One of the most exciting things about the Edinburgh Fringe this year is the assortment of new comedy riches -with many performers bringing up their debut shows – some of which have been simmering and sharpening since the festival was pulled back in 2020. Competition for the Edinburgh Comedy Awards – especially those hoping to catch the judges’ gaze under the Newcomer banner – is fiercer than ever. Here are some of those expected to make splashes and create buzzes in the Scottish capital in 2022.
Sikisa: Life Of The Party
Promising to bring a celebration mood to this show, the set-up is a house party hosted by Sikisa. The multi award-nominated comic is making up for lost time (and strict parentage) with her shindig, sharing stories that include rebellions, being an an immigration lawyer, loving wresting, and laughter in the truth as she sees it.
Pleasance Courtyard Below, 8.25pm, 3rd – 28th August (except 17th)
Eric Rushton: I Had A Dream And You Were All In It
After winning the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year award in 2020, Rushton has been primed to bring this debut hour to Edinburgh, sharing his take on the world with a combination of the sharp and the silly. His well-crafted gags show off an obvious enjoyment of language that promise much for this newcomer.
Just The Tonic At The Mash House – Just The Attic, 4pm, 4th – 28th August (except 15th)
Michael Akadiri: No Scrubs
Joining the ranks of highly acclaimed doctors-turned-comics, Akadiri has already been seen on the BBC New Comedy Awards and ITV2’s Stand Up Sketch Show, and collected first place in the inaugural Komedia New Comedy Awards. This, his first full solo show, articulately looks as his own life in and out of scrubs – working for the NHS and surviving life in London in civvies. Thoughtful, funny and intelligent, his writing and assured performance promise this to be one to watch.
Pleasance Courtyard – Cellar, 8.30pm, 3rd – 28th August (except 16th)
Hannah Fairweather: Just A Normal Girl Who Enjoys Revenge
With a delightful twist of the knife towards all those who have wronged her, Fairweather is bringing all the skills she acquired from her full head of comedy steam as an award-winning and multiple award finalist in a plethora of 2019 competitions. With an impressive writing CV already, that includes BBC Radio 4 and Mock The Week, this is fair warning to all prospective beaus in this comedy and storytelling show.
Just The Tonic At The Caves – Just Up The Stairs, 2.25pm, 4th – 28th August (except 15th)
Lily Phillips: SMUT
Acerbic humour from this BBC Comedy Awards finalist, Phillips doesn’t flinch as she delivers her left-turn punchlines straight to the belly. Grabbing the smutty label full-on, Phillips demystifies the notion – talking about how her own body was objectified as a dancer, skipping around her stint as a Disney princess, exploring subjects including feminist rhetoric, the joy of outdoor urination, and how certain female body parts are innately funny.
Pleasance Courtyard – Bunker One, 7.25pm, 3rd – 28th August (except 16th)
Jamie D’Souza: Stop Drawing Willies On My Poster
Tapping into a tender-hearted and juvenile time of first crush and first love, D’Souza tells the tale of his first girlfriend and all the things he did to impress her – and then gave up for her. Feel for that emo band! Drawing on his own experience of growing up with mixed heritage in Staines, this personal show comes with a steady confidence and fond delivery from a voice already making itself heard in comedy on BBC3 and the BBC Asian Network.
Pleasance Courtyard – Below, 7.10pm, 3rd – 29th August
Anthony DeVito: My Dad Isn’t Danny DeVito
So that’s your first question answered, straight off the bat. Who Anthony DeVito’s late father actually was turns out to be a compelling and fascinating story, placing him firmly in the middle of an organised crime family – a fact Anthony grew up totally unaware of and now shares in a funny and heart-warming show. Having made his mark on US television as both a performer and writer, this is his hotly-anticipated Edinburgh arrival.
Just The Tonic – Bottle Room @ The Mash House, 7.30pm, 4-28th August (except 17th)
Emmanuel Sonubi: Emancipated
Having had voices clammering at him from all sides for a long time, Sonubi steps forward to get a few things off his chest. ‘Emancipated’ shares Sonubi’s upbringing in his large Nigerian family in North London with five older sisters, as well as his adult life working security at some of the hippest clubs and scariest settings, before skipping through to his own stint in musical theatre. With an easy likeable delivery and a presence that is getting him noticed in all the right ways.
Underbelly Bristo Square – Dairy Room, 3rd – 28th August (except 15th)
Eva Bindeman: It’s Going Whaley Well
A half run at the Fringe for this absurdist comedian, meaning she won’t be eligible for the Edinburgh Award, but giving her a chance of a large bite of the Fringe apple and audiences. In a bid to make her mark on the entertainment industry Bindeman decides to join a whale pod in Scotland, leading to stories of beaching and teachings and swimming away from the crowd. Flights of fancy mixed in with warmth and smarts.
Just The Tonic At the Grassmarket Centre – Just The Meeting Room, 5.50pm, 4th – 14th August
Finlay Christie: OK Zoomer
Christie may look familiar, because at the grand old age of 22 has already been performing comedy for 15 years, including a TV stand up debut on Blue Peter as a teenager. Quite the impact! For a glimpse into the mind of a young irreverent award-winning voice, Christie skips between TikTok, remote learning, and the rather bleak global position past generations have left his lot in, whilst retaining his own sense of fun and mischief.
