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EiF's 50 must-see shows of the Edinburgh Festival

Saturday, August 07 2010

It's the only list you bloomin' need! In no particular order, so ignore the numbers ...

Hans Teeuwen

1) Hans Teeuwen (pictured) – Surreal, Dutch, unpredictable showman.

2) Greg Davies – Former We Are Klang/Inbetweeners giant making his Edinburg debut, and it's a belting show.

3) The Horne Section – Awesome addition to the late-night Edinburgh shows hosted by wonder Alex Horne, combining jazz and comedy. It's better than that sounds.

4) Paul Sinha – Brilliant stand-up who has another excellent, fully-formed show.

5) Pete Johansson – Top Canadian comic who is both super laid-back and opinionated.

6) Gary Delaney – One-liner merchant with a relentlessly excellent hour.

7) Alun Cochrane – A stalwart of The Stand club who turns the everyday into brilliant, very slightly grumpy, comedy.

8) Seann Walsh – A new star of the circuit who has rightly been compared to Dylan Moran, who is making his Fringe debut.

9) Golden Lizard – Oddball adventure story with elements of improv, starring Henry Paker and Mike Wozniak.

10) Josie Long – Indie comedy hero returns to the Fringe after a year off with a new show with lots of jokes, a call to arms, and an astronaut.

11) John-Luke Roberts – Inventive and erudite comic who writes for the BBC and is another debutant.

12) Jonny Sweet – Last year's Best Newcomer who will make a lecture on HMS Nottingham really funny.

13) Carl Donnelly – A no-frills, relaxed anecdote teller who's really funny, basically.

14) Colin Hoult – Ridiculously versatile character comic with some wickedly funny lines as well.

15) Laura Solon – Erm, a ridiculously versatile character comic with some wickedly funny lines as well. Won the Perrier in 2005.

16) Amusements – Two top young comics, affable anecdoter James Acaster and astute scruff Josh Widdicombe, do half an hour each. Free Fringe!

17) Stephen Carlin – A Glaswegian comic who's due a nomination for that award thingamy.

18) Bo Burnham – Prodigious American comic who is nailing stand-up and musical comedy despite being a frigging TEENAGER.

19) Dan Antopolski – Purveyor of gently weird comedy, raps about things like sandwiches and lasers, elements of geek, corking one-liners. A joy. Double Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee.

20) Andrew Lawrence – Another double Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee, speaks beautiful, fluent bile.

21) Jarred Christmas – Bombastic Kiwi, massive show-off, bloody funny.

22) Ivor Dembina – Elder statesmen of the London circuit with a very funny, poignant, personal show about the Middle East conflict.

23) Paul Foot – Raving storyteller who some will love, some will hate. Unique in a good way.

24) Two Episodes of Mash – Sketch comedy, but not like normal sketch comedy. No attention-seeking, not really endings, but somehow it works a treat.

25) Marcel Lucont – Brooding, softly spoken French character who commands the stage with glass of red and condescending scowl. Top gags too.

26) Pappy's – Sketch heroes return as a three-piece but with the larking genius in tact.

27) Lewis Schaffer – Outspoken and vulnerable New York comic Lewis Schaffer offends as many as he tickles. EiF is a fan.

28) Emo Phillips – A hero to many a comedian who made his name in the 80s with his unique, child-like delivery and wicked one-liners.

29) Norman Lovett – Famous for being in Red Dwarf but a wonderful stand-up too; gentle of pace, with hint of ramshackle and surreal.

30) John Moloney – A straight-up, deadpan gagsmith who's been mining the club circuit for 25 years.

31) Ronnie Golden – A veteran music/comedy act who performs like he is born for the stage. His debut Fringe solo show is "part rock masterclass, part autobiography, and part complete bollocks".

32) Showstopper! the Musical – An ensemble cast of improvisers/actors/comics weave a musical out of audience suggestions. Pretty bloody impressive.

33) Terry Alderton – A unique and unforgettable stand-up who battles onstage with his 'voices'.

34) Loretta Maine – Pippa Evans performs an hour of her potty-mouthed white trash country singer act.

35) John Hegley – A poet, comedian, Edinburgh regular and borderline lyrical genius.

36) Andy Zaltzman – Political comedy behemoth.

37) Arthur Smith – Wayward, witty, piss-taking comedy godfather.

38) Nina Conti – Makes ventriloquism really funny, which is no mean feat.

39) Simon Munnery – The cleverest man in the world and low-octane cult comedy hero has a show of material for the first time in a while.

40) Pete Firman – Brilliant comic/magician, nicely showbiz, always a great watch.

41) Comedy Countdown – Countdown off the telly, with comics. Fun and funny.

42) Tim Vine – Gag machine who's still got it.

43) Seymour Mace – Perhaps unfamiliar to London audiences but well-known to everyone else as a daft sod with upbeat shows. This year he's got two of them.

44) Tommy Tiernan – Charismatic Irish comic who mainly tackles the big ones (love, death, sex, religion etc).

45) Holly Burn – Barmy, lo-fi, high-energy Geordie who does bonkers but inspired characters.

46) Stewart Lee

47) Comedy in the Dark – Top comics perform in a show lit, just to mix things up a bit, but just two lightbulbs.

48) Sarah Millican – A Best Newcomer winner who's apparently got a belting show this year.

49)Robert White – Gifted, fidgety, compelling, tank-top wearing, musical, rapid-fire gag-machine.

50) Abandoman – Improvised hip-hop musical comedy party starters making their Edinburgh debut.

And not forgetting of course ... London is Funny Presents! (every day, 8pm, GRV just off Cowgate, £5).


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