The Best Five Star Rated Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2023 Comedy Shows - Best 5* Gigs
Updated: Aug 16
Check out Comedy in Your Eye's 5* guide to the the best five star Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2023 Comedy Shows as reviewed and voted for by newspapers and reputable Festival review sites
Amy Matthews: I Feel Like I'm Made of Spiders ★★★★★
Where: Monkey Barrel Comedy (The Tron) - The Tron When: 3pm Dates: 14-15, 17-22, 24-27 August
Amy spins a sparkling web of comedy magic between the two states she finds herself caught between – stability and restlessness. She swings between the unbridled joy in the freedom that everything can change and the crawling anxiety that nothing is certain. This is a show about the thrill of falling and the thud of landing. And after a thud comes a laugh. 'Drily funny and giddily quirky' (Scotsman). 'You'd think she'd been doing this for decades' (BroadwayBaby.com). Tour support for Alfie Brown, Jess Fostekew and Rachel Fairburn.
André de Freitas: What If ★★★★★
Where: Pleasance Courtyard - Bunker Two When: 8:10pm Dates: 14-27 August
From living in a car and under a staircase, to becoming a male escort and now being Portugal's biggest young comedy star: this is the story of how I ended up here on this page.
A show about pursuing your dreams with an unwavering spirit of optimism.
'So funny, he's a star' Alan Carr
Tour support for Alan Carr, Russell Peters and Jim Gaffigan.
Ania Magliano: I Can't Believe You've Done This ★★★★★
Where: Pleasance Courtyard - Baby Grand When: 4:35pm Dates: 15-27 August
To the hairdresser at [redacted] Salon: You can take my money. You can take my dignity. You can take too much off the ends. But you cannot take my right to talk about it every day on stage. This is a show about the worst haircut of Ania Magliano's life. Ania's critically acclaimed 2022 debut run sold out entirely in a week. She's supported Marc Maron, Cat Cohen and Ed Gamble, and writes for Amelia Dimoldenberg's Chicken Shop Date. 'Will have you crying with laughter' **** (Guardian). **** (Times, Time Out, iNews.co.uk).
Chloe Petts: If You Can't Say Anything Nice ★★★★★
Where: Pleasance Courtyard - Pleasance Above When: Times Vary Dates: 15-27 August
Fresh from her smash-hit Edinburgh Fringe and Soho Theatre sell-out debut, Chloe Petts returns with her follow-up hour. Everyone complimented her on how polite she was with big issues in the last show so now she's cashing in those points and plans on being really rude. Expect routines on Greta Thunberg, the Queen and calling you all a bunch of virgins. 'A first show that was worth waiting for' (Guardian).
Dan Tiernan: Going Under ★★★★★
Where: Monkey Barrel Comedy - Monkey Barrel 2 When: 10:00pm Dates: 15-27 August
He's 27, gay and riddled with dyspraxia. Dan's had a big year, quitting his job as a dinner lady, going full-time in comedy and finally leaving home, yet somehow he still feels he's completely going under. The reigning BBC New Comedy Awards winner and British Comedian of the Year presents his gag-heavy, high-energy debut hour. Tour support for Micky Flanagan and Jamali Maddix. As seen on BBC, Channel 4, Comedy Central, Dave and ITV2. 'Raucously entertaining' (Guardian). 'A force-of-nature who sweeps the room up in his exhilarating performance into a frenzy of laughter' (Chortle.co.uk).
Ed Byrne: Tragedy Plus Time ★★★★★
Where: Assembly Rooms - Music Hall When: 9:30pm Dates: 15-27 August
Attributed to Mark Twain, humour is defined as tragedy plus time. Join Ed as he tests that formula by mining the most tragic event in his life for laughs. Praise for Ed's previous Edinburgh sold out run: ***** 'High quality stand-up from a master of observational comedy' (BroadwayBaby.com). ***** 'Definitely stand-up at its best' (VoiceMag.uk). ***** 'A masterclass from one of the finest comedians' (Magazine.DailyBusinessGroup.co.uk). ****½ 'wicked sense of humour, a charismatic stage presence engulfs the massive room packed to the rafters' (One4review.co.uk).
