Pay whatever you think the show's worth at these unticketed Fringe shows. Or, for some venues, you can reserve a seat in advance for a fiver.
17 free comedy shows to see at the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Our top pay-what-you-can comedy picks at this year's festival
Ali Brice presents: Eric Meat Has No Proof, Only Memories of Pasta
Beth Vyse: As Funny as Cancer
Can cancer be funny? Beth Vyse changes tack from her usual loony character comedy and turns to autobiographical storytelling in her latest offering. Vyse was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 28, and this is the story of how is changed her life.
Ed Gamble: Lawman
You might’ve seen Ed Gamble’s impressive acting and improv skills at work on E4’s mockumentary series ‘Almost Royal’. He’s a terrific stand-up, too. This year, Gamble’s focusing on his love of rules, and why following them is way cool. Couldn’t agree with you more, Ed.
Joel Dommett: Conquer
Dommett’s been on the circuit for a good eight years now, and has matured into a reliably funny (and, we think, underrated) stand-up. He’s an engaging, excitable storyteller, has charm by the lorry-load and knows exactly how to structure a show so that you leave with a warm, fuzzy feeling in your belly. And you can see him for free!
John-Luke Roberts: Stdad-Up
Last year smart absurdist John-Luke Roberts tackled break-up comedy shows in his ‘not-a-break-up-show’ comedy hour about breaking up with his girlfriend. This year, he’s both performing and subverting the award-judges’ favourite comedy genre – family bereavement – in a silly show about the death of his father.
LetLuce in Sea Men (A Naval Tale)
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.
Lou Sanders: Excuse Me, You’re Sitting on My Penis Again
This disjointed, offbeat talent just keeps getting better and better – her scatterbrained stories and stupid ideas are ludicrously funny. This year’s show focuses on Sanders’s attempts to nab a place at Eton College for Boys, despite not being a boy.
Matt Winning: Mugabe and Me (3D)
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.
Pat Cahill: Panjandrum
If we had to be trapped in an underground bunker with any comedian (big ‘if’) we would choose Pat Cahill. Strangely enough, that’s exactly what happens in Cahill’s new show. The upbeat worrier has turned wartime entertainer, donning an ‘old man’s helmet’ to perform music hall-esque songs.
Sofie Hagen: Bubblewrap
This Danish stand-up has been making a name for herself on the circuit since moving to London a few years ago, reaching the final of practically every new comp and bagging Chortle’s Best Newcomer gong in 2014. She’s an engaging stand-up, weaving serious topics with stories of her verging-on-stalkerish Westlife obsession.
Spencer Jones Presents: The Herbert in Proper Job
Stuart Laws: Who Said Anything About Stopping It? (1 Hour Show)
This rising talent is only performing a short, week-long run (he also wants a holiday, apparently), but we still think he deserves to be in this list. Laws has developed into a confident, chronically funny stand-up. His offbeat stories and non-observations are a lot of fun.
Tiernan Douieb: The World’s Full of Idiots, Let’s Live in Space
Despite being a Tory-bashing shouty grump, Tiernan Douieb somehow manages to remain one of the more friendly (and upbeat) comics on the circuit. This is his first Edinburgh show in four years, and since his last Fringe he’s really found his voice as a passionate political comic with an increasing intolerance for rude, ignorant people. We’re with you, Tiernan.
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