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Game for a laugh? Check out our top five must-see comedy shows at Edinburgh Fringe


The huge amount of choice at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe could very easily be overwhelming, leaving you wandering the streets clutching handfuls of flyers mumbling something about the next big thing. Thankfully, we've got Always Be Comedy's James Gill to lend us a hand, picking five choice comedy shows for you to enjoy.



People talk about certain stars possessing that special, unidentifiable “something”, the mysterious X-factor that truly makes them stand out. Bea has that in spades: audiences positively love her. The British Comedy Award winner's latest show is glorious, taking in growing up in Ireland, family life and her attempts to crack America. Pure joy.

Aisling Bea is performing at the Gilded Balloon, August 7th - 18th, 20th - 30th



Some comedians are so effortless, conversational and natural that they not only make this comedy lark look incredibly easy (when it’s anything but), but they make you, the audience, wish they were your best friend. Kendall’s easy-going demeanor lures you in to a show that packs an emotional wallop, as the affable Australian shares the astonishing true tale of a schoolmate who came back from the dead.

Sarah Kendall is performing at the Assembly George Square Studios, August 7th - 16th, 18th - 31st



Fearless, charismatic and utterly spellbinding: there are a number of reasons why Ryan is on her way to global domination (she recently signed up for a US mega-tour alongside Amy Schumer). We won’t spoil it, but her new show boasts a celebrity-themed segment that we’re convinced screams TV format. Britain: please commission it now before the US gets in there first. Alongside close pals Aisling Bea and Sara Pascoe, Ryan is very much part of a Holy Trinity from this current golden generation of British stand-ups. Yes, we know she’s Canadian, but we’re claiming her.

Katherine Ryan is performing at the Stand Up Comedy Club 3 & 4, August 7th - 16th, 18th - 22nd



My run of picking the winners at the Edinburgh Festival is frankly terrible (apologies to previous cast-iron picks Sara Pascoe, Alex Horne and Sarah Kendall), so I should be careful when championing Acaster. Let’s just say that his latest show, taking in jury duty, celebrity gossip with an Acaster twist and some inspired observational comedy, is a bit special. Book now.

James Acaster is performing at the Pleasance Courtyard, August 7th - 30th



If cheeky Lycett was getting paid by the belly laugh this August, thanks to this show (which includes a delicious anecdote from a stag do), he’d be able to make the return trip from Edinburgh to his beloved Birmingham in a gold-plated helicopter. This is an irresistible hour of stand-up, guaranteed to have jaws aching. Of the other brilliant broad, mainstream shows, also please check out Rob Beckett and Hal Cruttenden.

Joe Lycett is performing at the Pleasance Courtyard, August 7th - 9th, 11th - 16th, 18th - 23rd, 25th - 30th

James Gill's Always Be Comedy has nights in Kennington, Balham, Brixton and Putney

Images: Andy Hollingworth Archive, Rex Features, katherineryan.co.uk, facebook.com/officialsarahkendall


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