Edinburgh Fringe comedy reviews 2013

Comedy at the world's biggest arts festival, reviewed by the Time Out Comedy team

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The Edinburgh Fringe is the biggest and most important gathering of comedy talent. So of course the Time Out team is up in Bonnie Scotland for the month of August, watching hour upon hour of comedy, and writing up reviews.

You'll find the latest comedy reviews from the Edinburgh Festival at the top of this page. Keep checking back, as we'll be adding new reviews almost every day.

Edinburgh Fringe comedy reviews 2013

Five stars

© Robert John Kley

Bo Burnham – What review

  • Rated as: 5/5

The 22-year-old Bostonian smashes sky-high expectations

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Four stars

Brett Goldstein – Contains Scenes of an Adult Nature review

  • Rated as: 4/5

Thought provoking, grown-up storytelling packed with jokes

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Bridget Christie – A Bic for Her review

  • Rated as: 4/5

A passionate, intelligent and beautifully silly attack on everyday sexism

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Cassetteboy vs DJ Rubbish review

  • Rated as: 4/5

It's near impossible not to have a good time at this disco with a comedy twist

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Claudia O'Doherty – Pioneer review

  • Rated as: 4/5

Intriguing, inventive and just the right side of peculiar

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Edward Aczel Lives in a Meaningless Shed review

  • Rated as: 4/5

The king of British anti-comedy's back with more shambolic brilliance

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Ivo Graham – Binoculars review

  • Rated as: 4/5

Intelligent, eloquent wit and Mario Kart tips in this 22-year-old's Fringe debut

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James Acaster – Lawnmower review

  • Rated as: 4/5

Acaster's minute, quizzical world is a wonderful place to visit

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John Kearns – Sight Gags for Perverts review

  • Rated as: 4/5

Honesty and heart behind self-loathing silliness

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John Lloyd – Liff of QI review

  • Rated as: 4/5

Behind-the-scenes nuggets and bewildering facts from the legendary TV producer

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Joseph Morpurgo – Truthmouth review

  • Rated as: 4/5

A hugely impressive debut show crammed full of inventive ideas

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Liam Williams review

  • Rated as: 4/5

Sophisticated, beautifully written misanthropy from a superb newcomer

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Mark Stephenson – Half Man Half Amazing review

  • Rated as: 4/5

A smart, assured debut from a refreshingly nonchalant, deadpan talent

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Max and Ivan – The Reunion review

  • Rated as: 4/5

A warm, '80s teen movie-style feelgood triumph

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Nick Helm – One Man Mega Myth review

  • Rated as: 4/5

The comedy daredevil's back with a high-energy tribute to Evel Knievel

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Nish Kumar – Nish Kumar is a Comedian review

  • Rated as: 4/5

Nish Kumar is a comedian, and a bloody one at that

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Paul Foot – Words review

  • Rated as: 4/5

Complex absurdism from the Fringe favourite

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Ronny Chieng – The Ron Way review

  • Rated as: 4/5

There's a sharp comedic mind at work in this Malaysian-Australian's Fringe debut

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Simon Munnery – Fylm review

  • Rated as: 4/5

Munnery's sequel to 'Fylm-Makker' is as inventive as ever

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Three stars

Andrew Lawrence – There is No Escape review

  • Rated as: 3/5

Louche pessimism that's funny at points, but doesn't connect successfully with the audience

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BEASTS review

  • Rated as: 3/5

Great performances, but the sketches need more bite

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Chastity Butterworth & The Spanish Hamster review

  • Rated as: 3/5

The character creation of Gemma Whelan has mastered the art of making naff jokes funny

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Dave Griffiths – C U in Court review

  • Rated as: 3/5

A true Dave and Goliath story that's more remarkable than funny

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Graham Clark – Afraid of the Clark review

  • Rated as: 3/5

A solid 30-minutes of material stretched over an hour from this charming Canadian

