News | 134 more outstanding shows join Pleasance Theatre Trust’s Edinburgh Fringe programme

134 more outstanding shows join Pleasance
Theatre Trust’s Edinburgh Fringe programme

The 2024 Edinburgh Fringe programme at the Pleasance brings a range of phenomenal work from the UK and overseas with international sensations, award-winning artists, home-grown Scottish talent, emerging newcomers and much more. The Pleasance Theatre Trust mark their 40th festival this summer and this programme of comedy, theatre, cabaret, magic, family shows and talks illustrates the reason people rush back to their venues year after year.


Pleasance’s comedy programme is always top notch and some amazing names are headlining this year. 2018 Edinburgh Comedy Award winner and creator of Starstruck, Rose Matafeo returns to the Fringe with On and On and On. The bad girl of comedy, Sophie Duker, brings her delusional new show BUT DADDY I LOVE HER to Edinburgh. Internationally-acclaimed virtuoso ventriloquist, BAFTA nominee and British Comedy Award winner Nina Conti presents Whose Face Is It Anyway?, exploring and celebrating families and how f*cked they all are. Sheeps are back with hysterical new show Sheeps: The Giggle Bunch (That’s Our Name For You). One of the best stand-ups of his generation, Ivo Graham proves he’s not just Taskmaster’s yardstick for failure in Grand Designs. Jordan Brookes recently had a near death experience – Fontanelle is loosely inspired by that

Fresh from their residency at London’s iconic Comedy Store, Fringe favourites Paul Merton and Suki Webster, two of the UK’s leading improvisers, present their new show Paul Merton & Suki Webster’s Improv Show to the fringe. Ahir Shah brings his 2023 Sky Edinburgh Comedy Award winning show ENDS back for 12 shows only, all about family, immigration, marriage, history, politics and beans. One of Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch 2019, Patti Harrison returns to Edinburgh following sell-out runs in 2022-23 with My Huge Tits Huge Because They Are Infected NOT FAKE. After two critically-acclaimed, sell-out runs, Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Show 2023 nominee Ania Magliano returns with Forgive Me, Father. Following multiple sell-out tours and barnstorming appearances at JFL Montreal and Melbourne ICF, the Live At The Apollo star Celya AB is back with Of All People to tackle the big three: beauty, money and the void.

Joining the Pleasance family from overseas are an incredible array of Edinburgh newcomers. Melanie Bracewell (Taskmaster NZ) debuts at the Fringe with her signature style of goofy, punchline-heavy comedy that has earned her sell-out shows all around the world. Indian stand-up sensation Kanan Gill makes his Fringe debut with WHAT IS THIS?. After a stalking incident forced Anna Akana into retirement for six years, she’s back – and armed with a restraining order and a plethora of new stories to tell in It Gets Darker. Demi Adejuyigbe Is Going To Do One (1) Backflip is a very special comedy show featuring original comedic songs, presentations, bits, and one (1) single backflip. After selling out shows across America, Rachel Kaly brings Hospital Hour to the Fringe to perfectly explain why she is so mentally ill. Pussy-poppin’ Mel & Sam are yanking you by ya ponytails through a chaotic hour of musical sketch and all-original songs in Pony.

Already well-known on the comedy circuit, some amazing comedians are now coming to the Pleasance this summer for the first time. Meet Charlie George: an ex-Jehovah’s Witness escape artist and walking survival guide whose debut hour is a laugh-till-you-snort journey in Burning Down the House. The hotly anticipated show Farm Fatale is from agricultural icon Katie Norris – likely to cause delight or distress to anyone who becomes involved with her or her livestock. Sold out, cult shows in the North East, acclaimed short films, their own web series, now Metroland debut at the Edinburgh Fringe, bringing an all new sketch show that promises laughter, profanity and a generous use of the term ‘entertainment’.

Amy Annette, host of hit podcast What Women* Want, has a lot to say about growing up in the noughties and being a woman and now she shares it with us in Thick Skin. Zoe Brownstone has been performing stand up since before dating apps existed but still doesn’t know how love works yet she’s certain she’s unlocked several mysteries of the heart in A Bit of Yours. Don’t miss a dry debut stand-up hour Free Mason from Amy Mason about coming out, parenting, and starting all over again. Award-winning comedian Rich Spalding brings his hotly anticipated show, about working for a living and dying sometime after. Fresh from therapy, Isobel Rogers and her guitar are here to pose modern life’s less frequently asked questions in HOW TO BE CONTENT. Join viral sensation Lou Taylor in her unmissable stand-up hour taking us back to the nostalgic ‘90s in Jeans and a Nice Top. Expect visual aids, balloons and a heartwarming insight into the relationship between mother and her autistic son with Josephine Lacey in Autism Mama.

