Punchline’s Top Fringe Shows 2021

It´s that exhilarating time of year again and wow have we got a great line-up of live comedy shows for you! There are of course a few changes to watch out for, as you might expect. Most shows are only running for a few nights rather than the whole month, although there are some plucky performers who are sticking it out for the full run. A lot of shows are work in progress, a bit like life at the moment, and that´s fine too. We are all getting back into the swing of things at our own pace.

We are proud to say that this year´s list boasts an impressive Scottish line-up, perhaps unsurprisingly. Could this be the year where Scottish comics get featured in their own city?

As a final note, please check dates and times with the venue before travelling. If tickets are sold out at the venue or the Fringe Box Office, try the other one as they have separate allocations.

Leith Comedy Festival & Invisible Cities: Lassies of Leith

Paul Stewart, tourguide

Let’s kick off with a show that’s close to our hearts. Full disclosure, we jointly produced this fabulous walking tour with Invisible Cities and, though we say it ourselves, you have to see Paul in action because this is one of those Fringe events that will stay with you long after the show has finished. If you’re looking for a real Fringe experience with your feet on the ground and the show all around, this is the show for you.

Various Times | Queen Victoria Statue & Zoom (Live + Livestream) | 7-29 August | Buy tickets

Fern Brady: Autistic Bikini Queen (Work in Progress)

Fern Brady

As the title suggests, no topic is off the comedy table for Fern Brady. If you like your comedy direct and shockingly truthful, go with an open mind because she is capable of anything. It’s not so much laughing yourself silly as laughing yourself smart.

6.45pm | Monkey Barrel | 6-17 August | Buy tickets

Nish Kumar: Control (Work in Progress)

Nish Kumar

Comedy hero and long-time Punchline favourite Nish Kumar brings you brand new jokes for your delectation. Catch his original set ahead of next year’s tour, safe in the knowledge that his work in progress is funnier than a lot of finished shows. And just think, you might be there for the coining of a new classic joke.

7.15pm | Monkey Barrel | 16-22 August | Buy tickets

Jo Caulfield: Four Night Only

Jo Caulfield

An essential in the Who’s Who of Edinburgh Comedy. This modern classic stand-up appeals to a range of comedy tastes so this is one of those tickets you can’t go wrong with.

7.30pm | The Stand | 12-15 August | Buy tickets

Larry Dean: Work in Progress

Larry Dean

On the verge of superstardom, Larry Dean returns to Edinburgh with his sparky good-natured charm and a raft of jokes that will carry you along on a rip-roaring helluva ride.

8.30pm | Monkey Barrel | 16-19 August | Buy tickets

Ray Bradshaw: The Ray Bradshow

Ray Bradshaw's Fringe Poster: Ray's face surrounded by 4 and 5 star reviews

Loved by audiences and critics alike, Ray Bradshaw is definitely one to check out this year – just look at all those stars on his poster. With tour support for Frankie Boyle already in the bag, this comedian is going places.

3.30pm | Scottish Comedy Festival @ The Beehive Inn | 20-29 Aug | Buy tickets

Adam Rowe: Imperious (Work in Progress)

Adam Rowe

An easy-going hour of virtuoso storytelling and quips about family, friends and other adventures. Grab a pint and sit back for Friday night laughs any day of the week. You may have seen him on YouTube and social media, so now’s the time to see him live.

8.45pm | Pleasance Courtyard | 17-19 August | Buy tickets

Kiri Pritchard McLean

Kiri Pritchard McLean

Oh Kiri… Her magnificent hallmark sparkling costumes are nearly as bright as her mind. She has been a pioneer of Covid era comedy and raised a stack of cash for The Trussell Trust and The NHS while she´s at it. One of the strongest voices on the comedy circuit, she´s got this – everything – and you can trust you’ll have a great hour of laughter with her.

8.15pm | Edinburgh Corn Exchange | 14-15 August | Buy tickets

Barry Ferns Stands Up for 2021 (On Arthur’s Seat)

Barry Ferns on top of Arthur's with a large

Outrageously likeable, this guy has been doing great outdoor stand-up shows for years so if you like your comedy with a lunchtime hike and a stunning backdrop, you’re in safe hands.

1pm | On Top of Arthur’s Seat | Free | 7-28 (not 11,18,25) August | Buy tickets

Jay Lafferty: Blether

Hats off to talented compere, writer and performer Jay Lafferty, for bringing one of the few fully-fledged hours of stand-up for the whole of the month. Her theme is the last year and a half which she will no doubt treat with her usual comedy magic. Her warm manner and sharp observations make this Edinburgh local a delight to spend an hour with.

6.30pm | Gilded Balloon Teviot | 5-8 & 11–29 August | Buy tickets

Paul Sinha: Hazy Little Thing Called Love

If you´ve heard Paul Sinha’s award-winning History Revision radio programmes or seen him at previous Fringes, you´ll know he knows his stuff all right. This year, he returns to Edinburgh with a relatively new subject for him, love.

5.30pm or 8.30pm | The Stand | 18-21 August | Buy tickets

Josie Long: Work in Progress

Josie Long combines towering knowledge of the world at large with an ability to bring out the daft humour of everyday life. If you want a different perspective delivered with unpretentious, down-to-earth energy, Josie Long’s ability to smile in the face of anything will remind you that there is always a way forward, whatever the odds.

8.30pm | Monkey Barrel | 4-6 & 23-29 August | Buy tickets

Christopher MacArthur Boyd: Oh No (Work in Progress)

A firm favourite and rising star on the Scottish circuit and beyond. Bursting with energy and good vibes, think of your best night out and multiply it by 10.

8.30pm | Gilded Balloon Teviot | 13-29 August | Buy tickets

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Published by Punchline

Your secret source of comedy knowledge at the Edinburgh Fringe

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