Edinburgh Fringe 2016
The Hackney Empire New Act of the Year winners have sold out one of Edinburgh’s largest venues two years in a row, proving themselves as firm Fringe favourites. They cemented their reputation as party-starters over the 2016 Hogmanay Celebrations in Edinburgh, mounting their own Ceilidh Rave (a first for Edinburgh) entitled Bass Drop Ceilidh.
Abandoman (rapper/comedian Rob Broderick and musician/vocalist Sam Wilson) won the Sunday Times “Best Musical Act of the Fringe 2014” and have toured with multi-platinum artist Ed Sheeran on his sell out UK tour as well performing on 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, The One Show, The Ray D’Arcy Show and The Al Porter Show. Abandoman do not stop at TV, they have been guests on Nick Grimshaw’s BBC Radio 1 Show and have held a song writing residency on BBC 6 Music’s Chris Hawkin show, also taking part in BBC Radio 1’s Fun and Filth Cabaret, alongside Paloma Faith. The last few years have seen them perform all around the world including Australia, Europe, The USA, Canada and Hong Kong. Abandoman have kept 15,000 revellers in good spirits as hosts of London’s St Patrick’s Day Parade in Trafalgar Square and stormed numerous festivals including the likes of Glastonbury, Latitude, Altitude, Rockness, Electric Picnic, V Festival, and Bestival.
Angus hails from the south-east of England and began doing stand-up when he was nineteen, before training as an actor at Goldsmiths College, London. As if being a stand-up comedian and an actor weren’t enough, Angus is also a writer, an improviser, an impressionist and an occasional puppeteer.
Angus’s stand-up has gained the attention of audiences, critics, and prize committees alike. He was a finalist in the Amused Moose Laugh-Off Final in 2013, a show that has helped to launch the careers of acts like Jack Whitehall and Sarah Millican; he was also a finalist in the Hobgoblin New Act 2015 and Leicester Square New Comedian 2015.
Ari has honed his craft performing at Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival, San Francisco SketchFest, SXSW, and the Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival. He is the creator and star of Comedy Central’s hit show This Isn’t Happening
Ari is also a regular guest panellist on Comedy Central show @midnight and has appeared on Conan on TBS. He is working on his own scripted series for FX alongside fellow comedian Steve Rannazzisi and has had two hour stand-up specials on Comedy Central.
Axis of Awesome
Jordan, Lee and Benny are the award winning musical comedy act The Axis of Awesome, back with a brand new hour of world class musical comedy. They’ve toured all over the Earth, including appearances at Comic Relief, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and even at a Military Base in the Sinai Desert. Plus their videos have over 200,000,000 hits online. They’ve even got a plaque from YouTube. A PLAQUE!
The Axis of Awesome are back for their seventh run at the Fringe. There’s been a big change but one thing’s for certain; These guys and girl totally rock, they’ve never been more awesome and they Won’t Ever Not Stop Giving Up.
Beardyman’s custom built music production space-ship, the Beardytron_5000mkIV, is able to create original music faster than most people can think of it twisting every sound he makes in to slick, polished songs live. It’s up to you what happens and how the album takes shape, with audience suggestions for song titles and genre acting as the inspiration behind each new creation, ensuring that no two shows will ever be the same.
One Album Per Hour was turned into a live web series on YouTube, where guest ‘producers’ included Jack Black, Tim Minchin and Daniel Sloss, and has toured around the UK bringing freshly improvised albums to sold out crowds up and down the country. Earlier this year he debuted his new show concept The Dream Team Sessions, combining some of the UK’s sharpest improvisational minds to wow Brixton Electric. Beardyman has released an album on Tummy Touch Records, touring this throughout Europe and the USA. He has appeared on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2 and performed live at BBC 6 Music’s Festival here in the UK. In the USA, he was the lead feature on WBUR and has been Today’s Top Tune on KCRW, as well as being featured in Billboard Magazine, who have also premiered his next single ‘Mountainside’ online.