Debut hour of stand-up and characters from Derek Mitchell (Ted Lasso), Double Dutch is about the journey from being an outsider to a sort-of insider and making sense of all the cultural nonsense and confusion in between. Dan Wye Am I Sam Smith? explores the absurd reality of being publicly doppelgäng-banged until you no longer exist – from Dan Wye one of the country’s most prominent comedy/cabaret performers. Eddy Hare (BBC New Comedy Awards Nominee) serves up his debut hour with This One’s On Me. BANGTAIL is an epic journey of a man in search of his manhood; saddle up for unbridled cowboy clown chaos. A sticky, spooky horror comedy about gender reveal parties, demons from hell, and a Gay Witch Sex Cult comes from Andrew Doherty.

You’ll know them from social media and now they’re on our stages. Online comedy sensation Henry Rowley makes his highly anticipated Edinburgh debut with fast paced stand up and character comedy in Just Literally. A baby and a Fringe debut – that’s one mother of a year but Freya Mallard’s having it all and she’s determined to debut with The Bounce Back! Carpet-fitter turned comedian Jack Skipper delivers Skint, a show about how he went from a tradesman with no qualifications, to a full-time comedian (with no qualifications).

The Pleasance Comedy Reserve is the place to see exciting new talent: this year we’re celebrating 20 years of the Reserve and are welcoming eight previous recipients of the Fund to present their debut shows. As seen on BBC, ITV2, Comedy Central and Channel 4, Abi Clarke has taken the internet by storm; now it’s time to see what she does best in (Role) Model. In Quinceañera, Katie Green (Pleasance Comedy Reserve 2022) tells the story of her coming of age celebration being later than expected. Fresh, exciting, and overall just happy to be here, Dee Allum is the greatest transgender comedian her small village has ever produced. Pleasance Comedy Reserve Alumni and heart-throb of low-energy comedy, Danny Clives makes his debut with Danny Explains It All. In Swimming In A Submarine, Jin Hao walks you through the seascape of his mind, filled with nightmares of being a spider, dreams of joining the yakuza, and breezy memories of serving in the military, with the boys.
The First 3 Minutes of 17 Shows is a silly, goofy, heartfelt show from co-host of Help Hole podcast Abby Wambaugh. In Vladislav, Baby Don’t Hurt Me, the multi award-winning stand up Vlad Ilich explores his obsessions with chess and how it led him to leave North Macedonia for the bright lights of the UK comedy scene. With the Best Will in the World is the exciting debut from rising star Will Robbins exploring masculinity, disability and cretins.

We all love to see our Fringe favourites returning with new material and old classics! After years away from stand-up (due to the global pandemic and a lack of interest in being out late), Alice Snedden the co-writer and co-director of BBC and HBO’s Starstruck returns with Highly Credible! Character comedian Emma Sidi is back at the Edinburgh Fringe as Sue Gray. Fuelled entirely by delusion, tequila and the girls group chat, The Bisexual’s Lament is Lou Wall’s musical journey from the pits of personal hell to comic stardom. Take a swan-dive into a physical comedy fantasia of kings and clowns and one absolutely hideous duck in Luke Rollason, Luke Rollason Let Down Your Hair. Friendly Stranger is a solo sketch show packed with lovable characters, charisma and inspired spontaneity, from the internationally award-nominated star Steen Raskopoulos. After running out of life-story, the four-time Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee is after a new comedic muse; Kieran Hodgson returns to the Fringe with a work in progress.

As seen on BBC’s Live at the Apollo, American transplant Spring Day explores the nature of cults and the role that they play in our everyday lives in Exvangelical. Fresh from a world tour, South Africa’s hottest stand-up Schalk Bezuidenhout returns to the Edinburgh Fringe with new show, Crowd Pleaser, guaranteed to have you laugh and laugh and laugh. Last year, John Tothill (Chortle Awards’ Best Newcomer nominee 2024) was visited by a series of terrible plagues and he’s desperate to tell you all about it in Thank God This Lasts Forever. Horses is the first-ever comedy show at the Edinburgh Festival performed entirely by a horse – made by award-winning Elf Lyons, performed by Treacle. A year after inexplicably winning Dave’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe, Lorna Rose Treen brings Skin Pigeon back to the Fringe. Following his sell-out international tour, Neil Delamere presents his hilarious tall tales, razor sharp observations and quick-witted improvisation in Neil by Mouth. F*ck Off and Leave Me Alone is the debut stand-up hour from writer, actor and comic Juliet Cowan

