2022 Edinburgh Fringe

External press features

Edinburgh's festivals gets 'stay of execution' as curbs on short-term lets are delayed

The Scottish Government has agreed to push back a deadline for home-owners to apply for a licence until after the end of next September after fears were raised about the new rules having a crippling impact on the city's major cultural events.

Brian Ferguson, The Scotsman, 8th December 2022

Edinburgh Fringe app to return

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society has launched its review of the year: an in-depth look at its work over the past 12 months.

Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 7th December 2022

Edinburgh Fringe: How to save the biggest arts festival in the world

Earlier this month, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society - the organisation that coordinates the world's biggest arts programme - concluded a two-week "mass listening project" for the arts industry. Described as the Society's "biggest feedback drive in years", the online consultation sought the views of artists, venues, producers and Fringe workers on the issues facing the massive arts showcase.

Mark Brown, The National (Scotland), 30th October 2022

Graham Norton on the 1992 Edinburgh Fringe act that 'kicked it all off'

The comedian said Edinbugh has a special place in his heart as he recalls his big break 30 years ago.

Christina O'Neill, STV, 15th October 2022

Paul Black: 'Fringe is designed for middle-class English comedians'

Paul Black told The National the Edinburgh Festival had serious issues with class, saying many working-class creators struggle to gain exposure in the same way their middle-class counterparts do.

Craig Meighan, The National (Scotland), 3rd September 2022

Sam Campbell once joked about killing me - but the Aussie comedian's Edinburgh win is well-deserved

The baby-faced oddball has gone from performing to tiny audiences to winning live comedy's most coveted prize, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy award.

Brian Logan, The Guardian, 30th August 2022

Fringe tickets slump blamed on accommodation costs

Ticket sales for Edinburgh Fringe shows slumped by a quarter at some venues compared with 2019.

BBC, 29th August 2022

The Edinburgh Fringe is too long, too expensive and too gruelling. It must change or die

I've spent my whole professional life loving and writing about the Fringe. But rocketing rents, a lack of diversity and its overwhelming scale are pushing this world-class cultural crucible to crisis point. No wonder artists are asking themselves: is it worth the candle?

Brian Logan, The Guardian, 29th August 2022

Fringe: Satirists bid farewell to Boris Johnson

In 2019, Boris Johnson had just become prime minister and didn't feature much in comedy routines at the Edinburgh Fringe. The 2022 festival is coming to a close in the week when Mr Johnson's turbulent time in office is also ending. So what do the satirists have to say about him? And will they miss him?

Vincent Dowd, BBC, 28th August 2022

Bilal Zafar Interview

Bilal Zafar: 'I built up a whole new confidence doing comedy online'.

Teddy Coward, WhyNow, 25th August 2022

After scabrous comedian Jerry Sadowitz has had his Edinburgh Fringe shows cancelled by the Pleasance venue for featuring precisely the sort of content he has been performing for at least four decades, the Times wheeled out several big guns to defend the right to offend.

"The fear of upsetting people is the road to self-censorship, not self-improvement; the erection of new taboos a fresh means of hiding the truth," agonised Alex Massie. "It is depressing to appreciate that so many people are incapable of distinguishing between speech they do not like themselves and speech so dangerous it must be suppressed."

James Marriott pointed out: "An honest defence of free speech acknowledges that it inflicts pain on vulnerable people, disperses power unequally and has no scientifically identifiable principles - but that it is precious nonetheless."

And Sarah Ditum got straight to the point: "The galliest thing of all, the gall mother lode, is the Pleasance's claim to 'champion freedom of speech'. Now there's some faux liberal pish for you."

Fine words all - but somewhat pishy coming from a newspaper which, only two months earlier, deleted a news article about Boris Johnson pushing for his then mistress Carrie Symonds to be given a job at the Foreign Office because it offended not the general public or even its readers' sensibilities but those of Carrie herself, whose "people" intervened with representatives of News UK CEO Rebekah Brooks to complain about its appearance in the first edition of 18 June.

Despite a deluge of correspondence, complaints and even subscription cancellations from readers about the truth-hiding and self-censorship, the Times has declined to explain its actions, or to print a single further word about the matter. And unlike Sadowitz's act, the Times story didn't include the filthy bits (but we did - see Eye 1576).

Private Eye, 24th August 2022

Interviews: Rosie Holt and Michael Spicer

Rosie Holt and Michael Spicer have built online followings in the hundreds of thousands. We find out why they're leaving the keyboard to head to Edinburgh and the live stage

Evan Beswick, Fest Mag, 24th August 2022

Michael Akadiri Interview

Michael Akadiri: 'The audience tells you where the line is. You can decide whether or not to step over it'.