Gilded Ballon Teviot – Wee Room, 6pm, 3rd – 28th August (except 17th)
Adam Flood: Clayhead
Another comic ducking under qualifying for the Edinburgh Comedy Award, this time due to a run time of just 45 minutes, this is the first solo show from Adam Flood. Having done well with audiences on mixed bills in previous years and making it through as a finalist in the 2019 BBC New Comedy Awards showcasing his ‘big, daft energy’, this show about reinvention is his first time flying solo.
Just The Tonic At The Mash House – Just The Attic, 5.20pm, 4th – 28th August (except 15th)
Alice Brine: Brinestone
After cleaning up gongs in her native New Zealand Alice Brine has arrived with her debut hour this side of the hemisphere, giving us access to the multitude of directions her brain goes via her ADHD neuro-atypical brain. Hence the show’s title. Everyone’s noggin is different and this is a chance to follow atypical synapses and find out about the adventures they take Brine on.
Gilded Ballon – Turret, 4.20pm, 3rd – 28th August (except 16th)
Amy Gledhill: The Girl Before The Girl You Marry
After causing a smashing storm as one half of Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Show nominated duo The Delightful Sausage, Gledhill is back. She’s on her own this time and putting all that skill and experience into her first solo effort. Promising an hour about resilience and dancing, New Year’s Eve debacles and teasing with the promise of a tale about accidentally flashing royalty, this promises to be highly original and a sought-after ticket.
Monkey Barrel Comedy – Carnivore 2, 3.30pm, 4th – 28th August (except 17th)
Eryn Tett Finds Her Audience
For comedy off the beaten track and into the vast well of absurdism, make your way over to Eryn Tett’s show. She wilfully misunderstands the sage advice she was given and starts data gathering and carrying out focus groups across the country to pin down exactly who her audience and target demographic might be, with the hopes of creating a pinpoint-targetted advertising campaign. There’s a lot of other misunderstandings and literal takes here too, sticking doggedly to her charmingly askew perspective, and even incorporating a short ‘documentary’ to compliment the show.
Just The Tonic – Downstairs @ The Tron, 5pm, 4th – 28th August (except 15th)
Max Fosh: Zocial Butterfly
From the dazzling world of social media comes this multimedia hour of comedy. Already arriving with a strong following of over 1.1 million followers across TikTok, Facebook and Instagram, Fosh takes a step out of the small screen and onto the live stage, promising a comedic glance behind the curtain of a YouTuber.
Underbelly – Buttercup, 2.15pm, 3rd – 29th (except 15th)
Aliya Kanani: Where You From, From?
Taking a good long hard look at the notion of ‘belonging’, Kanini can tackle this one from so many angles she’s basically a marvel of geometry. Having lived in 30 countries, gone to ten schools, able to speak six languages – and then launching into a career as cabin crew, she may not have an answer to the question her show poses, but she’s got a lot to say about the question. A graduate of the Second City Conservatory, this debut is thought-provoking with a truly world comedy view.
Just The Tonic @ The Tron, 7.40pm, 4th – 28th August (except 15th)
Kate Barron: Losing Myself
It’s tricky being a romantic in 21st century days of jelly shots and junk food but Barron did her best, and it garnered her recognition and awards in the comedy clubs of her native Canada before she hot-footed it over to the UK in 2019. Tooled up with a big stage presence and foul mouth, she was making a splash in London when Lockdown hit and – finding herself in isolation – Barron literally made herself anew and emerged from the pandemic 13 stone lighter. Barron spends an hour telling an honest, engaging, and very funny collection of stories of running away and hopefully arriving at herself.
Just The Tonic – The Tron, 9pm, 4th – 28th August (except 17th)
Anna Clifford: I See Dead(ly) People
It’s an old Judge Dredd notion – everyone has the potential to be deadly and it’s best to judge them as such, which is exactly what Irish comic Clifford does with comedic aplomb here. She tells her own experience of the last few years, in which she escaped to a rural retreat for four days only to emerge to a global pandemic, an ill parent, and a disappearing boyfriend – a real challenge to anybody’s positivity but a gift for her funny bones narrative.
Gilded Ballon Teviot – Balcony, 9pm, 3rd – 28th August
Michelle Shaughnessy: Be Your Daddy
There’s a lot of confidence in this show already, picking up endorsement from Katherine Ryan and a director credit for The Last Leg’s Adam Hills. Which should hardly come as a surprise when you combine Shaughnessy’s comedic credentials with an autobiographical no-punches-pulled hour of the scrapes that can be had when you wait for someone else to fix you. Good message, and hilarious moments as that lesson is learned again and again.
Underbelly Bristo Square: Jersey Room, 8.30pm, 3rd – 28th August (except 15th)
Lew Fitz: Soft Lad
The classic tale of a Northern lad going out in the world to make his fortune, this time swapping Manchester for Miami in a tale peppered with punchlines and honesty. Another hotly anticipated solo debut from a BBC New Comedy Award Finalist, with a special nod to the fact that he has already racked up recognition for top jokes of the Fringe in previous years from a variety of award-givers – before he even had a full show to his name!
Gilded Balloon Teviot, 3rd – 29th August (except 15th)