A Dozen Must See Free Edinburgh Fringe Shows of 2013
“Free comedy! Free comedy! Free Comedy!” Look at the hundred of little hands handing out their leaflets. It must be August in Edinburgh. In a sea of free some of it has to be shit. But there are also some true gems out there which will be objectively and subjectively much much better than pre-spending £12.50 on some Hollistered foetus who want to host Big Brother’s Babbling Gob on Channel 5 while dabbling with a stand up tour on the side and has bought the A0 poster spaces to prove it. The Free Fringe / Festival / flotilla has attracted some genuine talent this year, some of whom are coming off of successful runs with the big bad paid four over previous summers. The Free movement is poaching some quality this 2013, some legitimising quality. Here are my 12 must free hour shows that you can just rock up to, laugh at and rightly pop some deserved money in the bucket after...
Stuart Black: No Moral Compass
Mr Black has the soul of a poet, the sinewy muscles of a circuit regular and those ever elusive funny bones. Expect an hour of insightful, heartfelt comedy with club worthy laugh out loud moments.
Nathaniel Metcalfe: Enthusiast
Ask any established young comic whose debut they are most excited about this year and it will be Nat Met’s. A unique voice in comedy he’s been building this hour of long form fun up for years around London and the end result is a masterpiece from the comic’s comic’s comic.
Michael Fabbri – Buffering
Michael Fabbri writes elegant routines that pile on hit after hit. Buffering suggests a whole new hour of potential classics to match his previous tales of youtube comments gone mental, job centre employment and epileptic cats.
Ian Cognito: The Trouble With Comedy
Banned from as many comedy clubs as probably still exist Cogs is the genuine original wildman of comedy. He’s going to bully and scare you into pissing yourself with laughter. There’ll be queues around the block for this so be a clever chap and don’t miss out.
Paul F Taylor – The Greatest Show Ever
Paul F Taylor is the only goof silly, kooky and crafted enough to accidentally jive the Three Weeks critics with this baiting title. Expect to have loads of loopy fun from this year’s New of Act of the Year champ.
Jessica Fostekew – Moving
The best themed show of this year’s Fringe. Unlike many just about every routine sticks to topic and is gag heavy enough to stand alone in any comedy club away from the more relaxed Fringe and theatre circuit. Nothing seems crowbarred in off topic, no unfunny bumf is included to fill time. In fact all of Fostekew’s ideas and strands live next to and on top of each other in perfect harmony.
Lewis Schaffer: Free Until Famous – 20th Year
Part of Schaffer’s charm is his cocktail of conflicting flavours; the Brooklyn Jew trapped in South London, cocky overconfidence and bitter bile, drawn out gags and razor sharp insight, the skilled showman and his ability to get distracted by the audience seven or eight times before a punchline. And at his very popular free shows this is a delirious, heady concoction of interaction, offense and charm.
Sean McLoughlin: Backbone
A personal favourite of mine Sean McLoughlin speaks of his miserable life with the bitterness and jadedness of a pensioner. The fact he’s only just about an adult adds a frisson of energy and ironic optimism to what otherwise could be quite bleak proceedings. A skilled comedy writer and performer coming of age in his debut hour.
Paul Duncan McGarrity –Awkward Hawk
Expect fun, confidence and a stool. I’ll undersell this as PDMc shan’t. One of the best new stand-up performer’s in the trade.
Phil Kay: Verbal Diary
Only an absolute idiot would miss Phil Kay on his home turf of the Edinburgh Fringe but with chance of getting to experience him for nada zip diddly... well... I can’t think of an insult fitting enough if you did not at least try.
Hilarity Bites Comedy Club Showcase
I’ve tried to avoid mixed bills but this is a genuinely great sampler from a comedy outfit who book the best circuit acts in the country over the other 11 months a year.
Stuart Laws is involved in over 5 shows this year. I’d recommend his hour “Stuart Laws absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead (1hr show)” for the rare chance to see Stuart doing a shorter set. Weird, wonderful, prolific, Stuart is the Takashi Miike of live comedy.