Broken and on the verge of giving up – something extraordinary happened. She was cast in a starring role, becoming the first transgender person to star as a trans character on UK television, first on US broadcast television and in Doctor Who she became the first openly trans act to play a cisgender character in the world.
Bethany starred in Russell T. Davies’ Cucumber-Bannana-Tofu trilogy on Channel 4 and E4, becoming the first openly transgender actress to star as a trans character on UK television and the first on US broadcast television. Following on from this she played the role of 474 in the ninth series of legendary BBC show Doctor Who becoming the first openly transgender actor to appear in the shows 50 year history. She is a former finalist in the Chortle Student Comedy Awards and was nominated for Best Debut at the 2008 Leicester Comedy Festival.
Camillie O’Sullivan is one of Ireland’s most unique and exciting performers who enjoys a formidable international reputation for her dramatic interpretations of the narrative songs of Nick Cave, Brel, Waits, Bowie, Radiohead and more.
She was named Irish Tatler’s Woman of the Year in Music and performed the songs of Radiohead with a 40 piece orchestra at the 2015 Wilderness Festival to much acclaim. Camille has performed to audiences at London’s O2, Sydney Opera House and Royal Festival Hall. She returned again to London’s Iconic Roundhouse Theatre in January 2016 performing her show to a sold out crowd.
Ed Night is here to ruin the Edinburgh Fringe. Having only performed his first gig in January 2015 Ed Night is fast gaining a reputation as one of the most exciting newcomers on the UK comedy scene, it won’t just be the title that amazes you. Catch him now before he is ruining Live at the Apollo.
In 2015 he was a finalist and placed third in the So You Think You’re Funny competition, responsible for launching the careers of countless comedy legends, including Graham Norton and Peter Kay.
After working unsociable hours for no money Ed Patrick has decided to take time out of his job as Junior Doctor for the NHS and come to the Free Fringe. Full of stories about the highs, lows and blind panics of working for the NHS, this new hour of comedy is just what the doctor ordered.
Ed’s comedy qualifications speak for themselves, in 2016 he performed at the Leicester Comedy Festival, where he was a finalist in the Leicester Mercury’s Comedian of the Year competition. He has also been a finalist for the Paramount Funniest Student Award and the Chortle Student Award.
Elf is not scared of her vulnerabilities, in fact she uses them to bring out the ‘sass’ in her personality and performance. Her new show sees her taking on the age-old question: “Will I turn in to my mother?”
Elf’s Underground Successes performance at the Edinburgh Festival 2014 led to two nights at the Leicester Square Theatre and numerous five star reviews. Additionally Being Barbarella which became part of VAULT Festival 2015, and was crowd funded to go to Adelaide Fringe where it received an extended run and five star reviews. Being a regular performer and M.C on the UK comedy circuit (and finalist in the Funny Women competition in 2013) is just the tip of the iceberg for the L’Ecole Philippe Gaulier student, who has already performed all around the world at leading arts festivals in the UK, Europe and Australia.
Jayde first took to the stage at 7 years old, freestyle disco dancing in a sequined lycra onesie with her sister, think the Kray’s, only camper, covered in diamantes and having more tantrums. Jayde couldn’t dance. She had no confidence. But with turning 31 things have changed. Now she is an octuple threat (comedian, singer, dancer, actress, clown, beatboxer, rapper & piano player).
In 2014 Jayde won the annual Funny Women Award, celebrating Britain’s funniest up and coming comedians. That same year she won the London Cabaret Awards Audience Award.
Apologia comes as Jimmy’s sixth solo hour, so according to Malcolm Gladwell’s ruling, that means he’s only 9,994 hours from being brilliant. Of course that’s no reason why he can’t have a bit of fun until then.
