Sketch comedy picks for the Fringe

Many shows at the Fringe are listed under “sketch shows”. Here we offer some early choices for classic sketch shows that are largely built on … er… sketches.

And Now… features “songs, skits and nonsensical moments” and is billed as ” a must-see for anyone who enjoys dumb jokes and wants to experience true nonsense at the Fringe.”

Also playing at Just the Tonic is Andy Bucks and Low Effort Sketches: Combined Effort and ” Topics include: alternative explanations for how World War 2 started, roasting medieval philosophers, and soup.” A show for fans of Mitchell and Webb.

Chris and Noah are the comedy pair behind quickfire sketch show Bishops and are making their Edfringe debut.

If you want value for money, then you get 69 sketches crammed into an hour with Biscuit Barrel: The 69-Sketch Show. In this version, “a bandit has broken into the production, stealing sound effects, characters, and even dialogue.”

The Bristol Revunions are the Bristol University sketch comedy society who have been making people laugh since 1953. They’ve performed with the Cambridge Footlights, Leeds Tealights, Durham Revue and many more. This year’s show Bristol Revunions presents Ready to Board entreat us to get “Ready to Board! Get your passports out and get ready for the flight of your life!”

Quintessentially Fringe is The Cambridge Footlights International Tour Show with “an hour of brand-new sketch comedy written by five of the finest up-and-coming comedians in Cambridge.”

Absurdist sketch comedy arrives in the form of Faceoddity’s This Isn’t Working. “MI5 operative. Chancellor of the Exchequer. Grimswald Town Cryer. Navigating a series of eclectic trial shifts, painfully overqualified Sandy Surname has rethought, reskilled, and rebooted. Can he rely on the crack team at the job centre to solve his unemployment woes?”

Solo sketch comedy comes to us as Will BF: The Last Gun. In a world with only one gun, one man stands in the way of world peace. His name… Sketch Comedian Will BF, his weapon: being silly.”. Look out for some fine character comic creations amongs all this mayhem.

For some lunch time sketch comedy, from a group the University of York, The Dead Ducks is back at the Fringe with “an entirely new array of sketches to the Fringe this year”. And The Durham Revue: Death on the Mile is also from a regular and much enjoyed fronge sketch comedy group.

With character comedy, absurd sketches and comedy songs, you’ll need to be at Dirty Laundry: Spin Off

Egg: Absolutely Fine comes perfectly formed from comedy duo Anna Leong Brophy (Shadow and Bone, This Is Going to Hurt) and Emily Lloyd-Saini (Code 404, Catastrophe).

For “an unapologetically comic peek into the world of parenting: what comes before, during and after in this rambunctious mix of original songs and sketches from NZ actors ensemble Femme Natale”, then you need tickets for Femme Natale Theatre.

From another much acclaimed comedy pair comes Finlay and Joe: Past Our Bedtime. Here’s the whole blurb: “Finlay and Joe are tired. Tired of the world and its injustices, but mainly of performing sketch comedy. So they’re off to bed. If only they could stop dreaming up hilarious brand-new sketches together. Armed with camomile teas, ambient whale song and one shared memory-foam mattress, it’s just two sleepy boys against the world. Can they get the beauty sleep they need? Can they fight their way back through the dream levels or whatever? Can Finlay survive another night of Joe’s incessant snoring? Looks like bedtime is just the beginning”

Back at the Fringe are sketch comedy megastars Foil, Arms and Hog in Foil Arms and Hog: Hogwash. They “return to the magnificent McEwan Hall with the full tour-length version of their 2022 show Hogwash (two hours, including interval). A mix of sketch comedy, audience participation and improvisation.”

Manchester-based comedy group Glass Crumpet are in the free fringe with Glass Crumpet’s Sketch Show with an “ethos of making comedy accessible to everyone, regardless of their income, who promote comedy by the working class, for the working class. Returning to the Fringe after making their debut with SalFunni 2022, Glass Crumpet brings laughter, mystery and intrigue with their detective-based Sketch Show. With something for everyone, Glass Crumpet are one not to miss.”

Also check out Is It Just Us?! in the free fringe for comedy duo MEELAGOOLA from Ireland bringing satirical charatcer sketch comedy.

JARUJARU: Arigato 2023 is something unique. ” JaruJaru is a Japanese comedy duo consisting from Junpei Goto and Shusuke Fukutoku. Their highly original yet minimalistic performance style has made them a unique mainstay in Japanese comedy. JaruJaru’s blend of surrealism and absurdity with everyday situations earned the love of Japanese audiences and the title of King of Conte in 2020 (winners of a national sketch comedy competition).”

in a debut sketch show Joe and Rory: Television 1 from character comedians Joe and Rory we have “a time-travelling multimedia showcase that chronologically lampoons every decade of British programming.”

Award-winning fringe regulars The Leeds Tealights bring us The Leeds Tealights: A Very Special Birthday Party. This fringe “The Tealights invite you to A Very Special Birthday Party. This invitation is exclusive; everyone is invited. Fresh from sell-out shows in Durham, Leeds and Cambridge, these comedy veterans will ensure you experience a birthday party like you never have before. Experience an eclectic mix of witty repartee and raucous banter, which is guaranteed to leave you enlightened, brightened and possibly bewildered…”

Bringing their brand new show Lots of Feelings: Most Improved Award to the Fringe from Washington DC, “sketch duo, Lots of Feelings, finds meaning amidst the chaos of life through mouth and eye-watering sketches. Will they finally figure out what the hell is going on? Probably not. Bobby and Elizabeth’s work delves into the complexities of interpersonal relationships and brings light to some of life’s darkest subjects. They have poured their hearts into bringing this brand new show to Edinburgh and in doing so have bestowed upon themselves the Most Improved Award.”.

For a family show, take your kids to Mr Sleepybum – “Mr Sleepybum will re-enact some of his favourite dreams in this high-energy, inventive physical comedy show for all the family from seasoned character comedian Jody Kamali. “

Packing in the sketches in Myles and Dan Just Might Break a World Record Tonight we are invited to “Witness the impossible as Myles and Dan attempt to complete the most live comedy sketches in a single live sketch-comedy show in live sketch-comedy history.”

And an Edfringe couldn’t be fringe without the iconic NewsRevue who complete our sketch comedy choices with their sketch-based political sature show.

That’s it for now. There are many other sketch comedy shows in the Fringe Programme. Go on, take a punt as well on some new kids on the sketch block.