Program Choice – Free Fringe


With over 3,000 shows now on sale for the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, trying to narrow down what to see can be a little tricky. BWW critic Natalie O’Donoghue has selected her top ten picks from the festival lineup to highlight the shows you really don’t want to miss this year!

Free Fringe shows are free and there will be bucket giveaways at the end. It’s expensive to bring a show to Edinburgh, so if you enjoyed the show, be as generous as you would for a paid show!

Sooz Kempner: Playstation

Twitter sensation Sooz (BBC Radio 4, BT Sport, BBC Radio 5 Live) got a PlayStation, the first console for adults, in 1998 and finally felt grown up. But is she? A stand-up show for anyone who remembers the 90s and had big childhood dreams. Suitable for gamers and non-gamers alike!

Anna Morris: Child life crisis

Award-winning comedian Anna Morris (Channel 4’s Lee and Dean, BBC’s Outnumbered, The First Team, Count Arthur Strong) brings his BBC Radio 4 special to life in this first stand-up show. For the first time in his career, Morris steps out of his beloved characters and reveals a side we’ve never seen. Kid-Life Crisis is an honest, funny, and uplifting show about turning 40, eligible bitchelors, biological clocks, and accepting “the other.”

Man with a guitar is playing story songs

Gecko’s playful story-songs will take you on a journey through characters overlooked in Italian Renaissance paintings, pig outlaws and tooth fairy administrators. Expect the spirit and warmth of Glastonbury Festival regular, fresh from the BAFTA-winning Sky Life and Rhymes TV show. Gecko has split bills with people like Tim Minchin, Ed Sheeran and Billy Bragg.

Are you interested in a comedy compilation show?

A comedy compilation show hosted by Tom Mayhew, heard on BBC Radio 4. All proceeds go to Turn2Us, a UK charity that helps people living in poverty. Lots of great laughs and lots of raised smiles. Every day will be different, with a different lineup for each show that showcases the full diversity of Edinburgh Fringe comedians. For lineups, follow Tom Mayhew on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

I tried to be funny but you weren’t looking

Ali Brice embraces life after almost losing it. Three years later, he’s admitted defeat and is back on his feet and trying again. Through therapy, friends and… sausages, he lives in the moment and celebrates the little things life has to offer. It’s a heartfelt, heartfelt, joyful show. Expect silly stories, big questions and jokes galore from a silly man with a silly mustache

The boys who punch holes in the walls

A heated argument and all-night conversation leaves childhood friends Max and Kieran shaken, with pent-up emotions exploding to the surface. They are forced to confront their own perception of who they are, what their friendship means to each other, and the men they become under pressure of how they want to be seen. In a new play from writer/director Lex Joyce, two young men explore what it means to be a “man” in the modern world of social media, sexuality and toxic masculinity.

Eliott Simpson: (A) Sexy and I know it

Eliott never liked sex. He loves doing people as much as he loves doing his taxes. But with tales of gender, stakes, queerness and cake, Simpson will open your eyes to the bizarre life of an asexual man trying to survive in a world obsessed with sex. So come on, keep your thong on, and enjoy the only show totally devoid of dick jokes… Well, there are, but they’re very intellectual.

Hatty Ashdown: The Worry Drawer

“Wonderfully inventive, always funny” (Time Out). ‘Innately funny’ ( Containing the cares of the neighborhood in her Worry Drawer, Hatty’s mother, Pat, was the heart of her working-class community. After her mother’s death, a grieving Hatty (Funny Mummies podcast, Comedy Central) sought out the Worry Drawer hoping it would reveal the secrets to dealing with life’s anxieties. This charming and amusing dedication to her mother leads Hatty to ask: is there a one-size-fits-all solution to every type of worry? Did the Worry Drawer really exist? And did Pat Ashdown always have the answers to a carefree life?

Jodie Mitchell and Hannah Platt: Thanks for sharing

A fraction of an hour of stand-up comedy from rising stars “awesome…natural comedy” (Guardian) Jodie Mitchell and “voice of a new generation” (Skinny) Hannah Platt. An “outstanding talent… dry, charming and politically charged” (Stage), Jodie won an Off-Broadway Award, appeared on Comedy Central Live, wrote on the hit show Sex Education and supported Olga Koch and Sofie Hagen on tour. Hannah is a BBC New Comedy Awards finalist and star of Laugh Lessons (BBC Three).

Aidan Jones – Tacos

My nickname is Taco – the first girl I kissed thought I looked Mexican. I’m actually Colombian. My mom was backpacking in South America when she was 22, came home and found out she was pregnant. In September 2019, I met my biological father for the first time. It got loads of likes on Instagram, so I wrote a show about it.

The full Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2022 program is available at

Check out our other program choices for theater the comedy musical comedies and children’s shows.

Photo credit: Samuel Black Photography/Alasdair Beckett King


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