Jimmy comes to you from BBC Three’s Live at the Electric and Russell Howard’s Good News as well as his voice coming through your radio when he was co-presenting the Dave Gorman Radio Show for Absolute Radio. Jimmy performs on UK and international comedy circuits and was nominated for Best International Act at the Perth Comedy Festival. As well as being a sought after TV warm up for the likes of Loose Women and The Justin Lee Collins Show he has supported Chris Addison and Simon Bird.
John spins the compelling story of a single disastrous day filled with terrible acquaintances, a meltdown at the airport, and a late-night booty call that ends in calamity. And all because he woke up late in Swastika, Ontario, failed miserably at helping his friends (who were definitely unappreciative), and thought he could unwind by having a drink with his ex (this was not relaxing at all).
John was one of the stars of BBC Three’s Sean Walsh’s Late Night Comedy Spectacular and has been comedy correspondent for BBC Radio 4 and BBC.com. His previous Fringe show, Marked from the Start, was nominated for the Amused Moose Best Show Award in 2015, and his 2014 show, Adventure, saw him selected to perform as part of the Best of the Edinburgh Fringe across the Australian festival circuit. John continues to be popular with critics and audiences at festivals and clubs in Australia—where he was nominated for the Martin Sims Award for Best Comedy Show at the Perth Fringe World Festival—and all over the world.
Kai’s gigs are an impressive mix of classical stand-up comedy and intelligent banter between sworn mates in a local pub. His unique view on the world combined with his infectious enthusiasm gives promise that his show In Full Colour will be a supremely funny massage for the soul.
Humphries made his debut on Comedy Central’s The Comedy Store barely 18 months after starting his career and his accomplishments have not slowed down since. In autumn 2015 Kai Humphries found himself touring for 70 shows throughout UK and across 16 European Countries alongside Daniel Sloss, as well as having performed Down Under at both the Adelaide and Melbourne Comedy Festivals.
In autumn of this year Kai will again hit the road for another extended tour around the UK and Europe with his friend and former flatmate Sloss.
In 2003 Kieran Hodgson heard the music of Gustav Mahler and decided to write a symphony. 13 years later he returns to the Fringe with a story about falling in love and attempting something far beyond your abilities. Plus a violin. In his most personal and ambitious show to date, Kieran creates a story about trying to find love when you’re the kind of loser who writes classical music instead of playing football.
Lance has now had four sell-out Soho Theatre runs as well as two weeks at the Invisible Dot. It was named The Guardian’s Best Comedy Show of 2015 and Kieran has also been touring Lance nationally (his debut tour) since last Autumn where it has been selling out up and down the country.
As well as displaying his impressive and hilarious live character comedy, Hodgson starred in the role of Ian Lavender in BBC 2’s single drama We’re Doomed! The Dad’s Army Story alongside John Sessions, Kevin Bishop and Sally Phillips which had BBC2’s biggest audience for a single drama of 2015 and aired multiple times over Christmas. Kieran has a guest role in BBC 2’s eagerly awaited Ben Elton–penned Shakespearean sitcom Upstart Crow alongside David Mitchell, Harry Enfield and Spencer Jones, which will start TXing in May. He has also appeared in BBC’s Jonathan Creek and Count Arthur Strong as well as E4’s Drifters Series 3 and Siblings Series 2 and the box office smash Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa.
Mark Nelson is set to bring his singularly disarming brand of no-nonsense stand up to Edinburgh with Smiley Face. This new show investigates how to be happy in a self-obsessed world – while telling you to stick your emojis up your (‿ˠ‿).
The star of BBC’s ‘Don’t Drop the Baton’ and BBC Radio Scotland’s ‘Mark Nelson’s Guide to Marriage’ has had a schedule filled with live gigs, radio shows and beyond. The beyond, in part, being News at 2 for BBC Scotland, a 3 part video segment that’s’ gone viral on Facebook with his two year old daughter, striking on hard hitting issues such as Donald Trump, the economy and global warming that is close to 1 million hits.