BAFTA and Olivier-award expectee Graham Dickson (Austentatious, All My Friends Hate Me) presents his eagerly anticipated, deeply personal and revelatory one-man show, No One Deserves This More Than You. Following a sold-out Off-Broadway debut, Caitlin Cook‘s hit bathroom graffiti musical transforms stall scribbles into the lyrics of her original songs in The Writing on the Stall. Having already saved pretty much everything else, Garry Starr is now taking it upon himself to save our flightless, feathered friends from extinction by performing every Penguin Classic novel ever written in Classic Penguins. For years Horatio Gould has made fun of modern self-help gurus but he’s starting to realise he’s not as different from them as he might think. The Greatest Performance of My Life is a heartfelt journey through the joys, sorrows, and hilarity of life from Justin Moorhouse. Join magician, comedian and charlatan Pete Heat on a surreal journey into your own brain in Bogus

Some shows present us with fast paced line-ups, some are late at night and some are only with us for short runs so watch out! Star of Taskmaster, Ghosts, and Stath Lets Flats, Kiell Smith-Bynoe brings his unmissable improvised comedy show, Kool Story Bro, back to the Fringe for one week only! Join comedians, basic huns and horror stans Hannah Byczkowski (Winner of The Traitors) and Suzie Preece (Finalist, Leicester Square New Comedian of the Year), as they bring you the world’s creepiest stories in Ghost Huns Live.

Brooklyn’s finest improv supergroup Ladies Who Ranch (Kelly Cooper, Caitlin Dullea, Maya Sharma, Caroline Yost, and Sophie Zucker) present an hour of comedy that will blow your mind and open your heart. In this unmissable Fringe institution, 12 top comedy and variety acts perform ridiculously short sets in Chortle Fast Fringe, one furiously fast-paced showcase with a different lineup every day. And don’t miss the Chortle Student Comedy Award Final to see one rising stand-up star crowned Britain’s funniest student.


This year’s theatre programme is mind-blowing with new musicals, historical retellings, takes on classics, Fringe favourites, storytelling, magic and so much more. An apocalyptic rom-com from the razor-sharp pen of playwright provocateur and Fringe First Winner David Finnigan, watch four hilarious actors ‘go down’ on their microphones, mangos and melons in 44 Sex Acts In One Week, a slippery and subversive take on a classic radio play. The five-star, multi sell-out Fringe phenomenon Sh!t-faced Shakespeare® is back with its hilarious combination of an entirely serious adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and an absolutely sh!t-faced actor!

Fresh from the runway of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, Join comedian, crash mat and winner of Season 5 Ginger Johnson as she swaps her stilettos for safety goggles and takes a death-defying leap from the runway to the real world in Ginger Johnson Blows Off! Fan Favourite comedy crossdresser Kate Butch’s jukebox musical brings us stand-up comedy, live vocals and lipsync extravaganzas in Wuthering Shites. Award winning Drag King Bi-Curious George presents Queer Planet; a raucous romp through the animal kingdom which aims to shatter the heteronormative binaries through which we view the natural world.

The stage is an important and pressing place for true stories and autobiography. Performed at the U.S. Capitol Center, Sell Me: I Am From North Korea is a powerful and gripping solo piece inspired by the true stories of incredibly courageous North Korean women defectors. The Shroud Maker is a compelling black comedy inspired by a real-life character, weaving a harrowing story of courage, love, escape and disappointment with comic fantasy and true stories to create a vivid portrait of life in Palestine before recent events. Based on the true story of Lani’s upbringing as a young carer, The Room Upstairs features immersive audio, original compositions and one frustrated daughter.

Autobiography continues with Chatterbox, from Lubna Kerr, a humorous and touching one-woman show looking at the impact of the labels we are given as children and how they persist into adulthood. Twenty years, sixteen postcodes, one city; in 16 Postcodes, Jessica Regan (BBC, Channel 4, The Guilty Feminist) shares lessons lived and learned from a life in no particular order as the audience help her move North, South, East and West. Sisyphean Quick Fix is a heartfelt, true-to-life comedy drama about love, family and the complex realities of addiction. Multi-award-winning writer-performer Katie Arnstein (Sexy Lamp, Sticky Door) is back with The Long Run, a joyful, captivating comedy about love, cancer and running for a really long time.

