Ed Byrne was the best-reviewed stand-up comic performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023, analysis conducted by British Comedy Guide has found.
This year's run-down of the most critically-acclaimed comedy productions being staged at the Fringe is based on 4,644 star-rated reviews issued by 119 different publications, ranging from broadsheet newspapers through to fan-run blogs.
With an average rating of 4.6 stars across twenty-two write-ups, Byrne's Tragedy Plus Time was the best-reviewed stand-up show at the festival. Meanwhile, Brendan Murphy's parody Buffy Revamped, in tribute to long-running American TV fantasy drama Buffy The Vampire Slayer, topped the list overall, collecting up an average list of 4.9 stars from the 8 reviews it received.
In descending order of scoring, the following productions received six or more reviews and, from those, scored an average score of more than 4 stars. Click on any title to see the show's respective reviews and other coverage.
Note that our analysis is limited to productions listed in the comedy section of the Fringe programmes. Of the comic performances in other sections - such as theatre - play England & Son starring Mark Thomas picked up the best reviews.
As in previous years, our methodology does not add weighting based on perceived value to different publications. Relatedly, better-known acts will always attract a greater number of critics in the first place, thus enjoy an inbuilt advantage in racking up the ratings. A number of less prominent productions will doubtless have been worthy of inclusion in the list but omitted as a result: for example, Ed: The New, Totally Unofficial, Ginger-Inclusive Parody Sketch Show would likely have featured in the top 10 it if had gained another review.
Do browse our listings to find other comedians to look out for in the months ahead. There's much more to live comedy than a reviewer's personal opinion of what is "good".