7 Sensible Questions: Phil Ellis

He is comedy’s first prince of carefully-crafted amateurism. Here he talks to our stuffed monkey. My Boss, Mr Kipper, started Fringepig partly because he was so pissed off with the reviewers who didn’t understand your 2013 show, Unplanned Orphan. Now you’re doing Funz and Gamez for the third time. Is it boring having a room […]

Article filed on Thursday, August 24th, 2017. Read More

Poo-Pooing the Thesps

Where is that awful stench of not-proper comedy coming from? From a theatre near you, says NATHAN CASSIDY What links Daniel Kitson, Mark Thomas and Nathan Cassidy? That’s right, they’re all awful. They all used to be very good of course, but now they’re indisputably rubbish. It’s a well known fact that it takes about […]

Article filed on Thursday, August 24th, 2017. Read More

Eau No Not Again

The Edinburgh Fringe is all about the winning, not the taking part says MARGO TERRACES The tension is palpable as we pass the halfway point and everyone is talking about which shows are shaping up to win The Award. It used to be the Perrier but everyone moaned about it ‘cos Perrier was owned by Nestle […]

Article filed on Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017. Read More

Can’t Give It Away

Flyerers! The fact that a show is free is NOT its main attraction, says YIANNI AGISILAOU All the free show flyerers let me hear you say ‘Hey!’ All the free show flyerers let me hear you say ‘Ho!’ All the free show flyerers DON’T let me hear you say ‘Free Comedy?’ Urgh. This is the […]

Article filed on Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017. Read More

Comedy: Culture’s ghetto?

It’s a hot-button issue at last: the establishment thinks that comedy is worthless. LEO KEARSE (Tory capitalist) and ROB MULHOLLAND (socialist working-class agitator) have joined forces to ask why public money is only ever spent on entertainment few of us want Long before theatre supremo Nica Burns took up the cause (check your next-best comedy […]

Article filed on Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017. Read More

Copyright In-Fringe-Ments

Got an edgy parody/tribute show? Becky Walker’s Panda says look out for lawyers. Lawyers are cocks. Is that actionable? Sorry… lawyers are allegedly cocks Spare a thought (and some time) this August for Cambridge comedy set The Amorous Prawn, whose Famous Five satire Five Go Off On One: A Jolly Good Romp Through Childhood was […]

Article filed on Wednesday, August 16th, 2017. Read More

Party Like it’s 1947!

The Fringe is 70 this year! Are you excited? We’re excited! Edinburgh is excited! The world is excited! But is Edinburgh Council excited? SURELY our City Fathers are excited? Let’s look at what they’re doing to celebrate seven decades of fun… Kyboshing the Kids’ Summerhall The Royal Hospital For Sick Children in Marchmont has been […]

Article filed on Wednesday, August 16th, 2017. Read More

7 Sensible Questions: Simon Munnery

He’s master of the accessible avant-garde; of understated lunacy and any other contradiction-in-terms you like. A stuffed monkey interviews him 1. So this year you’re telling us about renegade plumbing. I once drained the central heating system at 3am without waking Mrs Coconuts. What is your greatest plumbing triumph? “As yet I have had no […]

Article filed on Wednesday, August 9th, 2017. Read More

Wise Up Sucker!

BY CHARMIAN HUGHES When I was 10 I never really noticed middle-aged people, unless they were the Joy Interrupters like mothers or teachers. They were irrelevant, past it, boring. They didn’t even realise how they embarrassed themselves with their mutating jellyfish bodies and dress sense. They actually thought they looked OK. On the wet London […]

Article filed on Wednesday, August 9th, 2017. Read More

#LetsSellThisGigOut 16-27

MICHAEL LEGGE will be bloody cross if you don’t go to THESE shows at THESE times. Follow #LetsSellThisGigOut. Listen if you want to live. Click the pictures for tickets / information   16  Nick Doody: Interesting Times PBH Free Fringe @ Liquid Room Annexe, 19:30 @NickDoody A brilliant comedian and one I never miss. And […]

Article filed on Monday, August 7th, 2017. Read More

What the Bruce?

