jordan Brookes

Jordan Brookes

"No tricks. No gimmicks. No plan." That's the blurb that describes the latest show from Jordan Brookes. He's a man that doesn't follow the comedy rule book - check him out for yourself.

Ladylikes: Top Secret House Party!. Image shows from L to R: Miztli Rose, Phoebe Batteson-Brown


Despite their house party being "top secret", the wide eyed, high energy comic chemistry of this duo make you feel as if you're part of the party. Their eclectic collection of characters and scenarios left everybody on a high in the preview we saw.

Josie Long: Tender. Josie Long

Josie Long

Tender is Josie Long's return to comedy after becoming a mother for the first time, but even after a five year hiatus it's undeniable that Josie is still one of the best comedians on the UK circuit.

London Hughes: To Catch a D*ck. London Hughes

London Hughes

Stand-up comedy's new wild child. The smutty material here is particularly recommendable but you're going to be having fun in Hughes' company whatever topic she alights on.

Maria Shehata: Hero. Maria Shehata

Maria Shehata

The hugely engaging Egyptian-American-in-Britain is back with the next chapter in her tale of transatlantic relocation gone awry. But will her always-calling dad derail proceedings?

Mat Ewins: Actually Can I Have Eight Tickets Please?

Mat Ewins

Ewins makes silly, often puerile, but always ingenious video comedy. As ever, he's a Fringe essential. Ignore his programme photo - that's not him - it's just another of his jokes.

Max & Ivan: Commitment. Image shows from L to R: Max Olesker, Ivan Gonzalez

Max & Ivan

A more personal hour from Max & Ivan with the story of a birthday party that went wrong and a stag party that went right. This multi-media show is fast paced, packed with jokes and very funny.

Nick Helm: Phoenix from the Flames. Nick Helm

Nick Helm

Phoenix From The Flames delivers a look into Nick Helm's mind, his process and how he has dealt with himself on this journey. Rarely have we seen a comic acknowledge the persona that they have created while being so consistently funny.

Olga Koch: If/Then. Olga Koch

Olga Koch

A delightfully wry show examining a past relationship, with gags beautifully woven in. A triumphant second hour!

Pope's Addiction Clinic. Pope Lonergan

Pope's Addiction Clinic

A much-anticipated Fringe run for Pope Lonergan's comedians-get-candid bash: here you'll find Edinburgh's finest engaging in a full-on confession session.

Baby Reindeer by Richard Gadd. Richard Gadd

Richard Gadd

Returning for his first new show since winning the Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2016, Gadd's hour isn't even categorised as a comedy show this year. This is theatre - not without its bleakly comic moments, but the focus here is on maintaining enamel-destroying levels of tension.

Rosie Jones: Backward. Rosie Jones

Rosie Jones

Maintaining her perfect record of being amongst BCG's Fringe-recommendations, this great second show from Jones focuses more on her sexuality this time. She turns sexual aggression on its head in a hilarious hour on love, sex, paramedics and disablism.

Sara Barron: Enemies Closer. Sara Barron

Sara Barron

Her material about relationships and social media may be common ground, but Barron's expertly crafted delivery and instantly likeable stage presence makes her a true comedy star in the making.

Sarah Kendall: Paper Planes. Sarah Kendall

Sarah Kendall

Another delightful hour of storytelling from one of the masters of the genre, whose previous shows became a Radio 4 series and netted her an Edinburgh Comedy Award nomination for Best Show and a screenwriting award.

Sarah Keyworth: Pacific. Sarah Keyworth

Sarah Keyworth

After being nominated for Best Newcomer last year, Sarah Keyworth has overcome the difficult second album syndrome with an excellent hour expanding on the gender discussion she started in 2018.

Shappi Khorsandi: Skittish Warrior... Confessions of a Club Comic. Shaparak Khorsandi

Shappi Khorsandi

Shappi Khorsandi reflects on her long career 'in the biz' - rising up through the 90s club comedy scene - with one of her strongest hours to date.

Sophie Duker: Venus. Sophie Duker

Sophie Duker

A debut hour of smart, socially aware and very funny comedy that's likely to be amongst the Best Newcomer nominations this year.

Susan Murray: How Not To Die In A Plane Crash. Susan Murray

Susan Murray

The Queen of Walthamstow makes a long-awaited Fringe comeback with a well-researched show that sounds fairly self-explanatory: How Not To Die In A Plane Crash. Of course there is also the possibility that she may have tweaked the show and now just walk on, say 'take the train instead', and walk back off again.

Suzi Ruffell: Dance Like Everyone's Watching. Suzi Ruffell

Suzi Ruffell

A coiled spring of seemingly never-ending energy, Ruffell takes the audience through some recent major events in her life in her perennially upbeat way, a wonderfully feel good show!



A sketch super-group formed from Gein's Family Giftshop and Goose; with the dark, twisty sketches and superb acting that we've come to expect from both.

Tom Parry: Parryoke!. Tom Parry

Tom Parry

A joyous show on weddings, faux pas and karaoke - the irrepressible Tom Parry is on top form in this hilarious hour of fun. Don't expect the Pappy's alumnus to suddenly try and make a serious social point 45 minutes into his show. The master of joyful, smart yet silly fun has put together a brilliant hour here.

Troy Hawke: Tiles of the Unexpected!. Milo McCabe

Troy Hawke

Milo McCabe has been perfecting his lounge lizard character for several years now - and this show, in which he reveals IKEA's link to the CIA - is him at his slickest. Worth the ticket price alone just to see his Scrabble-based party trick.

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