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.
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.
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…
Aisling Bea: Plan Bea
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.
Alex Edelman: Everything Handed to You
Alun Cochrane: A Show with a Man in it
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.
Bridget Christie: A Book for Her
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.
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.
Gein’s Family Giftshop: Volume 2
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.
Lazy Susan: Double Act
James Acaster: Represent
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.
Liam Williams: Bonfire Night
Liam Williams is one of the most intriguing stand-up talents out there right now. His highly intelligent, angsty material often criticises our politically disengaged society while highlighting his own political impotence, and his resulting internal struggles. Fascinating and funny in equal measure.
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.
Mike Wozniak: One Man Dad Cat Band
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.
Paul Sinha: Postcards From the Z List
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.
Sam Simmons: Spaghetti for Breakfast
Backyard Comedy Club
One of London's much-needed, dedicated comedy clubs, run by British stand-up Lee Hurst, star of 'They Think it's All Over', who you can occasionally find performing here. At just a stone's throw from Bethnal Green, the Backyard is a good place to find up-and-coming comedians, plus since 2013, they've also hosted variety shows, cabaret, swing dancing and more. There's also a bar, pizzas, pool, fussball and darts.