Expect to hear him cram as many funny, stupid and potentially dangerous observations into the show as possible on topics as diverse as bowling, going bowling, and do you like bowling? There’s also a couple of dick jokes. In a nutshell then, something for everyone.
Mark has previously appeared on Russell Howard’s Good News and Nick Helm’s Heavy Entertainment on BBC Three and as a presenter on MTV. He has recently finished filming Mark Smith vs The People, an online comedy show with Turtle Canyon, starring Lolly Adefope, Adam Hess and Rhys James plus launched a new webseries called The Singing Teacher, with Tiger Aspect, which was co-written by Lloyd Griffith. Mark was a finalist in the 2009 So You Think You’re Funny competition, has gigged all over the UK and abroad, as well as supporting comedians such as Russell Kane on tour.
A seemingly minor problem at an airport forms the starting point of the show, which spirals into an examination of identity in the digital age and a search for meaning in our lives; luckily with an enormous number of jokes, as well as Watson’s customary flailing about, chaotic audience interactions and all sorts of other fun.
Mark Watson was the star of Dave TV’s Road to Rio, as well as the host of BBC 4’s We Need Answers. He has also regularly appeared on BBC 2’s Never Mind The Buzzcocks, and Mock the Week, BBC 1’s Would I Lie To You and Have I Got News For You and Dave’s Argumental. He has performed stand-up on BBC 1’s Live At The Apollo, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow and Channel 4’s Comedy Gala.
Micky Bartlett’s blissful ignorance may be about to run out. Now entering the last year of his twenties he has realised he isn’t prepared for hitting the big three zero. Join him on a journey through his head as he comes to terms with hitting his thirties, and prepares himself for life as a grown up. Well, maybe.
As well as being one of Northern Ireland’s most popular stand-ups Micky starred as a regular panellist on both series of BBC N.I. panel show Monumental. He has also appeared in the BBC’s Sketchy with Diarmuid Corr and in the BBC Radio Ulster show The Blame Game. He has supported big names including Tommy Tiernan and Patrick Kielty, supporting the latter in 2012 on his Home tour which included performing in front of a sold out crowd at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena. This also lead to him performing as warm up for Dave’s One Night Stand, doing so well he ended up featuring on the broadcast version of the show.
Confused by other acts offering up shows about ‘things’ Myra’s show is all about her favourite subject, herself. Accepting that she is a fan of herself, less an exercise in self-help and more a testimony of ego, she is taking her rightful place amongst her AdMyras.
As a performer she started out at the legendary Madame Jojo’s as an MC for Finger in the Pie Cabaret and starred in the Royal Vauxhall Tavern’s annual Christmas Panto’s from 2010-2014. She has performed all over the world including Latitude Festival and being flown out to Seychelles to perform for Saudi Royalty.
Naomi has been living in the Pleasance Cellar for almost a year now, after witnessing a piece of Fringe Theatre so gruelling that it triggered an onset of severe agoraphobia. But she’s making the best of it.
Naomi Petersen has appeared on E4’s Drifters, and starred as Georgia Nicholson in the world premiere of Mick Perrin’s 5 star stage comedy Angus, Thongs and Even More Snogging at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. She produces and stars in improv supergroup The Free Association, alongside comics Ivan Gonzalez (Max and Ivan), Liz Smith (Massive Dad), David Elms and Graham Dickson (Austentatious).
Paul McMullan has made some mistakes. This is his story, all about having no job, no home and two children to support. After developing an alcohol addiction Paul found himself having to make a decision, sort himself out or risk losing his kids.
Last year he took part in the sell-out AAA Stand-up Late show at the Pleasance Courtyard. Paul regularly performs on the live circuit up and down the UK he has previously won Comedy Café London’s New Act Weekly Competition and Comedy Gladiators in Bath.
You’ve seen him on television, but Pete is one of magic’s most exciting live performers. In honour of his tenth consecutive Edinburgh Fringe show, he’ll be showcasing his most famous illusions and has a few new tricks up his sleeve. Expect Pete’s trademark blend of jaw-dropping magic and crowd-pleasing comedy.
