The BCG team sees hundreds of shows during each Fringe. Here is a list of our favourites from 2023, in alphabetical order. If you're intrigued by a show and are thinking of booking tickets to see it, click through to the listing for more information.
An ode to his immigrant grandfather, how the world is better than we think it is (small print: but progress is cyclical) and a marvellous longform comparison between Ahir and Rishi Sunak. Politically astute and emotionally hopeful, we cannot think of another comedian operating at this level of intelligence, craft and confidence.
Brilliant, weird, character clown comedy from an exciting new talent.
A show based around a mental health issue... but hopefully that label doesn't put anyone off giving this show a try, as this is a joke-packed relatable hour from a slick and confident performer who looks set to become a future stand-up star.
Head to see this duo slipping on 1,000 bananas, or your money back - provided that everyone comes out unscathed.
A charming mix of light and dark sketches in this original and offbeat hour. Who doesn't want sketches about hermit crabs and axolotls, pine cones, cryptic crosswords and of course end the most dramatic possible end to a picnic? Lots of fun throughout.
This "demonstration of a sex robot" is an incredible physical comedy performance, but it is also full of great writing and adventurous audience interaction.
A slick hour that looks set to become one of the hits of this year's festival. Daniel Foxx possesses the full skillset needed to become a famous comedy star... witness it all in action here, as he creates big laughs in the process of discussing topics such as queer representation.
Assured, accessible and engaging hour of stand-up. A gifted storyteller in complete control of his audience - he is surely destined for mainstream success.
High energy musical comedy from four very talented performers. A mix of styles including nineties pop, opera and Motown gives great energy throughout with smart lyrics. If you liked Six: The Musical, you'll love this.
This is the comedy show where getting your phone out is actively encouraged. You'll never have played bingo like this before - Gala definitely doesn't offer anything like the madcap rounds this tech engineering duo have invented. The real star of the show though is their lovable robotic house-dwelling creation - you'll fall in love.
A parody of old-school club comics that also has a lot of fun indulging exactly that style of comedy. Enjoy the different layers at play with this show, or just have fun laughing away at the steady stream of good quality humour on offer here.
Highly polished show with a mix of songs, audience interaction and stand-up celebrating the small joys in life.
Lolly Bag is a top tier sketch show. Hannah Camilleri's characters are rich in personality and astutely observed. From a meandering mechanic to a stressed schoolteacher, her aptitude for improvising and reacting to the room meant that by the end, the entire audience was eager to join in with the fun.
"You will not learn anything in this show and you will not feel anything in this show". A silly, joyful, pretty wholesome hour from this dependable rising star.
A brilliant hour of stand-up, from a great performer, on the funny side of tackling stress.
Terrifically inventive lo-fi high-jinks as an epic road - and boat - trip is told via the blank canvas of cardboard. There's a laugh on every flap.
A family-friendly breakfast buffet from the bespectacled legend: poems, drawings, low-pressure participation, and a bit of punk-rock edge.
In his incredible 2019 show Off Limits, Jonny Pelham revealed that he had been abused as a child. This year's show deals with his regret of doing some of that material on Live At The Apollo. He has an almost unique ability to pull big punchlines from the darkest of topics and personal experiences, and that is on full display here.
A fun 'best of' hour with music, dancing and audience participation.
Tragicomic shows are a dime a dozen at the Fringe, but what sets Kiran Deol apart is her refreshingly self deprecating approach. It builds into a compelling narrative in which she refuses to be painted as a victim, instead squeezing every ounce of dark humour out of her situation.
Kirsty Mann delivers a fast-paced autobiographical monologue in which she explains how - until now - she's managed to hide the fact she's a doctor from the comedy world and, likewise, conceal her funny side from NHS colleagues. It's a great tale, full of jokes, and Mann's acting skills are showcased nicely when she portrays the other people in her story.
An accomplished debut covering her unusual upbringing in the Northwest of the United States. A fascinating and hilarious hour with a powerful emotional reveal.
Swirling unpredictable Australian storytelling that feels both world building and world skewing. Grief, denial and spiders... the jokes are embedded in like coins in an Xmas pud. A must see.
An intense multi layered multimedia extravaganza. This show looks at friendship, jealousy, our relationship with technology, and our relationship with ourselves.
A hugely confident debut, whizzing through what's clearly been a rollercoaster few years, from hospital wards to police cells, to this bunker.
