Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2011 round-up - got your diary handy?

Posted: 23rd May 2011

Every August, as the Fringe hits Edinburgh (alongside the 'full' Edinburgh Festival), anyone who's anyone in stand-up comedy, cabaret, theatre and spoken word will be gravitating once more to Auld Reekie for a month of laughs and hangovers.

Whether you're a fan of new talent, established performers or, for some reason, desperately want to work in entertainment PR, then the Scottish capital really is the place to be this summer (and every summer). There'll be the daring, the silly, the hilarious, the reassuringly brilliant and the downright awful.

But not here - we've handpicked some top shows that will not disappoint, we guarantee* it! (*not a real guarantee).

All tickets are exclusive of booking fees.

From 3rd to 9th August, Ed Byrne will be talking about all the things that are turning him into a 'grumpy old man' in his show, 'Crowd Pleaser'. Familiar ground for the stand-up comic but Ed Byrne is no ordinary comedian. Nominated for a Perrier Award in 1998, Byrne is one of Ireland's most successful comic exports, finding audiences all over the world. Tickets start at £15.50.

Banjolele-playing comedian and gentleman rapper Mr B has made his name at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in recent years and will be returning in 2011. His near month-long residency of his show 'How I Invented Hip Hop and Other Faux Pas' at the city's Voodoo Rooms starts on 3rd August. Tickets are £7 on the 3rd and 4th August, £10 from the 5th.

Richard Herring Richard Herring
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It has been 20 years since Herring first made his mark writing for radio with Chris Morris. Two decades on, his CV boasts books, plays, numerous writing credits, dozens of TV appearances (including his own show) and wildly popular stand-up shows. Herring is a veteran of Edinburgh and has been a regular since 1987. This year he returns with his show, 'What is Love Anyway?' from 4th to 28th August at the Cow Barn 'Udderbelly' in Bistro Square. Tickets are £12.50 and £14.50.

Lee Evans is one of the giants of British stand-up, a status reflected in the fact that he's doing just three dates at this year's Fringe. He'll be playing the Playhouse from 8th to 10th August and these will be among the hottest of the hot tickets in town. Evans made his name at Edinburgh, winning the 1993 Perrier Comedy Award and he hasn't looked back. Eighteen years later, he's as popular as ever. Tickets are £31.
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The talkSPORT presenter and BBC 6Music regular is returning to the city where he made the semi-final of the 'So You Think You're Funny?' competition in 2002. From the 3rd to 28th August, Matt Forde will be bringing his 'Dishonourable Member' show to Wee Coo (Underbelly). Tickets start at a recession-busting £6 (yes, we know the recession is technically over - no need to write in).

In 2010, comedian-cum-activist Mark Thomas embarked on an audacious 'ramble' in the Middle East, walking the entire length of the separation barrier between Israeli and Palestinian territories. Thomas' latest show - and book - recount this 750km walk under the title, 'Extreme Rambling - Walking the Wall'. Mark Thomas will be rambling about rambling at the Bongo Club from 8th to 20th August. Tickets are £14.50.

Former Big Brother presenter and now an incredibly hard-working stand-up, Jack Whitehall - still only 22 - is bringing his latest show, 'Let's Not Speak of This Again', back to the city where he was nominated for Best Newcomer in 2009. Jack will be at Venue 150 (at the EICC) from 18th to 27th August.

Elsewhere, Jason Byrne will be bringing his 'Cirque du Byrne' show to Venue 150 (3rd - 14th), Naz Osmanoglu's show at Wee Coo (3rd - 28th) will be '1000 Per Cent Awesome' while Abi Roberts 'Takes You Up the Aisle' (cheeky)at the Voodoo Rooms (3rd - to 27th). This is just the tip of the iceberg mind, so keep 'em peeled.

Stewart Darkin