shamilton best improv

whynow’s best of the fest | The best improv at the Edinburgh Fringe 2023

Gods, monsters and rap-battles abound in the very best improv shows our critics found at the Edinburgh Fringe 2023.

Two weeks, a dozen burritos and a whole lot of shoe leather later, and our crack Fringe-reviewing team have seen a whisker-shy of 1% of the shows at 2023’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe. I know, hold the applause.

But while every year you’re likely to leave the Fringe with a dozen missed show opportunities dangling in the back of your head, for anyone still planning a trip, there’re plenty of days left to cram in as much comedy, theatre and whatever Creepy Boys is as possible.

Where would the Edinburgh Fringe be without improv? The fast-paced American art form has come to dominate much of the festival’s biggest billboard slots in recent years, and for good reason: the format is easy to adjust, quick to produce and you’ve got a whole city full of actors who’ve been messing with it since university.

All that choice does mean you’re unlikely to be able to see it all, though, so without further ado, here’s our rundown of the very best improv shows we found vying for attention in the Scottish capital.

Shamilton! The Improvised Hip Hop Musical


Chris Grace also stars in Shamilton: The Improvised Musical

Shamilton! The Improvised Hip Hop Musical review | You’ll be back, again and again

Lin Manuel Miranda’s musical sensation Hamilton might have peaked in popularity half a decade ago, but this improvised send-up from Baby Wants Candy continues to go from strength to strength. Quick wits and a keen ear for a good Broadway tune combine to create one of the best musical improv shows at this year’s Fringe. Bonus points if you can be the first audience this year to get them to do Taylor Swift.

Shamilton! The Improvised Hip Hop Musical is playing at the Assembly, George Square at 17:20 until 27 August. Get your tickets here.

Any Suggestions, Doctor? The Improvised Doctor Who Parody


Credit: Steve Ullathorne

Any Suggestions Doctor review | Smartly sculpted improv for die-hard Whovians

A staple of the Edinburgh improv scene for a few years now, Any Suggestions, Doctor offers a riotously entertaining, ridiculously knowledgeable treat for Whovians and a whole lot of laughs for everyone else. With a delightfully ramshackle set and the synthiest soundscape this side of the eighties, Any Suggestions is a loving homage to one of the world’s best-loved sci-fi properties that roots itself firmly in a good plot and a dozen helpings of improvised intrigue.

Any Suggestions Doctor is playing at the Pleasance Dome at 17:30 until 27 August. Get your tickets here.

The Silliad: Improvised Myths and Legends

The Silliad best improv

Photo: Alice Lloyd Davies

Ancient myths often have the vibe of something made up on the spot, so it’s strange it’s taken the Edinburgh Fringe this long to make the jump to mythic improv. Now that they’re here, though, The Silliad are ready to re-write the legendary rulebook. Answering an audience question with the help of either the Egyptian, Greek or Norse pantheon, every show is a rollicking adventure story with no shortage of gods, both historical and entirely made-up.

The Silliad is playing at Just The Tonic – The Caves at 15:30 until 27 August. Get your tickets here.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023 runs until 28 August. You can view our comprehensive guide to the entire Fringe here.

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