In 2017 I saw 20 shows at the Fringe… 20!
Choosing these 20 shows took hours of research and it (kinda) paid off. Around 90% were really good and only around 10% weren’t so great – time well spent! In no particular order, here are the Best of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017. If these shows return in the future or are on near you then don’t miss out on tickets!
See my article here on how to get cheap Edinburgh Fringe tickets. These tips will work for the Fringe every year too.
2140, One Hour, 10 Minutes Long, Full Price: £17
This show is a difficult one to explain. It’s 70 minutes long, it features a guy that doesn’t speak and it regularly sells out. Sounds like easy money doesn’t it? Where do I sign up?! As much as that makes it sound rubbish, it was fantastic!
He reached the finals of America’s Got Talent, became a viral sensation and completed a sold-out 52 date tour of the UK before bringing his Best Of show to the Fringe. It involves mime, magic, puppetry and involves a LOT of audience participation. He doesn’t just get the front row involved, you’re not safe if you’re in the middle of the back row!
Google Tape Face now and have a watch!
1830, One Hour Long, Full Price: £13.50 to £17.50
This is one of the safest buys at the Fringe each year. The show actually has a Guinness World Record for the longest-running live comedy show with it running since 1979. The show focuses on the news in the previous 12 months, in particular British politics with some world news thrown in for good measure. Definitely a Best of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe contender each year.
The songs, choreography and the skits are almost always on point with very little to moan about after the hour. It sells out most nights so make sure you get your tickets early. If you like satirical humour you will not be disappointed.
Jason Manford: Muddle Class Work in Progress
1715, One Hour Long, Full Price: £18.50
This was one of the few ‘big name’ comedians that we saw at the Fringe in 2017 and he didn’t disappoint. This was a warm up show for his Muddle Class UK tour that will be coming in 2018. Armed with a piece of paper with all of his gags on it, Jason worked his way through the list ticking those that went well with one or two getting two ticks.
There are jokes for everyone in his set with jokes on Disney, football, his children, living with John Bishop and so much more. This show actually went over the one hour time slot because of the amount of jokes that Jason had to go through. If this warm up, work in progress show is anything to go by then his UK tour next year will be worth the admission cost.
Noise Next Door: 10
2250, One Hour Long, Full Price: £14
There’s a reason this was their 10th year at the Fringe. It’s another show that’s a safe buy each year. As it’s an improv show with shouts from the audience shaping their show, it’s different each night and each year. This isn’t a family friendly show but they do have two shows a day with one more child friendly show in the afternoon.
There’s a fair amount of audience participation too with someone picked out to play the guitar on stage for the majority of the show. Last year I was picked out and made my first public acting appearance which was rewarded with a bottle of beer. Fortunately I wasn’t this year though! My acting skills have much to be desired!
Sara Pascoe: LadsLadsLads
1900, One Hour Long, Full Price: £13.50
This was the first show we saw at the Fringe this year and it was a great start. I’ll be honest I hadn’t seen all that much of Sara before this but what I did see what enough to intrigue me. With the backdrop of breaking up with her boyfriend (who incidentally also had a show at the Fringe) she tells the story of ‘finding herself’ through a year-long, one-woman stag do.
After the show she was also around signing her latest book which was a good opportunity to have a chat and buy her book at a reasonable price. I’ll be keeping an eye on more of her shows and I’d recommend giving her a chance if she’s on tour near you.
There are sooo many shows that almost made this list and it’s been a great Fringe this year. Did you see any of my Best of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows featured? Which would you recommend to watch in the future?