Edinburgh is playing host to the Fringe Festival once more this August, but which female comedians should you go and see? Here are ten of the acts Stylist is most excited about.
Every summer, Edinburgh becomes a playground for the funny and fearless as it hosts the legendary Edinburgh Fringe Festival. People from all over the world flock to the Scottish capital to witness the best emerging comedy acts, rawest theatrical performances and some downright bizarre events (much to the locals’ understandable annoyance). It’s thanks to the Fringe that we have Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag, Luisa Omielan’s Politics For Bitches and Sara Pascoe’s LadsLadsLads.
So, who should you go and see this year? Here are the acts that we predict will be the next big things.
Venue: Monkey Barrel Comedy
Dates: 7 August - 25 August (expect 12)
Brady will also play Pleasance Courtyard at 23:15 on 22 August
Scottish comedian Fern Brady fiercely tackles feminism, sexism, Brexit, sexuality and power in her no-nonsense manner. She’s appeared on 8 out of 10 Cats, Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central, Britain’s Biggest Sexists and The Russell Howard Hour.
Stevie Martin: Hot Content
Venue: Underbelly Bristo Square - Buttercup
Dates: 31 July - 25 August
Stevie Martin - actor, writer, comedian and co-host of acclaimed podcast Nobody Panic - returns to the Edinburgh Fringe with a brand new solo sketch and character comedy hour, Hot Content. In this lovely bit of business involving sketches, characters and absolute bangers, Martin draws on her experiences as a clickbait hungry online journalist, one-time campaigner and traction-obsessed social media user. Everything from snarky comments we make on articles we hate through to which cat gif we respond with in a Whatsapp group, it’s hot content and we’re all drowning in it.
Sophie Duker: Venus
Venue: Pleasance Courtyard
Dates: 1 Aug- 25 August (except 14)
Stylist Loves’ deputy editor Moya has seen Sophie Duker perform on three occasions, and “almost collapsed laughing” every time. The comic (who, as a black, queer woman, describes herself as a “triple threat minority”) tackles thorny subjects like racism, misogyny and privilege with bucketloads of charm and warmth. Trust us – she’s going to be huge.
London Hughes: To Catch A D*ck
Venue: Pleasance Courtyard - The Attic
Dates: 31 July – 25 August (except 12 August)
Star of ITV’s All Star Musicals, ITV2’s The Stand Up Sketch Show, BBC2’s Mock The Week and E4’s Celebs Go Dating, comedian London Hughes returns to the Edinburgh Fringe with an all new hour, To Catch A D*ck. Hughes is confused. She’s awesome, successful, shit hot and yet, somehow, incredibly single. In this laugh a minute, empowering show, London will explore the complete mystery of why the world is full of desirable, brilliant but single women - who definitely don’t need a man, but wouldn’t mind the option.
Sukh Ojla: For Sukh’s Sake
Venue: Gilded Balloon
Dates: 31 July – 25 August
Moving back in with mum and dad is an unfortunately common chapter in the book of millennial life. But Sukh Ojla looks set to breathe new energy into a well-worn subject in her debut Edinburgh show For Sukh’s Sake. Over the course of one hour, she discusses life as a 30-something navigating mental illness and the choppy waters of online dating – while living with her elderly Sikh parents.
Grace Campbell: Why I’m Never Going Into Politics
Venue: Gilded Balloon Teviot - Wee Room
Dates: 31 July - 26 August
Grace Campbell makes her debut at the Edinburgh Fringe this year. Having co-founded the law changing feminist collective, The Pink Protest, appeared in Channel 4’s Riot Girls, done battle with Conservative MP Mark Francois and Will Self on Politics Live (BBC One) and called out her dad (Alastair Campbell) on national radio, this comedian, filmmaker and activist is already establishing herself as a powerful voice of her generation. Campbell survived a childhood in British politics. Now, aged 25, she wants to tell you why her childhood and experiences as a young activist, means she’ll never consider a career in Westminster.
Desiree Burch: Desiree’s Coming Early!
Venue: Heroes at The Hive – The Big Cave
Dates: 1 – 25 August (except 13 and 20)
She was born late, bloomed late and always missed the bus. But a compelling shift has the fresh-faced/world-weary comedian Burch (Live at the Apollo, Have I Got News For You, QI, Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, 8 Out of 10 Cats) mischievously changing up the tempo. Every comic has a relationship show but what happens when that relationship is with the one person you were most trying to avoid? One isn’t prime or perfect - but it is magic!
Tamysn Kelly: Petroc
Venue: Just the Tonic at the Caves - Up The Road
Dates: 1st - 25 August (except 12)
Following her debut in 2018 with You’re Welcome, Tamsyn Kelly returns to the Fringe to tell the story of growing up on an estate near Land’s End. Kelly’s parents were homeless before she was born, and her arrival meant they were assigned a council house. Due to her father’s financial irresponsibility and mother’s disability, Kelly and her two little brothers grew up in a loud, strained household, and they were surrounded by other families in similar situations. Kelly dreamed of moving to London to become a total badass, with enough money to buy fancy food and drink espresso martinis. After making the move 10 years ago, Petroc sees Kelly consider whether that’s worked out, through captivating stories of her life in what promises to be an unmissable hour.
Yuriko Kotani: Somosomo
Venue: Pleasance Courtyard
Dates: 31 July - 26 August (except 12)
How many female Japanese comedians can you name? Probably not many. Yuriko Kotani’s debut Edinburgh show Somosomo explores what it’s like to be someone who’s spent her life trying to blend in, only to realise that standing out is much more fun. Watching her pick apart British and Japanese cultural stereotypes – cheerfully upending the sinister trope of the meek east Asian woman in the process – is a joy.
Jessica Fostekew: Hench
Venue: Monkey Barrel 4
Dates: 1 -25 August (except 12)
Master writer, storyteller, comedian and regular co-host of the hit podcast The Guilty Feminist, Jessica Fostekew is making her return to the Edinburgh Fringe 2019 with her brand new show, Hench. In this captivating hour, Fostekew will explore what it means to be strong. Have you ever watched a feminist try and take ‘hench’ as a compliment? It’s a bit like watching a snake eat. Impressive. Mesmeric. Disgusting. With a Leicester Comedy Festival 2019 Best Show nomination already under its belt, Hench is generating some substantial muscle of its own already.
Desiree Burch – credit Idil Sukan
Stevie Martin – credit Natasha Pszenicki
London Hughes – credit Karla Gowlett
Grace Campbell – credit Amelia Allen
Tamsyn Kelly – credit Rebecca Need Menear
Jessica Fostekew – credit Idil Sukan