The Edinburgh Fringe is 70 years old this year. Veteran comedy critic BRUCE DESSAU remembers 3/7ths of it. At least, he remembers the really odd stuff. I’ve been visiting the Edinburgh Fringe Festival since 1963. In the early days there were six comedy shows in the programme, which was printed on vellum and hand-delivered to […]

Article filed on Monday, August 7th, 2017. Read More

Feeding the Five Thousand

According to the comic and poet John Hegley, to make a living as a comedian, you need 5,000 fans prepared to buy your stuff. Five thousand enthusiasts going to gigs, reading books, dowloading podcasts and watching DVDs. Keep feeding these devotees new product and they’ll never leave you. They are all powerful and without them […]

Article filed on Friday, August 4th, 2017. Read More

Where Are You Coming From? Stuart Black/John Robertson

Stuart Black “My dad drank a bottle of whiskey a day. He was never violent but you always had the feeling he was about to go off on one. Marc Maron has written the perfect bit about having to be the grown-up to your own dad, and it really was like that. I spent my […]

Article filed on Friday, August 4th, 2017. Read More

They want to send a reviewer? Just say no.

Fringepig received a call yesterday from one of the larger venue chains at the Edinburgh Fringe. He said he was looking forward to seeing us this year but there was one reviewer we had sent last year who we must not, under any circumstances, ever send their way again. Immediately I was struck by three […]

Article filed on Wednesday, July 19th, 2017. Read More

Slum Chums

It’s that time of year when we all decide which overpriced Georgian edifice we’re going to spend a month in, and which of our shady lower-showbiz mates we want to hole up with. Here are five types you should stay away from, but you won’t because you NEVER BLOODY LEARN do you? The one who […]

Article filed on Thursday, March 16th, 2017. Read More

Moose Abuse

The Amused Moose National New Comic Award is ripe for satire (see here) but today the Moose galloped, like Isis or the Trump administration, into hyperbolic forests too dense even for lampooners to follow. In a process that observers have called brutal, painful, surreal and darkly amusing, dozens of would-be contestants were each sent seven […]

Article filed on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017. Read More

A Room With a Poo

When you work as a comedian you accept, as normal, a thousand quantum leaps into cruel and unusual situations that, in any other job, would have you invoking the Health and Safety at Work Act, or updating your CV on company time, or… well, just walking out. Being left for an hour in a bare […]

Article filed on Saturday, February 18th, 2017. Read More

YES!!! It’s the Elated Elk Comedy Award!

Fringepig’s Wrigley Worm received an emaill which some of you in the comedy fraternity may also have received. Should he give it a go? Answers to the usual address…   Hello Wrigley, Please would you forward this email to new comedians who you feel should enter Elated Elk Comedy’s NATIONAL NEW CANNONFODDER awards 2017 (previously […]

Article filed on Wednesday, January 25th, 2017. Read More

Fringepig’s top 10 Brian Logan moments of 2016

So you’ve read Brian Logan’s top 10 comedy moments of 2016? Or perhaps you haven’t. Never mind. Nothing matters. 1. Putting on his dad’s jacket On Februrary 12th Brian’s dad, who runs a hedge fund for offshore companies that build chips for nuclear missiles funded by Goldman Sachs operating out of Guyana, came round for […]

Article filed on Wednesday, December 14th, 2016. Read More

Ham Fist: The Winners

The Ham Fist Awards were announced last night to (as tradition dictates) a bus full of drunks all unsure what they were doing there. As well as the main cash prize for recipient of the Worst Review, there were additional prizes for the Most Ferociously Politically Correct Review and a prize for the person who […]

Article filed on Friday, August 26th, 2016. Read More

Me and My Flying Toilet

You might think it’s a difficult life being a press critic. You have to wear a lanyard. You have to spend literally minutes typing up your reports every evening. You have to look at yourself in the mirror. But you may not know that the job also involves flying over Edinburgh on a magical toilet, […]

Article filed on Friday, August 19th, 2016. Read More

“Don’t Hang Around With Twats. Or Friends.”