Archie Brydon, WhyNow, 24th August 2022

Jerry Sadowitz cancelling was as lamentable as it was avoidable

The cancelling of Scottish comedian (and accomplished magician) Jerry Sadowitz by major Fringe producer Pleasance, was as lamentable as it was avoidable.

Mark Brown, The National (Scotland), 23rd August 2022

My Festival: Leah MacRae

The star of one-woman show Leah MacRae Weighs In talks boozing with her crew, late night yoga music and the long, difficult road back to performing live again.

The Scotsman, 23rd August 2022

Kim Kalish: The Funny Thing About Death

Kim is a writer and performer, originally from New York, who has been working on stage since her teenage years, and whose storytelling, improv and sketch skills have led to her winning story slams and appearing on 'Conan'.

Caro Moses, ThreeWeeks, 23rd August 2022

Tim Vine: 'It was such a bad gig, I went off stage and came back as Vim Tine'

The king of one-liners on his unlikely comedy hero, preshow prayers and the best heckle he's ever got.

Liam Pape, The Guardian, 22nd August 2022

Larry Dean knows how to tug on heart strings and strike funny bones

Larry Dean is a natural storyteller. His new Edinburgh Fringe show is a masterclass on luring an audience to comedic safety before hitting them with the deep, the personal and the simply shocking.

Craig Meighan, The National (Scotland), 22nd August 2022

Silencing comics will lead to a dark destination, says Andy Shaw

The decision to cancel Sadowitz was an act of cowardice.

Andy Shaw, The Daily Express, 22nd August 2022

Red Richardson: Be nice to the least talented person in the room

My show is called 'Shots Fired' and it's about a false alarm terror attack I was involved in on Oxford Street in 2017.

Entertainment Now, 22nd August 2022

Funny Business: TikTok is putting a new spin on stand-up comedy

The Edinburgh Fringe is the world's largest arts festival, and TikTok's influence can be felt everywhere.

Katie Collins, CNET, 22nd August 2022

I, Daniel Blake star Dave Johns on 10 things that changed his life

"I came from a working-class area, Byker, in Newcastle. It's pretty run-down now. Back then it was a bustling place. People were living in back-to-back housing with outside toilets."

Mark Brown, The National (Scotland), 21st August 2022

Leo Reich interview

'It would be insane if people weren't embarrassed by going to Cambridge'

Tristram Fane Saunders, The Telegraph, 21st August 2022

It's no joke -- the Edinburgh Fringe has a class problem

Festival veterans Stephen Fry, Al Murray and Jayde Adams talk about the changing face of what's funny.

Stephen Armstrong, The Sunday Times, 21st August 2022

Emergency Question: What is your favourite cheese?

Edinburgh Fringe comedians answer.

Chortle, 21st August 2022

Fringe stars stage gala fundraiser to support bin workers' strike fund

A gala comedy show is being staged to support Edinburgh's striking refuse workers.

Allan CROW, Edinburgh Evening News, 21st August 2022

Sami Abu-Wardeh talks character clowning - and this time, it's personal

The comic explores his own identity through a Palestinian refugee.

Katy Davies, Entertainment Focus, 21st August 2022

Siblings discuss taking us back to school for some serious silliness and escapism

Siblings invent a new genre and they're calling it 'Cletchsongsical comedy'.

Katy Davies, Entertainment Focus, 21st August 2022

Hannah Pilkes discusses occupying the space between breakdowns and breakthroughs

Hannah explores the pitfalls and positives emerging from having a meltdown.

Katy Davies, Entertainment Focus, 21st August 2022

National Trust members: get ready to choke on your carrot cake

The creeping pushback against the 'woke' won't stop until we're neck-deep in deregulated dystopia.

Stewart Lee, The Observer, 21st August 2022

Dom Chambers interview

"Just me and my dreams baby."

Entertainment Now, 21st August 2022

Lubna Kerr: Why do you need to know where I am really from?

What is the most popular question a person of colour gets asked? "Where are you from? No, where are you really, really from?"

Lubna Kerr, The Scotsman, 21st August 2022

Jo Caulfield interview

The Circuit Comedian of the Year tells us about her new show, Here Comes Trouble.

Kevin Ibbotson-Wight, The Wee Review, 21st August 2022

Emmanuel Sonubi picks his comedy favourites

"Funny, interesting and so genuine."

Emmanuel Sonubi, Chortle, 21st August 2022

Fringe: The viral comedy stars leaping from TikTok to the stage

A number of new comedians amassed huge followings on TikTok during the pandemic. Now some are trying to convert viral fame into on-stage success by performing live at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Ian Youngs, BBC, 20th August 2022

Fringe: Kiri Pritchard-McLean's guide to Welsh acts

Working within an industry that fetishises London in a way that would make Dick Whittington cringe, it can also be a way for acts from across the country to be seen.

