Brexit. Trump. No more Mary Berry on the Great British Bake Off. Things are looking bleak, so wouldn’t it be better to just forget all about it?
Comic maestro Stephen K Amos might not be able to provide bread to the hungry masses, but no one else is going to put on a better circus. Leave your problems behind for the evening in the company of the ‘effusively charming’ Amos and who knows? Maybe the world will seem just a little bit brighter.
After all, when Ancient Rome needed to distract itself from politics, a few solutions were suggested, but none hit the spot quite like the simple idea of giving the people cheap food and plentiful entertainment – ‘panem et circenses’ or ‘bread and circuses’. Our circuses might no longer involve gladiator fights to the death, but the same principle applies. Modern politics is a confusing mess, so no one can blame you for giving it a miss in favour of a night of laughs.
WHY? ‘Deliciously deft… we roared at ad-libbing that was first rate throughout… you’ll leave the show smiling’ The Times
Age guidance 16+ years.
Lou’s groundbreaking show about her experiences with baby loss.
Imagine visiting your favourite friend/aunty/spinster. She's a touch eccentric but always ‘alright’. Until last year. With a bit of self-discovery and some painful yet funny situations, this is a story about life and, ultimately, death.
WHY? ‘That she can spin between the happy and sad so quickly is testament to her abilities as an innately strong storyteller… she has the room rapt’ ★★★★ Chortle
£12 (Supporters £10)
Jonathan Pie returns to the stage in early 2018 with a brand new live show following a sell out tour ending at The London Palladium, A show that was described as 'electrifying' Chortle, 'Blistering' Evening standard and 'desperately misjudged’ The Times.
The frustrated News reporter is back and he’s angrier than ever. Pie attempts to host a night of serious discussions on current affairs whilst simultaneously attempting to smash the system from within. Join him for a night of political comedy that soon descends into chaos.
WHY? 'This is political satire at its finest and Pie is ’the Most exciting satirical creation since partridge’ Rory Bremner
Age guidance 15+ years.
In a world gone crazy, can philosophy help?
This sparklingly brilliant new show tries to give you the answer. Rob Newman (stand up legend, best-selling novelist, BBC Radio 4 Sony Award Winner) attempts to piece together a philosophy for our troubled times by sifting through 3000 years of thought: from Pythagoras to Artificial Intelligence by way of Pavlov’s dogs, Jane Goodall’s chimpanzees and Frankie Howerd’s trousers.
WHY? ‘I am completely in awe of Robert Newman. Of his talent, his passion, his intelligence, and the way he turns them to comedy with real firepower' Kate Copstick, Scotsman
‘He is the funniest comedian I have ever seen… A passionate, chaotically brilliant comedian’ Sunday Times
The star of Not the Nine o'clock News, Smith & Jones and Three Men In A Boat.
Griff as he airs stories, anecdotes, reminiscences and outright lies – from forty years of travelling – down rivers and up mountains, into Africa, out of India, and across the arid wastes of the BBC canteen. It's a career, if you mean bouncing chaotically downhill without a map.
WHY? ‘Great comedy’ ★★★★ The Telegraph
The host of the Comedian’s Comedian podcast brings his best ever show.
Stuart says “it's stupider and less clever-clogs and just the funniest stuff I've ever created. OK?”. Winner of Best New Show at Leicester Comedy Festival 2017 and British Comedy Guide Top 20 Best Reviewed Edinburgh Fringe Shows 2017.
WHY? 'Master of the form' Independent
After more than 100 dates on the road in 2016 with his best-reviewed show to date, 'I'm Not Here', and a similarly marathon effort with the previous tour, Mark Watson is amazed to find there are STILL some areas of the country he's not visited much, and some towns that have been neglected altogether.
It's hard to be everywhere at once, so he's narrowed it down to a sensible plan: for the next tour, Watson will only visit places beginning with M or W, his initials - as they've already shown a commitment by having those names in the first place. A few of these will be favourite old haunts like Winchester or Manchester, but quite a few of them are the result of Googling and quite a number are so remote that we won't know they definitely exist until we get there. Also, some aren't actually towns so much as trains (from Marylebone to Wycombe), or ferries (across the Mersey), or a helicopter museum (in the double-point-scoring Middle Wallop).
The material will be a mixture of the classic and the never-before-seen. And in some cases a fair bit of it will be about being on a train.
A rip-roaring comedy adventure, inspired by horror movies of the 1950s.
It’s 1912 and a meteor has crashed near the base camp of hapless explorer Captain Reginald Cranston Scot-t-t. What ancient evil lurks inside the crater? What is the dark secret of the slimy fungus and the parasitic space worms? With visual gags, verbal wit, giant puppetry and even a little bit of live music.
WHY? ★★★★★ Venue Magazine | ★★★★ Fringe Review | ★★★★ Chortle | ★★★★ Fest Magazine
£14 (£12 conc)
Iain Stirling is back after a summer narrating ITV2's smash hit Love Island and now you can see his actual face on his brand new tour!