Festi-flacid? Fringe-frazzled? We talk to Isy Suttie – comedian, singer, actress, author and Dobby from Peep Show – about her lowest (and funniest) Fringe moments “I started early with the Fringe. My dad – Scottish – would bring me up when I was 5 or 6 and I saw a lot of kids’ shows. I […]

Article filed on Friday, August 19th, 2016. Read More

City of Dreams (possibly Kafka’s)

I live in the greatest place on earth, says Derwent Cyzinski. But the way it’s run is often like an absurd black comedy The trammage done Have you checked out the live Chilcot report read-through at Bob’s Blundabus? There’s another report that begs to be read in its entirety by comedians in a shed. That […]

Article filed on Friday, August 19th, 2016. Read More

This Year’s Fringe Theme – Dulux Bukkake

People – especially creative people – tend to reach the same conclusions at the same times. Fitzroy and Wallace landed upon evolutionary theory about the same time as Darwin. A whole raft of geophysicists, having spent the previous decade laughing at the theories of Alfred Wegener, suddenly decided that his Continental Drift theory was correct. […]

Article filed on Thursday, August 18th, 2016. Read More

Theatre Sectioned

By Limp Giardia Macbeth With Fish Stuffed Up Our Arses Assembly Poxy, 16:00 As always, Fringegoers this year will have a cornucopia of Macbeths to choose from. There’s the Modern Macbeth at the Concrete Hardbastard Theatre, or Maccie B’s N Txtspk at the Fluffy Warehouse, with its iconic rendering of “Is shankICB4I fam??” After having […]

Article filed on Saturday, August 6th, 2016. Read More

Let’s Sell This Gig Out!

Michael Legge urges us to give each of these great comics a crowd surge.  We’ll be at these shows at these times… come with us!   FRIDAY 19th Alexander Bennett: Your Beloved Alexander Bennett PBH”Cowgatehead, 19:30 @AlexyBennett Very funny indeed. Very silly and satirical. Just bloody very good. So very go and very see him, […]

Article filed on Friday, August 5th, 2016. Read More

The Comedians

Dublin’s denizens of the comedy circuit take to the Fringe. A cartoon by Christian Talbot and Robbie Bonham

Article filed on Friday, August 5th, 2016. Read More

Circuit Bunny

Everyone’s favourite stuffed-toy lapine open spot has a stab at the free Fringe. By Liam Mullone (and friends)

Article filed on Friday, August 5th, 2016. Read More

Fringewords: ‘FFS’

If you move in lofty Fringe circles you may hear the abbreviation ‘FFS’ quite a bit in August. It stands for Festival Fringe Society. Confusingly, the same combination of letters has been taken up by sections of British youth as a quick way of saying “For Fuck’s Sake” in texts and emails. This has become […]

Article filed on Thursday, August 4th, 2016. Read More

From Genesis to Rebel Bacon: The Story so Far

Fringepig started as a humble website reviewing Fringe comedy reviewers. But just look at us now! We’re also a beer-soaked bit of paper in your hand. Remember three years ago? We were in the European Union. The skies were blue. We had a new Pope who wasn’t a dick. We used the word ‘meta’ all […]

Article filed on Thursday, August 4th, 2016. Read More

Culture’s Vultures

Holyrood has turned down City Hall and the big ‘cultural’ venues on their request for a tourist tax. But they’ll be back to pump the little guy next year Over the course of a year and 12 major festivals, 4.3 million geese fly north to Edinburgh and lay an enormous golden egg worth £261 million […]

Article filed on Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016. Read More

Ham Fist Award: The Winner

Well, after a night of Bob’s usual debauchery the winner has been announced. The Ham Fist Award reviewer for 2015 is Graeme Connelly of The List. The winning reviewee is Stuart Goldsmith. Graeme wins for his stunning use of bathos. In his review of Stuart Goldsmith: An Hour he worships at the feet of Goldsmith […]

Article filed on Sunday, August 30th, 2015. Read More

Ham Fist Award: The Shortlist!

The shortlist has been announced for the Ham Fist Award, the inaugural FringePig panel prize for the Fringe reviewer who most misunderstood what they were looking at. Sadly, the standard of reviewing this year has been much better than in the last two years. Once reliably bad publications such as Three Weeks and Broadway Baby […]

Article filed on Thursday, August 27th, 2015. Read More

Lewis Porteous: The Poem

Psychologists tell us that having a meaningful job you enjoy is the best way to stave off dark thoughts, and seasoned Fringe reviewer Lewis Porteous has that in spades. Why, only this Fringe he referred to comedians en masse as “an oppressive, self-centred, sporadically amusing establishment”. So far this Fringe he has used the words […]

Article filed on Tuesday, August 25th, 2015. Read More

Everyone’s A Critic, by German Chuckieegg

We liked this blog post by the renowned Teutonic cuddly bearded fried egg toy comedian German Chuckieegg, so we’ve reprinted it here. Does anyone else have an opinion on the recent reviewer habit of tweeting your reviews right at your face so you can’t avoid them? Tell our editor:   One of my least […]