The world today doesn’t leave artists short of inspiration. Multi award winners Ugly Bucket
(Untapped 2022) present Stuffed – a roaring rally cry, a blazing inferno of physicality, clown, original music, and transformative personal testimony about Food Banks. Fringe First winner Joe SellmanLeava and Dylan Howells embark on a quest to uncover how the economy wins elections and why the force that dominates our lives is so bloody complicated in their bold new show It’s The Economy, Stupid!

It’s time for amazing drag and queer joy! Last year saw some incredible new musicals launched at the Fringe and this year is no exception! Tit Swingers is a new Queer Punk Gig Musical about Anne Bonney and Mary Read – polyamorous queer pirates that got the title of Hellcats of the Seven Seas for their various vicious and notorious crimes! Featuring puppetry, shadow play, unforgettable music, and surreal meta-humour, Kafka’s Metamorphosis: The Musical! With Puppets! has delighted swarms of audiences from New York to Montréal and now skitters into Scotland for its Fringe debut. Inspired by real events, The Emu War musical tells the story of how ex-military men worked the farmlands of Australia after WW1 – get your tail feathers ready for some birds, bums, and guns! Together for over 25 years, The Jive Aces are renowned worldwide for their high-energy live show; having played for Her Majesty the Queen and become the first band to reach the finals of Britain’s Got Talent, they continuously showcase why they are the UK’s No.1 Jive & Swing band!

Many shows blur the boundaries between genres incorporating music into their theatrical mastery. Boy In Da Korma is a comedy solo show – featuring live music, hip-hop and Irish trad – about one kid’s desperate attempt to belong as much as he wants to stand out.

Shakespeare and Mary Shelley get their ‘next’ moment at the Fringe. Fringe Legend Pip Utton is Shakespeare in At Home With Will Shakespeare, a moving and comic romp through Will’s life, including some of his greatest hits, performed by the man himself. Join Hamlet’s legendary jester Yorick as he reconnects with his lost love of performance in Hamstrung, an interactive ghost story. One man, one monster, one glorious dream to singlehandedly tell the most famous horror story of all time, and absolutely no budget whatsoever; Frankenstein (On A Budget) is the comedy musical hammer horror homage that you didn’t know you needed.

You’ll recognise some of the names gracing the Pleasance’s stages this year. Join Jake Roche as he squeezes out every last drop of celeb juice, dishing the dirt and spilling the tea on the world of fame in Neporrhoids. Rita Lynn: Life Coach is a deliciously dark drama and a cautionary tale from one who knows – a one-woman show written by and starring Louise Marwood (Emmerdale). Bebe Cave’s The Screen Test is a dark comedy about delusion, desperation and dreams. OOF! sees legendary double act Fiasco Job Job, Arthur Smith and Phil Nice, reunite for one final time to celebrate their 40th anniversary in a hilarious sit-down drama about age, showbiz and the cartography of friendship. The Fringe’s favourite poet Luke Wright returns with stacks of brilliant, big-hearted poems that get to grips with mulchy middle-age in Joy!

Some shows just can’t keep away and return after their huge Fringe successes. Ben Target:
won a highly coveted Fringe First in 2023: a life-affirming story about death, conveyed through the popular media of storytelling, servitude to the audience and live carpentry. Following a sold out, award-winning run at the Fringe last year, the People’s Princess is back as Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story returns to our stages with drag, multimedia, audience interaction, puppetry and queer joy. Combining epic storytelling, razor-sharp impressions and a dose of theatrical magic, Joe Sellman-Leava’s Fanboy returns offering a nostalgic, love-hate letter to pop culture. The entire 144 episodes of cult 90s TV show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as told through the eyes of Spike, the one character who knows it inside out; Buffy Revamped returns for one week only. After a 5* sell-out run in 2023, Burning Down the Horse is back – an immersive comedy epic that drops you into the heart of the most iconic wooden animal in history, the Trojan Horse.

It’s time to be scared! Box Tale Soup will present an astonishing adaptation of Gulliver’s Travels with ingenious puppetry, stirring shanties and sharp satire. From the same company Casting the Runes takes you to the edge of your seat, on a journey to the darkest corners of the night, where Edward Dunning life becomes a waking nightmare. In Buckets Of Blood – Fairy Tales Not For Kids, storyteller Eden retells a collection of some of the darker tales from the Grimms while letting you know what popular fairy tales have left out.