After selling out his entire Edinburgh Fringe run out in advance and adding shows due to extra public demand, the BAFTA winning comedian now hits the road to perform his acclaimed, hot ticket show around the UK.
Join the 'star of comedy' (The i) as he explores dinner party etiquette and the pressures on a generation brought up in a world of instant gratification. How has modern living affected our ability to find long term happiness? Can social media ever reflect real life? And why is the floor lava?
As well as hosting ITV2’s newest hit comedy gameshow CelebAbility, Iain’s intuitive razor-sharp humour has previously been seen on E4's Virtually Famous, Comedy Central's Drunk History and Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central, BBC Three's Russell Howard's Good News and Sweat the Small Stuff and ITV2's Fake Reaction and Safe Word.
WHY? ★★★★★ One4Review | ★★★★★ Theatre Weekly | ★★★★ Metro | ★★★★ Mail on Sunday
Meet your new potty-mouthed best friend, who supported Katherine Ryan and Jenny Éclair on their recent sell-out UK tours.
Stephen Bailey’s friendly, open brand of gossipy humour has made him one of the most enjoyable acts on the UK comedy circuit today. He is 'annoyingly sharp' (The New Current) and in 2015, his show was nominated for the Amused Moose Comedy Award for Best Show.
He is a regular on ITV's Weekend with Aled Jones and Channel 5's Celebrity Big Brother's Bit on the Side and has appeared on ITV2's Safeword and CelebAbility, ITVBe's Kate's Wardrobe Secrets, W's Celebrity Advice Bureau and Channel 5’s It's Not Me, It's You.
He also guest-hosted Sunday Takeover on Virgin Radio, featured on The Art's Show with Jonathan Ross on BBC Radio 2 and was named one of Attitude Magazine's Top 100 Bachelors of the Year.
As well as being a working-class, ginger, gay, northern comic, he is also a black belt in Tae Kwon-Do, has a degree in Languages AND loves a conspiracy theory.
WHY? 'Bailey is an absolute crowdpleaser, getting the room howling with laughter' Chortle
£12.50 (£10 conc)
Edinburgh Comedy Award winner 2017!
John Robins – one of the most exciting and distinctive voices in comedy – returns reflecting on love, loss and lamenting the fact he can’t break up with himself.
The stand-up, vibe magnet and London’s saddest DJ ™ would love to promise The Darkness of Robins won’t be an hour-long yell of a show, but he can’t. He’ll shout, snarl and sneer in his attempts to grapple with life’s fall-outs in what promises to be a pivotal moment in his being. Powerful, angst-ridden comedy at its finest, this is a must-see from one of the UK’s brightest talents.
John has firmly established himself on the comedy circuit since his debut in 2005, and with fellow comedian Elis James has enjoyed a meteoric success with The Elis James and John Robins show on Radio X, which, like Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Adam & Joe before them, has spawned one of the UK’s most popular podcasts. The pair recently completed an acclaimed UK tour, selling out Shepherd’s Bush Empire within minutes.
He will headline the upcoming series of BBC2's Live from the BBC and is a regular face on TV, with recent appearances including BBC2's Mock The Week, Dave's Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled and BBC3's Russell Howard’s Good News. He also has a host of radio credits under his belt including BBC Radio 4’s The Now Show, The News Quiz and Dilemma.
WHY? 'An hour in his charming, generous and honest company is so effortlessly entertaining' ★★★★ Chortle
Suitable for 16+ years. No latecomers admitted.
The 2016 Best Newcomer nominee and Hackney Empire New Act of the Year winner of the same year.
Bilal explores the fascinating world of online dating and finding love on social media in increasingly confusing times. He has appeared on Channel 4, BBC Three, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Asian Network and has written for the Independent.
WHY? 'Catch him before he hits the mainstream’ The Guardian
The world is changing at a dizzying rate. Geoff is trying to hold modern views, but worries that tradition is becoming a dirty word.
Geoff is the star of BBC2’s The Mash Report and Live at the Apollo. As a satirical comic, he’s written for programmes including Channel 4’s Alternative Election. He is has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s The Now Show, The Today Programme and his own forthcoming Radio 4 stand-up special.
WHY? 'An absolute tonic' ★★★★ Telegraph
Suitable for ages 16+ years.
Join Hardeep as he gives his unique take on the political climate combined with his trademark ‘quick witted patter’ ★★★★ The Skinny.
Hardeep is a BBC Radio 4 favourite, BAFTA winner and regular on BBC1’s Question Time, This Week and Daily Politics. His new show had a critically acclaimed run to packed houses at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
WHY? ‘Immensely Funny’ Daily Express
Lucy Porter’s brand new stand-up tour.
In these combative times, it's easy to be irritated, offended or downright enraged by other people. How do we know which causes are worth fighting for? Lucy uses her hilarious experiences to help you decide.