Article filed on Sunday, August 23rd, 2015. Read More

Black Wednesday / Half Star Ratings

Every now and then we at FringePig like to feature something that complements our output but requires absolutely no effort on our part, except that of lying back and basking in reflected glory. So here is Back Row podcast #14; a conversation between two reviewers as imagined by Susan Harrison and Gemma Arrowsmith. You should probably […]

Article filed on Friday, August 21st, 2015. Read More

My Darkest Hour

Barrie the Bear recalls sixty awful minutes in which he nearly gave up on reviewing – and on life.   12:00 That review I posted on Twitter about that ground­-breaking act I saw went live 10 minutes ago. Nobody has told me that I’m the next Kate Copstick yet. Well, I’m sure the praise will come. Just hit […]

Article filed on Friday, August 21st, 2015. Read More

Are We Total Dicks About Spellign?

In order to laugh at others, one must first be able to laugh at oneself. And we do that here at FringePig. We find each other very amusing. And cuddly. Folly is a part of the human condition, and the stuffed toy condition too. We are all prone to errors. So when a reader pointed […]

Article filed on Wednesday, August 19th, 2015. Read More

Woof! I Met the Media!

Ah, Meet the Media. The chance for hundreds of people to stand in queues for a long time and then attempt to remember why their show is great for some people who are bored to death hearing hundreds of people tell them their show is great. As I stood in line, sniffing the bins and […]

Article filed on Monday, August 10th, 2015. Read More

Win Lunch With Mister Kipper!

YES! YOU can win an Edinburgh Fringe lunch with FringePig editor Mister Kipper! He will even buy you a starter and a glass of wine AND provide three genuine grunts of acknowledgement. He will even feign interest in how your show is going! Mister Kipper is a classically-trained actor, so when you tell him that a […]

Article filed on Friday, August 7th, 2015. Read More


As you’ll know by now, this year Fringepig is presenting the Ham Fist Award for the review that gets the wrong end of the Fringe’s shittiest stick. We can’t WAIT to see who, this year, completely misunderstands what’s in front of them. But what about the reviewer bons mots that just make us roll our […]

Article filed on Friday, August 7th, 2015. Read More

Reviews ‘Worse Than Unprotected Sex’ Says Stuffed Toy Doctor

A shocking report, released to FringePig today, shows the effect of being reviewed on the minds of young comedians. The report was shown to us by a stuffed toy doctor sitting in the corner of the Burke and Hare, and has been compiled using the very best pens and paper and double-blind asking people vague questions […]

Article filed on Thursday, August 6th, 2015. Read More

Barrie the Bear: A Star-Crossed Fringe Lover

Through the years of living in Edinburgh I had gained a strong love for the month of August. What bear doesn’t? I loved the chaotic creativity as like-minds collide and combine, sparking new projects, ideas, friendships and everything in between. In 2011, I decided to get involved and contributed as a reviewer to The Skinny, […]

Article filed on Wednesday, August 5th, 2015. Read More

It’s the Ham Fist Award!

A new prize is being offered by Fringepig. The prize was made possible by a gift from a Fringepig fan; a well-known industry personality who wishes to remain anonymous. The prize of £200, called the Ham Fist, will go to the most critically misunderstood show of the Fringe. Previous winners might have been Marcel Lucont, […]

Article filed on Monday, August 3rd, 2015. Read More

A new Fringe! A new Fringepig!

Greetings, fans of the hallowed art of comedy reviewer-review. You find us geared up and ready for another fantastic year. Last year we debuted with 207 reviewers, and this year we hope to add at least 50 more if there’s sufficient fresh meat in the critic machine. If not we’ll have to update some old […]

Article filed on Monday, August 3rd, 2015. Read More

Star Whores

Comedians: as yet another Fringe draws to a close, ask yourself this question: is there anyone – anyone at all – you wouldn’t accept stars from? If there was a publication called The Fascist Quarterly, and it gave you five stars, would they go on your poster? What about The Daily Rapist? The Vivisectionist Gazette? I only ask […]

Article filed on Monday, August 25th, 2014. Read More

Week 3: It’s Like Porn Burnout

So, Week Three. In Week Three, in a small room, you realise – or is it remember? – that people are horrible. Goethe once said: “Nothing shows a man’s character more than what he laughs at.” But the truth is that any other involuntary reaction will show a man’s character just as well: You may […]