Boundary breaking technology, mesmerising magic and amazing puppetry are all part of this year’s programme. Join this extraordinary journey to discover the beats and rhythms of a busy, beautiful woodland world told from the perspective of an acorn in Breathe with its stunning puppetry and groundbreaking live camera work. Andrew Frost is one of the best card magicians in the world and in Cards on the Table he recounts how he stumbled upon the world of magic in a second-hand bookshop. While magician Tom Brace has opened his very own theme park and you’re invited to the grand opening; The Ride 4D is a world first ride experience using 3D technology combined with magic!

Love and relationships are often not far from our minds. Juniper & Jules is an award-winning play about two women redefining romance, an honest reflection on modern dating under the double bind of sexism and homophobia. A sharp satire on contemporary masculinity and male entitlement, Did You Mean To Fall Like That is a tender, nuanced story of fertility issues, the trauma of miscarriage, divorce and male mental health. Exploring queer friendship, platonic love, and nuclear anxiety, Seconds to Midnight asks what happens in a world with no consequences. Me For You is a play about love and saving the human race, in the face of overwhelming evidence that we’re a despicable race of selfish parasites.

We’re in Scotland and it’s time for some quintessentially Scottish stories. Returning after seven sellout Fringe seasons is acclaimed immersive adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s classic novel, Trainspotting Live where the audience become part of the action! A play exploring religious and cultural identity, Singin’ I’m No A Billy, is a phenomenon in Scotland where it has sold out countless nationwide tours; what happens when on the day of the Old Firm Match, you lock up a Celtic and Rangers fan in a cell together?! For the first time, there will be gender alternating casts across the festival with He’s A Tim, playing on selected days.

And that’s far from all in this utterly amazing programme. A smash-hit satire by multi award winning comedy writers for Netflix and BBC Television, Love’s a Beach looks at six months after your five minutes of fame! After the success of Ringer, Out To Lunch and Goons, Hughie Shepherd-Cross returns to the Fringe with Gang Bang, a surreal and madcap parody of 20th century gangster films rammed with pastiches. Never Get to Heaven in an Empty Shell is a tragically semiautobiographical tragicomedy – will an unlikely encounter with a ghost at Angel Station persuade Claud to start living again? A show about the pain and beauty of growing older, Look After Your Knees is a visual and physical collage performed by a clown. Squidge is a one-woman show by award-winning screenwriter and actress Tiggy Bayley about those left behind by our education system and finding love in a world determined to hate. Sorry (I Broke Your Arms And Legs) is a riotous debut PowerPoint presentation combining the thrills of World Book Day with the hilarity of the Maths Olympiad. Toy Stories, or How Not To Make a Living as an Artist is a hilarious (true) storytelling performance, featuring childhood toys, Art Education, Pig-Framers, Boris, Monks, Nazis and Scalextric enthusiasts.

Finally, like the Royal Variety Show of the Fringe, Mervyn Stutter’s Pick of the Fringe celebrates its 31st year bringing audiences live extracts from seven top shows in a packed 90-minute lunchtime extravaganza.

Childrens Shows

Shows for all the family are so important to the Pleasance who host their renowned KidZone in the Courtyard every year. Come along and take part: Captain Zak’s Space Pirate Problems and he needs your help – this interactive adventure is perfect for all lively small people and their grownups as they work together to solve puzzles and sing songs. Join your host, comedian Benny Shakes, as two teams battle it out to come up trumps in Blue Badge Bunch where disadvantage is an advantage!


Award-winning LBC radio presenter and For the Many podcast host Iain Dale is back at the Fringe with All Talk, his acclaimed, incisive insight on current affairs back with in-depth interviews featuring audience questions. Guests include: former First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond; Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar; TV presenter and journalist Ben Shephard; football pundit and presenter Chris Kamara MBE; political activist and business leader Gina Miller, who successfully challenged the UK government’s prorogation of the Westminster Parliament in 2019; First Minister of Scotland and Leader of the Scottish National Party, Humza Yousaf MSP; Jess Phillips, the MP for Birmingham Yardley and former Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding in Keir Starmer’s
Labour frontbench team; former Prime Minister Liz Truss; Rachel Reeves MP, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer; former Scottish Conservative leader, Baroness Davidson; British political scientist Sir John Curtice; broadcaster and journalist Michael Crick; journalist Brian Taylor and; Wes Streeting MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. There will also be a hustings-style debate in a pre-election special featuring four Scottish MPs – Andrew Bowie MP, Stephen Flynn MP, Christine Jardine MP and Ian Murray MP.

With more shows to be announced over the coming months there will be comedy, theatre, circus, magic, dance, kids’ shows and much more, alongside support for some of the most innovative newcomers through artist development strand Pleasance Futures. There’s nowhere quite like the Pleasance at Fringe!