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Phil Ellis – Unplanned Orphan review

  • Rated as: 3/5

An ambitious slow-burner that just about pays off

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Two stars

Carl Hutchinson – All the Rage review

  • Rated as: 2/5

MOR observations about rage from a mild-mannered comic

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Daniel Simonsen – Stranger review

  • Rated as: 2/5

A brave experiment that, on this particular night, enters into the sweat pit of deep embarrassment

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Giraffe – Sketchy Comedy review

  • Rated as: 2/5

Likable sketch troupe's material is unimaginative

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

Our massive Fringe hub, featuring previews and reviews from comedy, theatre and cabaret.

See our Edinburgh Fringe hub


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Edinburgh Fringe: top ten big names and festival favourites

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Users say

2 comments
Rachael Pollock
Rachael Pollock

SIMON DONALD-BUTCH STRAIGHT POOF, Stand 2, Edinburgh Fringe After toying with various ideas on which to base his show (What Would Gazza Do? You Are The Tramp, Nanas Say The Funniest Things to name but a few..) Viz creator Simon Donald remembered that one of his friends had dubbed him"a butch straight poof" and decided this was the most succinct manner in which his lifestyle had ever been summed up. And lo, the show was born. Simon sets out to examine the challenges of just what it means to be a heterosexual man in the 21st century and explain just what a butch straight poof REALLY is. The audience were in stitches as he explained what traits belong in the Butch Bin, the Straight Grate and the Poof Pot. Allowing the audience a glimpse into his own life he confesses that as well as owning tools (only red ones of course), DIY, liking football and drinking beer Simon also owns a hairdryer, keeps his socks tidy, dances,drinks the wrong tea and wears pink shoes. Surprisingly to many, he also fancies women. Hence being a butch straight poof. "But hey, isn't this all a bit non-pc and homophobic?" I hear you ask. NO!! Absolutely the opposite. Don't get me wrong, this show is packed with laughs; voices from beyond the grave, insults, swearing, songs, a parody of a geordie radio phone in show and general arsing about. But there is also a serious message being driven home here; tales of Quentin Crisp's heroic stance of always being himself, Rod Stewart's inspiration for The Killing of Georgie and the shocking truth about sportsmen coming out are delivered with poignance and sensitivity. I loved this show; well written, jaw achingly funny, moving and crazy all wrapped up in a Fred Perry top (you can dress them up OR dress them down).

Rachael Pollock
Rachael Pollock

After toying with various ideas on which to base his show (What Would Gazza Do? You Are The Tramp, Nanas Say The Funniest Things to name but a few..) Viz creator Simon Donald remembered that one of his friends had dubbed him"a butch straight poof" and decided this was the most succinct manner in which his lifestyle had ever been summed up. And lo, the show was born. Simon sets out to examine the challenges of just what it means to be a heterosexual man in the 21st century and explain just what a butch straight poof REALLY is. The audience were in stitches as he explained what traits belong in the Butch Bin, the Straight Grate and the Poof Pot. Allowing the audience a glimpse into his own life he confesses that as well as owning tools (only red ones of course), DIY, liking football and drinking beer Simon also owns a hairdryer, keeps his socks tidy, dances,drinks the wrong tea and wears pink shoes. Surprisingly to many, he also fancies women. Hence being a butch straight poof. "But hey, isn't this all a bit non-pc and homophobic?" I hear you ask. NO!! Absolutely the opposite. Don't get me wrong, this show is packed with laughs; voices from beyond the grave, insults, swearing, songs, a parody of a geordie radio phone in show and general arsing about. But there is also a serious message being driven home here; tales of Quentin Crisp's heroic stance of always being himself, Rod Stewart's inspiration for The Killing of Georgie and the shocking truth about sportsmen coming out are delivered with poignance and sensitivity. I loved this show; well written, jaw achingly funny, moving and crazy all wrapped up in a Fred Perry top (you can dress them up OR dress them down).