Kiri Pritchard-McLean, The National (Wales), 20th August 2022

From summer job to Fringe star for Helen Bauer

Helen Bauer was nominated for the prestigious Best Newcomer award with her debut comedy hour in Edinburgh in 2019, but her first experience of the Fringe came 10 years earlier.

Murray Scougall, The Sunday Post, 20th August 2022

Interview with comedian, actor and doctor Stefania Licari

"One of the aspects I love about being a performer is the rapport with other artists, and it's incredible that within one city for the month of August, Edinburgh contains all the artists I admire, work with or aspire to meet. Isn't that just magical?"

Saskia Calliste, Voice Magazine, 20th August 2022

Yuriko Kotani shares her Perfect Playlist of romcoms

"I love you, Bridget Jones!"

Yuriko Kotani, Chortle, 20th August 2022

Conrad Koch interview

"To thine own self be true."

Entertainment Now, 20th August 2022

EdFringe talk: Zach Zucker: Spectacular Industry Showcase

"Just because you are willing to get naked onstage DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE TO!"

Dan Lentell, Get Your Coats On, 20th August 2022

Eli Matthewson reflects on the moment his dad came out to him aged 62

Award-winning New Zealand comedian and writer Eli Matthewson was ready to ditch the "gay jokes" - until his dad came out to him.

Maggie Baska, Pink News, 20th August 2022

Emergency Question: What's the most trivial thing you've seen a child have a strop about?

Edinburgh Fringe comedians answer.

Chortle, 20th August 2022

Jenny Bede's Fringe winge, cringe and binge

Louie Spence was lovely about it... but I felt like a bellend.

Jenny Bede, Chortle, 20th August 2022

Kate Copstick finds her happy place...

My inner Cassandra knew it was going to be a horrible Fringe.

Kate Copstick, Entertainment Now, 20th August 2022

EdFringe talk: Notflix: Binge

"Our Edfringe is never complete without at least one pilgrimage to Arthur's Seat!"

Dan Lentell, Get Your Coats On, 20th August 2022

Should parents take their babies to a comedy show?

Comedians are no strangers to controversy, but stand-up Matt Forde is surprised to find himself at the centre of the latest Edinburgh Fringe row.

Angus Cochrane, BBC, 19th August 2022

Why comedian Grace Campbell refuses to be silenced about sex

Comedian Grace Campbell on why after being raped last year, she worried that her openness about her sex life would be used against her.

Nosheen Iqbal, The Guardian, 19th August 2022

Comedians rejoice at the return of crowds

After lockdowns kept them out of touch with audiences, stand-ups explain their exhilaration at coming together to raise laughs at Edinburgh Fringe.

Rachael Healy, The Guardian, 19th August 2022

Fringe Firsts: six more winners of our Edinburgh Fringe new writing awards revealed

Themes from climate change to mental health are explored by this week's Scotsman award-winners.

Andrew Eaton-Lewis, The Scotsman, 19th August 2022

Lynn Ferguson interview

"Driving up the Mound, bagpipe music blaring."

Entertainment Now, 19th August 2022

LGBTQ+ comedians on how transphobia poisoned comedy - and how they're moving on from the bigots

In recent years comedians like Ricky Gervais and Dave Chappelle have become the spearheads of the "anti-woke" comedy movement, particularly targeting trans and non-binary comedians.

Asyia Iftikhar, Pink News, 19th August 2022

Grace Campbell picks her comedy favourites

"I worried I'd have to do comedy that was perfectly feminist."

Grace Campbell, Chortle, 19th August 2022

Paul Sinha puts down 'moronic' Fringe audience member who disrupted show

The chaser and comedian didn't hold back on social media when complaining about one audience member in particular who apparently disrupted the show when their phone ringtone went off.

Kris Gourlay, Edinburgh Live, 19th August 2022

Emergency Question: Have you ever been fired? What for?

Edinburgh Fringe comedians answer.

Chortle, 19th August 2022

The backlash against Sadowitz is no laughing matter

It's an extremely clever sales and publicity trick that Jerry himself would have been proud to conjure up, if only it had been deliberate. It wasn't; but it's proof, if any were needed, that there is still a huge public demand for his outrageous brand of dark comedy and unsettling social satire.

Donald MacLeod, The Herald, 19th August 2022

Alison Spittle interview

"A graveyard tour guide accused me of shoplifting."

Entertainment Now, 19th August 2022

Yuriko Kotani interview

"We couldn't do this during lockdown."

Entertainment Now, 19th August 2022

Kate Copstick: "This is a frightened Fringe. And that is unacceptable."

