Posted by: chiarraigrrl | June 17, 2010

My top five recommendations for don’t-miss shows at the Edinburgh Fringe

Edinburgh castle 4

First of all, something I have to get out of the way: I love Edinburgh. Especially during the festival (though it’s a gorgeous, friendly city even when visiting at other times) there’s an incredible atmosphere, the scenery is spectacular and the locals are by and large friendly. (One year, when walking up the road to a gig I must have had a serious look on my face, as a homeless man across the road shouted something to the effect of “ah cheer up love, it’s not that bad!”. Never had that happen anywhere else, that’s for sure…) I always try to head over for a few days during the Festival to catch a few shows and generally hang out, and this year is no exception, with the added bonus that a good friend of mine is coming along on her first visit to the city (and we all know there’s nothing I like better than showing my favourite people around my favourite places. Hurrah!). Since she’s never been to Edinburgh before, nor to the Edinburgh Fringe, I was entrusted with the mission of finding us a few good shows to go to, and I have come up with Chi’s Official List of Shows You Cannot Miss in Edinburgh This August In No Particular Order (which of course I’m only sharing with you good people now that our tickets have been booked):

Danny Bhoy – By Royal Disappointment I saw Danny Bhoy at the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival a couple of years ago and will confess that not only is he a very funny comedian, I had a bit of a crush by the end of the show. Edinburgh’s his home turf, too, so should be a cracker of a show.

David O’Doherty – Somewhere Over the David O’Doherty DO’D is just one of those comedians who, upon even just hearing their name, makes your mouth involuntarily break out in a big grin and brings a warm feeling to your heart… at least, if you’ve ever seen DO’D. O’Doherty’s particular brand of musical whimsy is something no plan for Edinburgh should be without.

Reginald D. Hunter – Trophy Nigga I have some trouble trying to remember the first time I saw Reginald D. Hunter, but it was a few years ago now (Kilkenny? Edinburgh? Probably Kilkenny…) and I haven’t missed a show in Edinburgh (or Dublin, if I hear about it) since. One of my favourite comedians.

Brendon Burns – Y’know- Love ‘n’ God ‘n’ metaphysics ‘n’ shit Another one I won’t miss if I can help it- very funny, smart, often high-energy comedy – but the easily-offended should probably steer clear…

Josie Long – Be Honourable! I first saw Josie open a show at Whelans for David O’Doherty. She was wonderful. She had Venn Diagrams. At the end of her spot I was hoping she’d be back to do a show of her own, and soon. No such luck (yet, that I know of…), but I’ve been to see her every year in Edinburgh since. She even does little handmade magazine/programme/booklet/thingamys. Wonderful.

Finally, while you’re in Edinburgh you really should stop in to the lovely little restaurant that is Gordon’s Trattoria on the Royal Mile. You can’t beat a restaurant where the staff sing as they go about their work, the owners are great and they do an excellent banana split. Also highly recommended is Pompeii Restaurant at 62 Grassmarket- spectacular lasagne, wonderful staff and great atmosphere. Bon appetit!

Update 14 August 2010 In addition to the above, I highly recommend checking out Des Bishop’s show “My Dad Was Nearly James Bond”. I saw a review that described it as “moving”, and that’s certainly spot-on (I was welling up a bit at parts, I’ll confess. Yes, Chi is a sap. Shaddup)- but very very funny as well. Was really glad I went to see it while I was over this week, and had my mother roarin laughing when telling her bits of it today. One not to miss…

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