Article filed on Tuesday, August 19th, 2014. Read More

Chortle Choonup

AN OCCASIONAL COLUMN IN WHICH WE RENDER A CHORTLE REVIEW READABLE, OUT OF KINDNESS AND CHRISTIAN CHARITY At the beginning of the Fringe, Chortle editor Steve Bennett was kind enough to draw our attention to one of our reviewer-reviews. It had been written without due care and attention, such that the reviewer under review appeared […]

Article filed on Monday, August 18th, 2014. Read More

Crap Things Reviewers Do… #2

INSISTING THAT A SHOW ‘MUST MEAN SOMETHING’ In 1991, when Frank Skinner won the Perrier Award, it was with a show that had no overarching point. It didn’t have a theme, it didn’t have a purpose and it didn’t attempt to address inequalities or shift the basis of society. He beat Eddie Izzard, whose show […]

Article filed on Saturday, August 16th, 2014. Read More

After The Hiatus, The Swarming

Former reviewer, former comedian and present-day penitent Jemyma C Noevil looks at the reviewer-infestation at the end of Week Two Like a big, rusty, clapped-out bus built in 1947 the Fringe takes an age to start, and longer to get moving. Every year, despite everyone wanting to get there early, book accommodation early, get set up early, get […]

Article filed on Tuesday, August 12th, 2014. Read More

A Decade of Glorious Reviews

The best thing about doing the Fringe is that nothing else is happening in the rest of the world at all. Our favourite thespian-comic Fringe rabbit Olivia Self-Awareness remembers ten years of scouring the review pages. 2004: I remember that year so well. Everyone loved me, except for Skinny-Fest magazine as it was then known. I […]

Article filed on Friday, August 8th, 2014. Read More

Venue focus: Espionage (185)

Anyone who has ever tried to put on comedy in a pub function room will be familiar with the intransigence of landlords or, as they so often are these days, ‘bar managers’. They grudgingly allow you to put on an event in their underused grotto, then forget they ever met you. They take down all […]

Article filed on Wednesday, August 6th, 2014. Read More

Arts Award Voice: Is this a reviews site, or is it Nazi child abuse?

We are all familiar with Godwin’s Law by now – the process by which any online discussion will, if allowed to rumble on long enough, end with someone invoking Hitler or the Nazis. But it’s not always so. On Mumsnet, I am told, ‘child abuse’ is the nuclear button that ends all sensible argument. So […]

Article filed on Sunday, August 3rd, 2014. Read More

Crap Things Reviewers Do… #1

SAYING ‘THE UNSCRIPTED BITS WERE BEST’ “The unscripted bits were actually funnier than the show” “The banter with a man in the front row actually suggested to me that compereing might be more his forte”. “The biggest laughs came off the back of an ad-libbed exchange with a woman in the audience”   Did you […]

Article filed on Friday, August 1st, 2014. Read More

Reviewing 101, with Professors Bob and Jägermeister

Bob Slayer’s Rather Smelly Badger recalls the night a naive young reviewer became a little wiser  “Last year at the Fringe –  I believe it was the opening week – I had dropped in on my owner’s Midnight Mayhem show because I was living in a cupboard upstairs and I didn’t like the look of […]

Article filed on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014. Read More

Solitude is not an option

Fringepig caught up with Louis the Self-Destructive Bear, star of about a trillion free Fringe shows, at a café in Southeast London. We asked him how he feels about his many reviews. “EVERYTHING I’ve ever learned is from a reviewer. I don’t trust anyone’s opinion unless they put it in print for other people to […]

Article filed on Sunday, July 20th, 2014. Read More

Death by 1000 Cunts

This website is the very last thing I wanted to happen. Exactly five years ago today I felt myself amused, in a grim way, by Metro’s opinion on the teacher who tried to beat a student to death in Mansfield. It said that the attack was “especially surprising” because the website had given this […]

Article filed on Thursday, July 3rd, 2014. Read More

Ten Rules for Good Reviewing

Well, here we are telling reviewers what’s wrong with them, like arrogant stuffed wankers. Don’t we have anything positive to say? Of course we do. We’ve spoken to the stuffed toys of comedy about how they feel reviewing could be more positive, constructive and useful. We’ve made a note of the criticisms that cropped up […]

Article filed on Thursday, July 3rd, 2014. Read More