The Scotsman comedy critic on the Jerry Sadowitz controversy and why the Fringe shouldn't be aligning itself with corporate values.

Kate Copstick, The Scotsman, 19th August 2022

Baby row comic Matt Forde defended by fellow comedian

Katie Mulgrew spoke out in support of Matt Forde, who is at the centre of a viral online row following his Edinburgh Fringe show.

BBC, 19th August 2022

Rosco McClelland shocked after spotting man performing sex act during show

A top Scots comedian has told how he spotted an audience member masturbating during his Fringe show. Rosco McClelland's show, Goblin Mode, is currently running at The Hive as part of Edinburgh's famous festival.

Zoe Phillips, The Scottish Sun, 19th August 2022

Matt Winning's Fringe winge, cringe and binge

Edinburgh's a glorious city, full of my favourite memories ...but I will be spending the Fringe living in Glasgow.

Matt Winning, Chortle, 19th August 2022

Ed Gamble launches charity beer

Ed Gamble has teamed up with Edinburgh brewery Vault City on a new beer, which lists laughter as one of the key ingredients.

Eloise Feilden, The Drinks Business, 19th August 2022

Dr Kaboom interview

"Make friends wherever you go."

Entertainment Now, 19th August 2022

Festival Diary: Forde lets Pleasance boss off the hook with 'whiny' baby rant

Matt Forde has done Pleasance boss Anthony Alderson a bit of a good turn by accidentially seizing his mantle as the bad-guy of the Fringe, which he had undoubtedly held since pulling the plug on Jerry Sadowitz at the weekend.

Brian Ferguson, The Scotsman, 18th August 2022

Simon Brodkin: 'I wasn't ready to be completely open'

Simon Brodkin made a name for himself as Britain's number one prankster - except the names weren't his own, but Lee Nelson or other comedy characters. He talks to Isobel Lewis about moving on from his most famous creation, finding his own identity on stage and how his ADHD diagnosis has changed his life.

Isobel Lewis, The Independent, 18th August 2022

Comedians call for safer working conditions

With research showing sexual harassment is a routine occurrence, there is growing demand for arts venues to commit to protecting entertainers.

Rachael Healy, The Guardian, 18th August 2022

John Hastings interview

Win the award! Buy the Castle!

Entertainment Now, 18th August 2022

Fringe Dog meets Michelle Shaughnessy

Edinburgh's canine journalist meets Canadian comedian Michelle Shaughnessy, and her dog Robocop.

Fringe Dog, Fest Mag, 18th August 2022

EdFringe Talk: Bird With Kylie Vincent

"I think a new Kylie will come out of this and will make me a stronger person and performer with the learning curve of balance."

Dan Lentell, Get Your Coats On, 18th August 2022

EdFringe Talk: Vidura Bandara Rajapaksa: Monsoon Season

"I hope to tour the show after the fringe but we'll see."

Dan Lentell, Get Your Coats On, 18th August 2022

Screaming babies can ruin comedy shows, which is why we set one up especially for new parents

We would love to see more comedians including baby-friendly performances in their fringe runs and tours.

Carly Smallman, i Newspaper, 18th August 2022

Emergency Question: Which is the sexiest TV puppet?

Edinburgh Fringe comedians share their kinks...

Chortle, 18th August 2022

Alice-India: Be Brave! (or Whatever) Q&A

We spoke to Alice-India about feeling like a hangovers, and being priced out of the Fringe and feeling like a gremlin.

Funny Women, 18th August 2022

Matt Forde on parents at gigs: 'People don't realise when they're being antisocial'

The stand-up comedian discusses Twitter outrage, his Notts upbringing and why Mrs Thatcher would have been a dream interlocutor.

Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph, 18th August 2022

What happened when I produced a Jerry Sadowitz TV comedy special...

The Last Laugh with Jerry Sadowitz was recorded to be a 55-minute show though it was later transmitted as a 45-minute show (for general scheduling reasons, not because of content).

John Fleming, John Fleming's Blog, 18th August 2022

Sam Morrison interview

"We often forget what is most important in life."

Entertainment Now, 18th August 2022

Vidura Bandara Rajapaksa: Monsoon Season interview

I arranged a quick chat to find out more.

Caro Moses, ThreeWeeks, 18th August 2022

Andy MacLeod interview

Performing at the Fringe is a dream in itself.

Entertainment Now, 17th August 2022

The stand-ups unleashing comedy on life-threatening disease

From bowel cancer to Parkinson's and dementia, the Edinburgh Fringe is full of jokes about serious illness. What's in it for the comedians - and their audiences?

Si Hawkins, The Guardian, 17th August 2022

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