Edinburgh is a great place to be in August, we don't mind putting forward that opinion here at British Comedy Guide. We really recommend it. The Fringe essentially does all the hard work for the rest of the comedy world: all the punters and the reviewers and award panellists spend a month working out what the great shows are. Wouldn't it be ideal then if there was a festival that took a load of the shows that everybody had decided were great, and put them on somewhere? Maybe in central London, opposite Great Portland Street Station, or something?
If you're already thinking 'that's such a great idea, I'm going to start that festival', then here's some unfortunate, if maybe slightly predictable, news: it already exists. It's called Objectively Funny Festival. Now in its second year, 42 great Edinburgh shows are being put on over 11 days, between the 20th and 30th September. The Scottish capital has done all the hard work, and now Londoners get to enjoy a load of the highlights, often for cheaper than they were at the Fringe.
And if you were able to make the trip up to Edinburgh this year? Objectively Funny Festival is nothing if not a useful mopping up exercise for Fringe devotees.
Firstly, they've got shows that have been mathematically proven to be great: British Comedy Guide collected over 4,500 reviews from 135 different publications to compile a list of the best reviewed shows. Scientifically. From that countdown, then, you can get to see joyful absurdist John-Luke Roberts (pictured), mischievous and playful Rosie Jones, smart sketch duo Moon, beautiful philosopher Rob Auton and candid millennial Harriet Kemsley, who have all had statistics prove they are amongst the funniest hours of comedy you can see this year.
After that you've got all the award botherers. 2017 Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Elf Lyons is joined by a raft of future stars, showing that Objectively Funny have a knack for nailing down the most promising acts around: this year Maisie Adam, Olga Koch, Sara Barron and Sindhu Vee have been booked, presumably for the most part confirmed before they all got nominated for Best Newcomer at the end of August. Not bad booking skills. They join 2017 newcomer nominees Ed Night, Kwame Asante and Rob Kemp on the lineup.
Perhaps a far more impressive accolade though belongs to the comedian booked for Wednesday 26th: Pointless Celebrities winner Robin Ince is performing his show Chaos of Delight.
Expect other highlights: Foxdog Studios get the whole audience to play about with their technological creations. Tom Neenan's hour satirises men that self-servingly model themselves as woke feminists. There's high octane sketches from the ever-superb Sleeping Trees; Delightful Sausage are brilliant and daft future stars; Eshaan Akbar has plenty of clever observations on identity, religion and race; Ali Brice is a silly joy; Heidi Regan continues her promising rise; Sean Morley will please Stewart Lee fans who don't like to be given an easy and relaxing hour of stand-up; and "cult idiot" William Andrews is successfully heartfelt, inventive and hugely fun all in the same hour.