Pete was the star of BBC One’s prime time Saturday night series The Magicians. His charismatic delivery has made him one of the most in-demand magicians on British television, writing and performing in magic shows such as Monkey Magic on Channel 5, Dirty Tricks on Channel 4 and The Secret World of Magic on Sky One.
Other magical guest appearances include The One Show, The John Bishop Show, BBC Breakfast, The Sarah Millican Television Programme, Celebrity Mastermind (episode winner), Comedians Come Dine With Me and Edinburgh Comedy Fest Live. Pete has also fronted non-magic shows, including Stakeout (BBC1), Wait for It (BBC1) and The Body Shocking Show (E4).
Based on the sketch show created during their years in the Oxford Revue, Radio Active was originally written by Angus Deayton and Geoffrey Perkins (this show is dedicated to him). The show was then adapted for BBC Radio 4, and ran for 53 award winning episodes across 7 series between 1980 -1987. The show later transferred to BBC Two in the form of KYTV, and now comes to you live from Edinburgh.
Among other classic characters expect to catch up with long suffering radio host Mike Channel, original foodie Anna Daptor, the calamitous Nigel Pry and the accident prone Martin Brown, as well as the cast’s original musical creations, responsible for such parody bands as The Hee Bee Gee Bees and Status Quid.
Richard Gadd has made a name for himself with smash-mouth, off the wall shows entailing drugs, sex, and gratuitous violence. After last year’s runaway hit Waiting For Gaddot, Gadd has decided to come clean about the man behind the public persona, the personal upheavals he had in his life that led to it and a bare-all look at the very real monkey he has had on his back for years.
Richard Gadd has just been commissioned to write a pilot for Channel 4 and has a BBC development deal with Hat Trick Productions. He has just come off the back of a three week run at the Soho Theatre in London in Adam Riches’ Coach Coach, starred as the regular role of villainous Callum in hit E4 comedy Tripped, appeared in ITV‘s Vicious, and is head comedy writer at Britain’s third biggest social media outlet HelloU.
Robin Morgan wants to be a free man. Free to marry his girlfriend. Free to buy a house and have children. Free to plan all of this at the age of 26 and continue to live inside his own rom-com fantasy. The only problem? It’s 2016.
Robin is one of the strongest acts to come out of the Welsh comedy scene in years and has appeared at the UK’s top comedy clubs and festivals because of it. His writing credits include working on Have I Got News For You (BBC1) The News Quiz, The Now Show (BBC Radio 4) and Breaking the News (BBC Radio Scotland). He has also previously been the warm-up act for numerous BBC Radio Wales comedy programs as well as the live broadcast of The One Show (BBC1) when it toured to Cardiff.
Rose Matafeo’s debut show at this year’s Fringe sees her putting the fun back into funeral with an upbeat hour of comedy dedicated to her own memory. Unhappy with the fact she won’t be around for the best celebration of her life, Rose is giving herself the send-off she deserves while she’s still here on earth. You might just die of laughter.
In her home country of New Zealand Rose Matafeo is known as the star of hit TV3 shows Funny Girls, Jono and Ben and 7 Days. In 2013 she was awarded the Billy T Award which recognises the brightest up and coming New Zealand comedians and has previously been won by the likes of Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi.
Rose has performed at the New Zealand Comedy Festival where Finally Dead enjoyed a sold out run. She was nominated for the Barry Award for Best Newcomer at the 2016 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
‘Harmless bloke’ Simon’s comedy is set to offend pretty much everyone you can think of, that is until he is faced with the results of his own poor taste. Forced to accept the backlash against his sexist (and indeed, everything-ist) jokes, Simon travels through time to explore the women who have made him the man he is today.
