In our last post we bought you our BEST SHOWS OF THEM ALL selections of the shows we saw at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2018. In this post, we’re bringing you our TOP FIVE, which was oddly harder to narrow down than the absolute top show. Sean has developed an elaborate colour coding system of his liked shows, and after hours decoding it, we’re bringing you the lists.
Joe managed to see a completely new and different set of shows than Sean and Jem, who were in Edinburgh at the same time, so let’s start with Joe’s less at-war list:
Joe’s Top Five
- Max and Ivan’s Prom Night – Max and Ivan aren’t known for doing things by half and this applies quite fully to their quite bonkers, fully brilliant plan of taking over a real school sports hall and turning it into a 50s High School Prom. Complete with everything you could want: keg stands, pissing cheerleader pyramids, the church of the three headed snake. Star-studded, lunatic genius. Do not miss what they do next.
- Rose Matafeo : Horn Dog
- Tinder Swinton answers adverts on Craig’s List
- Tim Key : Megadate
- Sian Docksey Interdependent Woman
Honourable Mention: Adam Riches’ in Coach Coach 2 : Coach Harder.
We just think Joe likes shows with long names…
And now onto Sean and Jem’s lists. Sean saw most everything Jem saw, which lead to our two producers arguing over who could have which show as their favourites… there are just so many…
Jem’s Top Five
- John Robertson’s Dark Room – Jem dislocated her jaw laughing so hard in this show. That’s a winning action right there.
- Two Little Dickheads – These two wonderful cat-crazed Aussie dickheads take on the end of the world head on filled with love, laughter and glitter balls. You haven’t seen this show unless you’ve felt the banana.
- #Jollyboat – Jem is cheating here, because these fantastically funny nerdy brothers had two shows that she and Sean saw. Jem refused to choose between the two shows, and now owns not only their CD but also their t-shirt. They have bought her more around to the idea of puns. These two are legends just for that alone.
- Police Cops in Space – The second instalment in The Pretend Men’s Police Cops comedy shows, this wise ass parody had Jem enthralled throughout. She may not have seen the original Police Cops (Sean has!) but the joy found in this show instantly made them a hit with Jem. Top quality, top banter, top show.
- Rik Carranza’s Still a Fan – Rik is already one of Jem’s most beloved comedians, and a dear friend. But this recommendation is nothing to do with that. This nerdy comedy show not only tickled Jem (and brought to light just how deep a nerd Sean is) but also used it voice to talk about issues that really need to be talked about more. Both funny and touching. Now there’s a skill worth mentioning at least.
Honourable Mention: Magic Faraway Cabaret – Jem discovered this gem of a cabaret way back when she was in Edinburgh for the first time and will always be her first recommendation for a Fringe Show. It has the perfect host, in the perfect venue, at the perfect time, always with a lineup of the best the fringe can offer you. It has all the classic tropes of a cabaret, and will grab you by the balls to satisfy you with it’s line up. And this year, Sean even got a milk covered shard lap dance from a pink kitty!
Sean’s Top Five
- Lady Rizo: Red, White and Indigo – No one commanded the stage just like Lady Rizo at this year’s fringe. For 70 minutes she had the audience wrapped around her finger after each song. Everything you would want from a performance at the Edinburgh Fringe is found in this show.
- Shitfaced Shakespeare: Hamlet – This Shakespeare troupe just keep getting better each year. Alcohol plus Shakespeare, who ever thought of this concept is an genius!
- Notflix – There were a lot improv musicals amongst the ‘big 4’ at the Edfinge this year, but Notflix was the clear best. Aced the comedy that comes from improv, and they made it look effortless. Plus the band were on point, the sax and keyboard players were amazing!
- Battle Acts – Short form improv at it’s best, with what can only be described as a masterclass in how to host a show! Sean’s states this is the best show on the free fringe!
- Olaf Falafel: There’s no i in idiot – Another uniquely stellar show from Sean’s favourite stand up comic. Jokes so good they end up on Dave’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe top 10 list.
Honourable Mention: Colt Cabana and Brendon Burns do Comedy and Commentary to Bad Wrestling – By far the most crazy show on the fringe each year. Wrestling Clips + stand up + one crazy audience = comedy gold!
Also Sean just wanted to throw a little shade at two shows… “Marvel is better than DC and DC is rubbish” is not a joke. Don’t claim to be comedy for comic book nerds and start with that.
This is but a fraction of all the shows and acts we saw this year, and it was really hard to choose which ones we loved best. Go check out and support these great acts, and we’ll check in soon with a few more insights to our crazy week in our favourite place.
What shows have you seen at the Fringe or away from the Fringe that have stayed with you long after you saw them? What are your fringe theatre recommendations?