Comedy sits at the very heart of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe,
All the big names are in town and playing to huge audiences.
Jason Byrne is King of the Fringe, Craig Hill will make you laugh ‘til it hurts, and Jo Caulfield simply owns The Stand.
Their shows are all highly recommended.
But if you can’t get tickets then you may want to try some other gems on the comedy circuit.
So here’s few suggestions for shows we think you should see:
1 Arthur Smith: Mindlessness, A Beginner’s Guide – Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), 1.00 p.m..
A Fringe legend, Smith’s last show saw him pay homage to the music of Leonard Cohen - and do so quite superbly – but he’s back on the comedy beat this year.
Forget mindefulness, this is a show about mindlessness, for people who’d like to find peace of mind but would rather put the kettle on and watch daytime telly. Smith casts an expert, weary eye over the advice.
2 Axis of Awesome – Guilded Balloon, 10.30p.m.
The Aussie gurus of musical comedy are back for the first time since 2014.
A huge hit on the Fringe, they pack endless witty songs into their hour -– some fans’ favourites, but plenty new material too.
And they also explain their absence with the lightest of touches. I’ll say no more ...
3 Set List: Stand Up Without A Net - Gilded Balloon, (Venue 14) 10.30 p.m.
Fancy watching stand-up comedians sweat through a set list of bizarre, incomprehensible topics they only get handed once on stage?
Set List is where they are thrown in at the deep end and banned from falling back on any of their own material. This is stand-up thinking on your feet.
Some thrive, some melt with sweat, but the wit of hosts such as the affable, engaging Kai Humphries hold it altogether.
If you fancy a late night show with a difference, this can be a huge amount of fun.
4 Susan Calman: The Calman Before The Storm – Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), 6.20 p.m.
Another firm favourite with Fringe audiences and already playing to full houses – but it’s worth checking for returns at the box office.
The star of QI, Mock The Week, Have I Got News For You and numerous radio shows, she is also one of the best stand-ups at the Fringe.
5 Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppets Do Shakespeare, Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14), 10.30p.m.
The sock puppets’ 2015 show got mixed reviews, and prompted a refreshingly honest blog from its creator, but this one is already doing good business as the quick-witted, offbeat, and plain daft duo tackle the Bard. The only show that promises socks and violence ...
6 Scott Gibson: Life After Death – Gilded Balloon (Venue 14), 2:45 p.m.
You may have caught him hosting the gala night at the recent That’s Fife comedy festival, now the rising star of the Scottish comedy circuit is making his Fringe debut ... and going down very well. Look out for him popping up on the bill at the many chat show type events as well!