Fringe Three great free shows in one venue ...

Dave Alnwick, the Cult of Dave (Pic: Cath Ruane)

Dave Alnwick, the Cult of Dave (Pic: Cath Ruane)

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There are some superb shows to be found on the Free Fringe - here are three we liked, all in the same venue too!

Dave Alnwick: The Cult of Dave

Abi Roberts, performing Anglichanka at Edinburgh Festival Free Fringe (Pic: Cath Ruane)

Abi Roberts, performing Anglichanka at Edinburgh Festival Free Fringe (Pic: Cath Ruane)

Voodoo Rooms, 5.35 p.m.

Rating ****

There are any number of shows on the Fringe based around mind reading, misdirection and assorted ‘mentalisms’ - but none are as engaging and as much fun as Dave’s.

He zings through an hour of set pieces which are genuinely impressive - from revealing the last four digits of your bank card to slick card tricks - what makes this show stand out is the man himself.

Dave Alnwick is very good, but he’s also engaging, relaxed and funny.

He works the room superbly, gets everyone involved, but doesn’t make anyone feel remote uncomfortable, and that’s down to his own warm personality.

If only all cult leaders were as nice …

Easily one of the best shows on the Free Fringe - treat yourself, and you will almost certainly become a cult member 60 minutes later!

Abi Roberts: Anglichanka

Voodoo Rooms, 4.15 p.m.

Rating: ****

You’ll be both entertained and educated by Abi Roberts.

Her Russian adventure is a great story - and one told with great style.

She packs a lot into this one-hour show, taking her audience from student life in Swansea on a remarkable Russian adventure which spans almost 20 years.

Roberts was sent to study at the prestigious Moscow Conservatoire in the 1990s and, just in case you think she’s pulling your leg, she bursts into song … and boy she can sing!

She recounts her days living with a Russian family in a tower block with great affection and humour , painting a vivid picture of a very different life thousands of miles from home.

It’s stand-up based around a great personal story, one in which she involves her audience, getting them to recite some Russian words as well as a traditional toast.

And she brings it altogether with an upbeat finale which makes this, ultimately, a feel good hour of comedy.

Roberts is warm and engaging on stage - she has oodles of charisma - and her Russian adventure has to be unique; it’s certainly going down well with audiences at the Voodoo Rooms.

Her Russian friends will surely raise a glass of vodka in a congratulatory toast too...

Anna Morris: It’s Got To Be Perfect

The Voodoo Rooms, 3.55 p.m.

Rating ****

There’s a wedding rehearsal taking place every day … and you are cordially invited.

In fact, there’s a fair chance you’ll end up playing a part on the proceedings. Even the tech team at the back of the hall are roped in!

Anna Morris’ show is smashing - the story of the posh, high maintenance Georgina who is planning what must be the perfect wedding to her Tory MP fiancée.

She’s got the character nailed perfectly, and works superbly with a whole host of folk pulled out of the audience at random to play a wide range of roles in the rehearsal. The more they play along with her, the funnier this becomes, so be prepared to go with the flow if you end up standing in for the groom, writing her speech or playing the role of one of her 22 bridesmaids!

All credit to Morris for opening up the stage to so many folk and still pulling off a slick, sharp and laugh out loud funny show - one which, judging by the queues outside, is going down a treat with Free Fringe audiences.

Runs end August 28

Allan Crow