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11 international comedy acts to see at the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Americans, Australians, South Africans… Comics from across the globe flock to Edinburgh.

By Ben Williams
Heidi O'Loughlin
© Edward Moore

Heidi O’Loughlin: A Woman Talking

Stand-up. Storytelling. International.

This low-key, offbeat Kiwi storyteller bagged a Barry Award Best Newcomer nomination at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. She’s been supporting DIY-comedy favourite Josie Long on tour, and if you enjoy Long’s bashful storytelling you’ll be a fan of O’Loughlin’s in no time.

7.40pm, Underbelly Cowgate.

Ismo Leikola

Ismo Leikola: Observing the Obvious

Stand-up. International.

Ismo Leikola’s one of the biggest comedians in Finland, and his English-speaking comedy career is really taking off. He won US comedy club chain The Laugh Factory’s ‘Funniest Person in the World’ competition last year, and now he’s back in Edinburgh with his offbeat, rug-pulling observations.

4pm, Gilded Balloon. (Aug 7-15 and 22-30 only.)

kyle kinane press 2014

Kyle Kinane: Ghost Pizza Party

Stand-up. International.

This Illinois-born stand-up (and a favourite of our friends at Time Out Chicago) makes his Edinburgh Fringe debut. Kinane’s gruff-voiced, laid-back tales come packed with intricate jokes and a pleasing mix of intelligent and goofball humour.

10.10pm, Underbelly Cowgate.

Michael Che
© Phil Provencio

Michael Che: Six Stars

Stand-up. International. Off the telly.

Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon, Chevy Chase… They’ve all been anchors of ‘Weekend Update’ – the most famous segment of ‘Saturday Night Live’. The latest name to join that list is Michael Che, a 32-year-old New York native who’s quickly becoming a big deal across The Pond. Che’s in demand over there (he was briefly a correspondent on ‘The Daily Show’, too), so catch him in Edinburgh while you can.

7.40pm, The Stand Comedy Club 3 & 4. (Aug 6-20 only.)

Ronny Chieng

Ronny Chieng: Chieng Reaction

Stand-up. International. Second show.

Ronny Chieng is refreshingly aloof. Rather than try desperately to charm us over, he simply focuses his energy into slashing apart life’s annoyances with a no-nonsense bravado. Born in Malaysia and based in Australia, he’s becoming a big deal Down Under, selling out 2000-seat venues at the Melbourne Comedy Festival.

7.20pm, Underbelly Cowgate.

Tats Nkonzo

Tats Nkonzo: The African With Wi-fi

Stand-up. International.

The South African stand-up scene is starting to gain traction, thanks partly to the success of new ‘Daily Show’ host Trevor Noah. Guitar-wielding comic Tats Nkonzo is the latest SA comic to take his act international, aiming to debunk any stereotypes us Westerners might have about African life.

9.30pm, Pleasance Courtyard.

Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah: Lost in Translation

Stand-up. International. Off the telly.

Just three chances to catch this South African star, and it could be his last trip to Edinburgh for quite a while. Trevor Noah blew us away in 2012 with his Fringe debut, ‘The Racist’. Since then, he’s been making a name for himself in the States, and has now landed a job as host of ‘The Daily Show’, taking over from Jon Stewart. Pretty. Big. Deal.

10.30pm, Assembly Hall. (Aug 28-30 only.)

Trygve Wakenshaw

Trygve Wakenshaw: Nautilus

Clowning. International.

Trygve Wakenshaw’s 2014 offering, ‘Kraken’, was our favourite show last year. If you missed it, he’s reviving it at the Underbelly. But the clowning sensation from New Zealand also brings a brand-new show, ‘Nautilus’, to this year’s festival. 90 minutes of physical lunacy, he says is his most ambitious show yet.

10pm, Pleasance Courtyard.

Lieven Scheire

The Wonderful World of Lieven Scheire

Stand-up. International.

Big scientific theories and ideas explained with wit and charm by this Belgium-born comic. Lieven Scheire has his own hugely popular TV shows in his home country, and this is his Edinburgh Fringe debut. If you’re a fan of Robin Ince’s science-comedy hybrid shows or ‘QI’-type facts, Scheire’s a safe bet.

3pm. Gilded Balloon.

Zoe Coombs Marr

Zoe Coombs Marr: Dave

Character comedy. International.

We love a bit of comedy about comedy. Aussie favourite Zoe Coombs Marr’s show is a proper parody of lazy stand-up. She plays Dave, a generic male comedian who likes beer, sex, women and football. Bad stand-up, done well.

9.20pm, Underbelly Cowgate.


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