02 August 2016 City in the spotlight

The best things in life are free.

Quite how true that statement rings is questionable. A slap in the face? Forgetting an umbrella in the British summer? All free, but are they the best?

Probably not.

Casting those two, admittedly extreme and contrived, examples aside, there are a lot of things that can be done without spending a penny that are really and honestly pretty damn good. The Edinburgh Fringe is just one example.

Running throughout the month of August, it is a carnival of hijinks, hilarity and absurdity. You’ll find all the big name comedians selling out the larger venues. And, yes, while they will be great, they’ll also set you back a few quid. The thing with Edinburgh is that that is so unnecessary.

With a wealth of highly respected young upstarts vying for your attention, really the best thing to do is walk the streets, check out the flyer-ers and see what tickles you. As a guide however, below are just four of the best young things on the comedy circuit today.


Joe Wells


Having built a name for himself on the London comedy circuit, Joe has warmed up for the likes of Frankie Boyle and Alexei Sayle. His show at the fringe is called “10 Things I Hate About UKIP”, you can guess the angle it’s going to take. His star is definitely rising, so get in now while he still offers free shows. The “skilled jokesmith” (British Comedy Guide) will be performing everyday from the 6th-27th at T Bar. Catch him at 13.00 everyday.


Kieran Hodgson


Kieran’s 2015 show, titled ‘Lance’ earned him a spot in the nominees for standout show of 2015. Many expected him to come back this year in a big venue and with a big price tag. He has however rejected that with his 2016 show, ‘Maestro’. He’s clearly not one wowed by the big lights and stardust of a larger venue, instead he returns, against better financial and career judgement, to the same venue that’s hosted him for the last few years, Voodoo Rooms. A wholly inappropriate venue for comedy, he’ll be on stage from 21.30 everyday.


Richard Gadd


Another big hitter in 2015’s festival, his show ‘Waiting for Gaddot’ set Edinburgh alight, winning an Amused Moose 2015 Best Show Award in the process. This year Richard returns with ‘Monkey See Monkey Do’, which judging from the promo photos looks to involve a gorilla dressed in a hoodie. The show will be on at Banshee Labyrinth but don’t expect something obviously accessible. His wacky references and off-kilter humour will likely leave as many scratching their heads as it does nursing damaged ribcages. His show is on at 21.45 every night.


Ellis & Rose


Big hitters for a completely different reason, Ellis & Rose’s rambunctious show gained them notoriety when they put on the almost indecipherable ‘Jimmy Saville: The Musical” show. This ended with one of the double act allegedly being physically assaulted by an angry festival goer. In recognition for dedication to their art they were awarded the inaugural Pound of Flesh Award. In acceptance of the award they revealed it was all a ruse, having filmed one of the double act carrying out the attack one drunken Edinburgh evening. This year they return with ‘Obsolete’, a show they describe themselves as being “dated, unfashionable and belonging in the comedy bin”. They really know how to sell themselves. Catch it at Cabaret Voltaire, Tuesday to Sunday all month at 17.15.

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, consider the easyHotel Edinburgh Princes Street West. While we can’t offer you a room for free - now wouldn’t that be a joke? - we can offer clean and comfortable rooms at a highly competitive price.

Enjoy the show!