Jazz Emu: You Shouldn’t Have ★★★★★
Where: Pleasance Courtyard (Pleasance Two) When: 9:40pm Dates: Aug 17-27
Returning to Edinburgh Fringe after two sell-out runs at Soho Theatre, global sensation Jazz Emu is back with his virtuoso musical spectacular.
'This is a work of genius' ★★★★★ Telegraph
In 2016, Jazz Emu played the biggest gig he'd ever landed at the Helsinki Velodrome. But during his between-song patter, he carelessly insulted one of his biggest fans. Now he's back to clear his name and regain his former glory.
Will he be able to get every single person in the world to like him? Or is it time for him to face the music?
Joe McTernan: Life Advice That Won’t Change Your Life ★★★★★
Where: Underbelly, Bristo Square - Buttercup When: 6:45pm Dates: 15-28 August
Hugely anticipated debut hour from the Scottish viral sensation who's amassed over 30 million views online. Joe is fed up with seeing inspirational life advice online so join him as he lambasts this motivational nonsense and offers an alternative view which will encourage you to live life to the adequate amount. Joe has performed on BBC's The Comedy Underground, supported Tom Stade on tour and co-created the online (Scottish Comedy Award-winning) sitcom MUFF alongside Daniel Sloss and Craig Hill. Expect high energy, observational stand-up that’s 'sure to delight’ (Edinburgh Festivals Magazine).
Jon Culshaw: Imposter Syndrome ★★★★★
Where: Gilded Balloon Teviot - Debating Hall When: Times Vary Dates: 14, 16-27 August
The star of BBC Radio 4's Dead Ringers and BBC One's The Impressions Show follows up his 2018 sell-out Fringe residency with a brand-new hour of comedy and music. Join Jon as he conjures up an array of the best-known personalities from the worlds of entertainment, politics, and beyond in his trademark style. 'Culshaw delivers impressions of extraordinary variety and skill' (Times). 'Culshaw thrills audiences with his quick wit and wonderful impersonations' (BroadwayWorld.com).
Leo Reich: Literally Who Cares?! ★★★★★
Where: Pleasance Courtyard (Forth) When: 5:20pm Dates: Aug 24 only
Your favourite dilettante sociopath is back, fresh from an acclaimed off-Broadway run, to perform his multiple award nominated show one last time.
'High cheekbones' New York Times
'Life is an accumulation of losses, and their pace is accelerating' New York Times
'Taut, biting, and darkly hilarious' New York Times
Nominee Most Outstanding Show Award Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2023
Nominee Best Newcomer 2022 Edinburgh Comedy Awards
★★★★★ Time Out
Lorna Rose Treen: Skin Pigeon ★★★★★
Where: Pleasance Courtyard (The Attic) When: 4:35pm (extra show at 11.15pm on Aug 20) Until: Aug 27 (not 14)
Character comedian Lorna Rose Treen has been pretending to be other people for fun since she could dress herself. Now she's inviting you inside her mind for an hour of characters, comedy, content, content, content, costumes and content.
The greatest thing to come out of Redditch since the fishing tackle. The debut show from Chortle's Best Newcomer 2023 and Funny Women Awards' first-ever double winner (2022).
I laughed so much I violently bit my tongue' Independent
'Off-kilter energy and unflagging commitment to the silly' Chortle.co.uk
Myles And Dan Just Might Break A World Record Tonight ★★★★★
Where: Just the Tonic at The Caves - Just Up the Stairs When: 7:45pm Dates: 15-27 August
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. Live. Do your own research.
Paul Foot: Dissolve ★★★★★
Where: Underbelly, Cowgate - Belly Dancer When: 7:20pm Dates: 15-27 August
Life is a stress: full of rushed breakfasts, angry people, internal conflict, and Jacob Rees-Mogg. But what happens when all the stress simply disappears? Trailblazing comedian, Paul Foot, returns with his most personal, surprising and groundbreaking show ever. In the year 2022 AD something momentous changed for Paul, and in Dissolve he reveals how he discovered the secret of life. Inevitably he does get distracted by King Tutankhamun, the House of Lords, Sir Cliff Richard and officious lollipop ladies. As seen on Would I Lie To You?, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Cats Does Countdown.
Want to see more recommended shows? Then check out our top 15 most recommended shows guide.
Can't head up to Edinburgh this year? Catch our amazing weekly show at Comedy in Your Eye in London