Ruby has been acting since she was a teenager, appearing in numerous TV shows including Casualty, Lewis, Blandings, I Live With Models and Agatha Raisin, as well as films roles including comedies Wild Child and Gregor.
On the stage she starred in Headlong’s UK tour of Spring Awakening and in Pride and Prejudice at the Sheffield Crucible. She has previously performed with the sketch group The Young Darlings and recently finished filming BBC comedy pilot Fail.
A childhood diagnosis of Legg Perthes disease might not seem like the most promising start to an hour of comedy, but in Brace Yourself, Ryan demonstrates how two years in leg braces as a child gave him a unique perspective on the world.
Ryan is a stand-up comedian and writer from Canada who made the move to the UK in 2010. Since moving here he has performed regularly in clubs and at festivals across the UK. He was a finalist in the Leicester Square New Comedian of the Year Award in 2012, and is a Comedy Store Gong Show Winner.
Not content with never having been asked to turn on the town’s Christmas Lights, Shane has decided to make the move to Hollywood to prove who the real star is. What could possibly go wrong?
Shane Todd is the star of BBC Two series Late License, designed to showcase the best up and coming comedy talent in Northern Ireland. He also hosted Live at the Sunflower, BBC Radio Ulster’s live stand-up show. In 2015, Shane sold out Mandela Hall and this autumn, he will be performing his solo show at the Opera House in Belfast.
The Showstoppers take your suggestions on the night and use them to create the musical you want to see right in front of your eyes. From characters and settings to melodies and stories, you name it and they can turn it into a hit show. As funny as it is catchy, Showstopper! will leave you singing along to songs no other audience will ever get to hear and have you coming back again and again for a brand new show every time.
With an acclaimed BBC Radio 4 series also to their name, the show has proven to be a successful export, with the cast receiving recognition and awards around the globe, including The Times Best of the Fringe, Mervyn Stutter’s Spirit Of The Fringe Award and nominations for two Chortle Awards, MTM Best Production Award and MTM Judges’ Discretionary Award.
Showstoppers’ Kid’s Show
If your children could create their very own show, where would they start? In a dolls’ house? A magic castle? The spooky cupboard under the stairs? For those kids who fancy it, there are also plenty of opportunities to join in. But grown-ups should be aware, youngsters call the shots and suggestions are ONLY taken from kids!
With an acclaimed BBC Radio 4 series to their name, the team have taken their ingenious blend of comedy, musical theatre and spontaneity around the globe, picking up accolades and awards including the 2016 Chortle Award for Character, Improv or Sketch Act, The Times Best of the Fringe, Mervyn Stutter’s Spirit Of The Fringe Award and nominations for MTM Best Production Award and MTM Judges’ Discretionary Award. They even appeared on CBBC’s The Slammer – and won!
In Ancient Greece, the ‘Rhapsodes’ would compete for the honour of prizes at the great artistic festivals in Athens. Almost three thousand years later, Adam and Sean honour that tradition and will attempt some of the hardest improv challenges on Earth – competing to create a fully-authentic Shakespearean masterpiece incorporating rap, poetry-slams, and any writer from the last 3,000 years, from Homer to Pinter, from Poe to Dr Seuss.
Adam and Sean co-created the legendary School Of Night with the great theatre maverick Ken Campbell. They have improvised at Shakespeare’s Globe, The RNT (Olivier), The Royal Court Theatre and for the BBC. They are world record holders in longform improv (55 hours in Toronto!). and have improvised all around the world including Canada, Norway, China, India, Austria, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Singapore, and Hamlet’s very own Elsinore Castle in Denmark!
In this wondrously upbeat hour of storytelling, the former Journalist/Endurance Athlete/Lifestyle Guru/Arab’s Got Talent Semi-Finalist/MP Candidate/Football Reporter-cum-Dancer-cum-Organic Farmer explains the truth of human existence and, in doing so, proves beyond any doubt that YOU are an utterly divine and powerful-beyond-measure organism.
It’s a long story…
A true story.