In an absolutely delightful hour, Lulu Popplewell uses her appearance in Christmas romcom Love Actually - and it's reputation both as a festive favourite and more modern, problematic readings - as a framework to hang a series of anecdotes infused with biting wit and playful punchlines.
Deadpan character work from alternative comedy's favourite scientist. Eschewing traditional research methods, he draws on social media to explain women in the modern world.
A poignant hour from the double-act, which delivers a real gasp moment for those who have been following their work since the early days. Framed around multimedia slideshow with consistent big laughs in it... we recommend you act swiftly to catch this duo's best ever show.
What do you do when an online purchase goes wrong? This high energy show is one of the most unlikely but entertaining tales of taking on a scammer. Songs, multimedia and an enthralling story.
Dutch deadpan in emotional intelligence shocker! Micky Overman's The Precipice feels like an evolutionary leap for an act often associated with tight, merciless circuit ready stand-up. A themed show about relationships, broodiness and the future - these topics tessellate beautifully into each other while never feeling foreign to her caustic sense of humour.
Last year's show about losing his parents was described as "unsentimental", this is an excellent response to that. Packed with sharp, funny and thoughtful lines throughout.
A comedian recounting bad gig experiences is always going to be entertaining, but Ollie Horn's event-filled travels, great storytelling skills, crafted jokes and personable stage presence are a particularly winning combination that ensure Not Much is a great experience for those attending.
A little gem from Optimus Prime's mate (in that Transformers insurance ad): low budget, high concept. A brilliant reveal early doors sets up a lovely hour about thoughts, priorities, an evil teacher and a dramatic mime accident, with some of the best callbacks at the Fringe.
Offbeat comedy intercut with pop covers from a man dressed as a cat.
Police Cops have been refining their fast-paced gag-packed style over the last decade, and this consistently funny musical is their best work yet. 90 minutes of laughs, mined in inventive ways. Catch the show now before the now inevitable West End transfer.
Comic conceits that massage you with an elegantly convoluted vocabulary and their wholesome vibes. This is a life affirming high water mark of what can be achieved in stand-up, beyond calculated tragic tales and pneumatic drill dick jokes.
Melons is an uplifting deep dive into Robin Ince's influences, why he fell in love with comedy and the many, many gig anecdotes he has amassed over the years. An joyful hour of positivity and a celebration of comedy itself.
Salma Hindy and Danielle Deluty both grew up in strict religious households (Muslim and Orthodox Jewish respectively) and are both, as a result, relative newcomers to the worlds of love and sex. This impressive debut celebrates these parallel journeys, alongside the strong bond they've formed with each other.
One of the 2023 Fringe's best stories. A mixed bill show run every day by two of the late comic's mates, it's had queues round the block, raised loads for Gareth's young family, and many memorable moments as the Fringe stars pay tribute.
A one-woman tour-de-force from the Brooklyn-based comedian/singer/Daily Show writer, about a tete-a-tete with her suddenly strapping second cousin. Warning: may include early-season Succession spoilers.
The dependably wild night out is back at the 2023 Fringe and - now with an improved guest-booking policy - it's better than ever.
A lovely pre-lunch 45 from the Swansea stand-up, in Edinburgh's chilliest venue, switching happily from the local to the global, from dodgy shops to neurodiversity - and with a different opener doing their best 15, too.
A show to enlighten people about autism. Also featuring dog priest communion, crab communication, and an unusual way to eat yoghurt.
Fans of The Comedian's Comedian podcast will know that Stuart Goldsmith is an extremely affable, incisive interviewer, and he applies the same energy to his live performances. A consummate comic craftsman, the jokes come thick and fast; the climate theme woven into a beautifully structured show.
Untrustworthy Stuart Laws takes off the gilet and abandons the fibbing film-flam to reveal his true personality. Yet somehow manages to cram in just as much tight, discombobulating nonsense as in those previous hours where he built his cult comedy reputation. Reality, therapy and Thank You For Driving Safely signs whizz past in a blur during this quirky but consummate hour of packed over-confidence.
Punchline, punchline, punchline, punchline... with highlights from a clipboard. Break-up shows are rarely this self reflective or hilarious.
John Robertson has, over the years, been refining this format - a show in which players must shout out options as they try to navigate a text-based video game he controls - to the point it is now a very safe bet for anyone looking for some anarchic laughs. Every day is different... it was the fourth attendance in a row for the couple sitting next to us.
Riotous hour of personal and political stand-up. A joy to witness when in full flow as he is here.