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15 award winners and nominees to see at the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Returning comedy champions of the Edinburgh Fringe
By Niki Boyle |
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The Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award is the most prestigious gong in live comedy. These 15 acts have all at least been nominated for the award in the past, so the pressure is on.

RECOMMENDED: 74 comedy shows to see at the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Adam Riches
© Idil Sukan Draw HQ

Adam Riches is Coach Coach

Character comedy. Award-winner.

Four years after scooping the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award, Adam Riches is still one of the most exciting character comics out there. This year he’s fronting an ambitious sports comedy show, featuring a cast of 11 and plenty of Riches’s trademark audience interaction.

9.45pm, Pleasance Dome.

Adrienne Truscott
© Allison Orenstein

Adrienne Truscott’s a One-Trick Pony!

Award-winner. Second show.

Truscott’s bold, brave show about rape culture and rape jokes – ‘Adrienne Truscott’s Asking For It – A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her Pussy and Little Else’ – won her the Foster’s Panel Prize in 2013. Her new show examines stand-up comedy itself. After all, we’re still not sure whether to call Truscott a comedian or a performance artist…

8.15pm, Gilded Balloon. (Aug 5-17 only.)

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Aisling Bea
© Karla Gowlett

Aisling Bea: Plan Bea

Stand-up. Award nominee. Second show.

This excitable Irish comic has barely been off the telly over the past two years. In 2014 she won a British Comedy Award, her debut Edinburgh show was nominated for the Best Newcomer prize, and now she’s following it up with more motormouth stories.

9.30pm, Gilded Balloon.

Alex Edelman
© Will Bremridge

Alex Edelman: Everything Handed to You

Stand-up. Award-winner. Second show.

It’s the ‘difficult second show’ for last year’s Best Newcomer winner, as this smart-arsed American comic speaks directly to the twentysomethings. His neurotic tales and observations are unfailingly funny.

8.30pm, Pleasance Courtyard.

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Alun Cochrane
© Avalon

Alun Cochrane: A Show with a Man in it

Stand-up. Off the telly. Award nominee.

This Absolute Radio star was nominated for Best Newcomer at the Perrier Awards back in 2004 and since then has popped up on all the panel shows. We like to call Cochrane the ‘everyman philosopher’, because his no-nonsense meditation on everyday things is just plain funny.

6.30pm, The Stand Comedy Club.

Bridget Christie
© Idil Sukan Draw HQ

Bridget Christie: A Book for Her

Stand-up. Award-winner.

2013’s Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award-winner just keeps getting better and better. Christie recently launched her first book – ‘A Book For Her’ – based on her feminism-fuelled stand-up. This show’s celebrates her literary debut with 50 minutes of new material and a ten-minute book signing.

11am, The Stand Comedy Club.

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Funz and Gamez Tooz

Funz and Gamez Tooz

Award-winner. Second show.

The sequel to 2014’s Foster’s Panel Prize winning word-of-mouth hit. Funz and Gamez Tooz takes what is appropriate in a children’s show and does the exact opposite. Kids love it – the adult jokes soar way over their heads – and us grown-ups enjoy how inappropriately these little ’uns are being treated. Funz for all the family.

3.20pm, Assembly George Square Gardens.

Gein's Family Giftshop
© Drew Forsyth

Gein’s Family Giftshop: Volume 2

Sketch comedy. Award nominee. Second show.

This dark, depraved sketch troupe (performers Kath Hughes, Edward Easton and James Meehan plus co-writer Kiri Pritchard-Mclean) bagged a Best Newcomer nomination at last year’s festival. Their skits are innovative, debauched, occasionally unsettling, and ridiculously funny. One of our favourite sketch troupes right now.

10.45pm, Pleasance Courtyard.

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Lazy Susan
© Bobby Goulding

Lazy Susan: Double Act

Sketch comedy. Award nominee. Second show.

After bagging a Best Newcomer nomination in 2014, this understated sketch duo – made up of Celeste Dring and Freya Parker – return with more superb performances, silly characters and wigs Lots of wigs. Sketch comedy with heart.

8.10pm, Pleasance Dome.

James Acaster
© Edward Moore

James Acaster: Represent

Stand-up. Award nominee. Festival favourite.

James Acaster needs no more recommendations from us. He’ll sell out his sizable venue without a problem, and will undoubtedly receive a flurry of great reviews, but this list would feel incomplete without him. Acaster’s been nominated for the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award three times now. Could 2015 be the year he finally wins it? If you’ve never seen him before, a) you’re a fool, and b) buy a ticket right now.

8.30pm, Pleasance Courtyard.

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Max and Ivan
© Dan Burn-Forti

Max and Ivan: The End

Sketch comedy. Award nominee.

Max and Ivan aren’t just any old sketch act – their feel-good storytelling shows are like live Hollywood movies, complete with explosions, love interests and unexpected twists. Max Olesker and Ivan Gonzalez play all the characters, and seamlessly switch between them. It’s impressive stuff, and earned them a Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award nomination in 2013.

8.20pm, Pleasance Dome.

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Mike Wozniak

Mike Wozniak: One Man Dad Cat Band

Stand-up. Award nominee. Free.

Do you want a cat? Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award-nominated stand-up Mike Wozniak has become the accidental owner of one, as he reveals in his new show. The ‘Man Down’ star’s mix of fidgety outrage, elegantly-phrased tales and unbelievable facts is a real treat.

1.15pm, Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters.

Paul Sinha

Paul Sinha: Postcards From the Z List

Stand-up. Award nominee. Off the telly.

Fans of teatime TV might recognise Paul Sinha as one of the sardonic ‘chasers’ on ITV game show ‘The Chase’. He’s just as smart a stand-up as he is quizzing champion. This is his first Fringe show for four years. Expect dry opinions and skilfully told stories.

5pm, The Stand Comedy Club.

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Sam Simmons
© Mandee Johnson Photography

Sam Simmons: Spaghetti for Breakfast

Stand-up. Award nominee.

Full-on lunacy from this twice Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee. Simmons’s shows are batshit crazy, and ‘Spaghetti For Breakfast’ is no exception. But this year, among the silliness, he’s taking us down a more personal route.

9pm, Underbelly Potterow.

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