Lucy's recent TV and radio appearances include: QI, Insert Name Here, Alan Davies' As Yet Untitled, Room 101, News Quiz, The Now Show.
Suitable for ages 16+ years.
WHY? 'Impeccably punch-lined anecdotes… Genuinely delightful' The Telegraph
£14 (£12 conc)
You may know critically acclaimed comedian Tiff Stevenson from BBC2’s Mock the Week, Channel 4’s 8 Out of 10 Cats and the BAFTA nominated People Just Do Nothing.
Some say she oscillates wildly between Sylvia Plath and Beyonce, like Belva Lockwood fused with your drunken aunt. Tiff says she's very funny and a right old smarty-pants. She also says she's very, very, very modest
WHY? ★★★★★ Fringe Review | ★★★★ Broadway Baby | ★★★★ Funny Women | ★★★★ Edinburgh Festivals Magazine
Two actors play 25 characters in this brilliant staging of classic radio scripts based on favourite episodes from the original TV series.
David Benson and Jack Lane present favourite lines, cherished characters and great feats of vocal impersonation! Based on the classic BBC sitcom by Jimmy Perry and David Croft.
WHY? ‘Benson and Lane’s impersonations are peerless, the show an absolute treat from start to finish. Wonderful stuff!’ Daily Mail
£17 (£15 conc)
Rachel has been invited to be a guest speaker at her old school, but what kind of a role model is she really?
Through stand-up, character and musical comedy, she explores what messed up message she can possibly offer to impressionable young minds. Rachel is an award-winning musical comic and founder member of smash hit improv show Austentatious.
WHY? ‘Frank and funny... tears of laughter’ The Guardian
£14 (Supporters £12)
A ravishing, ridiculous evening of vintage inspired burlesque entertainment.
Showcasing bump ’n’ grind queen Velvet Jones, kaleidoscopic drag artist Meth, neo-vaudevillian Lena Mae, madcap circus star Robin Boon Dale and satirical showgirl Bonnie Knockers. All held together by your hostess, statuesque and anarchic songbird Sadie Sinner!
Over 18s only.
WHY? Dressing up to the nines is very much encouraged!
The video below contains adult content.
Grumpy-joyful, silly-serious stand up.
Jokes, ideas and (possibly) movement will all be deployed for your amusement during this show. As seen on blah blah and blah, and heard on various funny radio shows.
WHY? ‘A master storyteller, holding the audience before dropping an exploding but simple punchline’ Metro
The majestic mountain moose in a tiger striped onesie brings his thrilling new show to Maidenhead.
Find yourself a comfy lap and settle in for an evening of hilarity with Canada's furriest friend. He disgorges all your favourite spittle impregnated cultural furballs (such as why the hell do your coffee shops close at 6pm!!!?? You don't even like coffee!? This isn't your call to make!!) onto your favourite comfy tea-sipping slippers.
Expect a raucous evening of post-scratchin' and kickin' litter aboot the hoose while Campbell tickles chins. No rabbits, mice or children and please be kind to our neighbours by not crapping in their gardens on the way home!
WHY? ‘A fantastic yarn weaver, with charming tales of his travels and hugely funny observations’ Time Out
A brand new show, blending poeticals, talking, standing, spotlights, cables, Kronenburg, foot-stamping and old school wistfulness.
Tim is a Edinburgh Comedy Award winner and has appeared on Dave’s Taskmaster, BBC2’s Inside Number 9 and the Alan Partridge franchise.
WHY? ‘Flabbergastingly funny ... I have never enjoyed myself in a comedy show more ★★★★★ The Times
‘If this is love, Key’s hard to resist’ ★★★★ The Metro
‘Megadate is another Tim Key delight: delicate, yet a feat of comic strength’ ★★★★ The Independent
Fresh from a total sell out run at the Edinburgh Fringe, this multi award winning break out star is heading out on tour!
Sophie Willan has had a lifetime of being branded by others. Now she tells us why with brutal honesty. Expect a raucous hour like no other from this unapologetic young powerhouse. As seen on Dave’s As Yet Untitled and as heard on BBC Radio 4.
WHY? ‘Entertaining and inspiring… perfectly structured with a rare sensitivity and intelligence’ ★★★★ The Times
£12 (£10 conc)
Commissioned by Contact.
Read more about Sophie's show in this Guardian article.
One of Britain's leading one-liner comics returns to the road with another onslaught of lean, expertly crafted gaggery.
A Mock The Week regular and recent star of the new Live At The Apollo series, Gary's shows are renowned in the business for a near unrivalled volume of high-class gags. You should expect no different from this, his brand new tour for 2018. Please note Coolio will not be appearing.
‘A cavalcade of brilliantly inventive puns’ ★★★★ Guardian
‘More quality jokes in one hour than most comics have in their entire careers...Quite brilliant’ ★★★★ Scotsman
‘A master craftsman’ ★★★★ Times
‘One of Britain's grandmasters of the one-liner' ★★★★ Chortle
Support act tbc.
Suitable for ages 16+ years.