Edinburgh Fringe: Arts Editor’s picks


Bringing you your Arts Editor’s top picks from the Edinburgh Fringe.

Hannah Gadsby: Happiness is a Bedside Table

Hannah Gadsby has been on the comedy scene for a few years now, but this show has firmly cemented her position as one to watch. Among all the laughs, you take away an important message and without noticing, the audience is taken on an emotional journey, ending with the realisation that you will never again feel remotely self-conscious in a swimsuit. Gadsby has a rare talent for storytelling and manages to be stomach-achingly hilarious while sharing her genuinely touching story.

Make sure you catch her at the Soho Theatre 24-28 September.

Claudia O’Doherty: Pioneer

I may be no closer to understanding her as a person, or even a comedian, but this show is worth seeing for the insane concept and holograms if nothing else. O’Doherty spends the hour showcasing her ‘acting talents’ through a series of sketches, one-liners and impressions in the hope of securing sponsorship from global technology giant Pioneer. The show is endearingly hilarious and O’Doherty is a performer with charm but it’s her outrageous ideas that have secured her place as one of our top picks from the Fringe.

O’Doherty will be bringing Pioneer to the Soho Theatre from 23 September – 5 October.

Tongue Fu

I’ll admit it, I’m a poetry sceptic and thought the last place I’d find myself at midnight would be at what is essentially a poetry recital, but this completely changed my perspective of the art. Yes, it’s poetry, but this is no boring school lesson! The Tongue Fu band unbelievably improvises soundtracks to the artists’ poems, complementing the poetry and storytelling. A highlight of the night I attended was Malcolm Head, whose poetry was so entertaining it wouldn’t have looked out of place at a stand-up event. Tongue Fu is undoubtedly bringing poetry to the masses.

Tongue Fu is a regular event in London, next on 18 September at the London Wonderground.

Bec Hill: Bec by Popular Demand 

Although a last minute addition to the Fringe’s line-up, Bec Hill certainly didn’t disappoint. Hill has a charming stage presence and it’s impossible to dislike her happy-go-lucky attitude. Her YouTube videos, which have racked up thousands of hits, also feature in the show, my favourite being ‘Dinosaurs’ (I mean haven’t we all wondered what would happen if dinosaurs invaded London?). Bec, who enjoys audience participation and will put any heckler firmly in their place, was temporarily lost for words when she was proposed to from the back of the audience by her boyfriend! Fortunately she said yes and it’s a testament to how cool this girl is that she was able to then continue with the show. Bec Hill is certainly a star of the future.

See her perform on Cut Throat Comedy, at Huckle the Barber on Old Street on 19 September for FREE!

Hedluv + Passman

‘Two Cornish rappers and a Casiotone Keyboard’ accurately sums up this rap duo but doesn’t prepare you for the audience experience. Featuring everything from nudity to audience-wide dancing, to Passman skilfully catching his microphone in a jockstrap, these guys are the next big thing on the musical comedy scene. Think Flight of the Conchords meets the Beastie Boys. This duo has fast become an insider favourite at the Fringe, and has attracted fans including Paul Foot and Alan Davies.

Check out their best hits “Weird Nature” and “Dreckly” on YouTube.

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