laura ramoso

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

Italian dads and several different parodies of The Exorcist make up the very best sketch comedy our critics found at the Edinburgh Fringe 2023.

Two weeks, a dozen burritos and a whole lot of shoe leather later, 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 (here, we’ve decided it’s sketch) as possible.

Sketch has been a far more difficult find at this year’s Fringe than in years gone by, with the zeitgeist firmly swinging in the direction of long-form comedy plays for anyone interested in scripted giggles. But there are still plenty of gems to be found in the sketchy streets of Edinburgh from both established acts and the hundreds of university sketch troupes that make the pilgrimage every year.

The Fringe really does thrive off recommendations, so without further ado, here’s our rundown of the very best sketch shows we found vying for attention in the Scottish capital.

Laura Ramoso: Frances

Laura Ramoso frances review

Laura Ramoso is bringing her brand of TikTok-flavoured sketch comedy to Edinburgh for the first time (Photo: Nick Merzetti)

Laura Ramoso: Frances review | Viral sketches succeed on stage

TikTok stars are no stranger to the Edinburgh Fringe circuit. In fact, the whole Fringe this year is sponsored by the social media giant. Far rarer, though, is the online act that survives the transition to stage intact, but that’s exactly what Laura Ramoso has done with her Edinburgh debut show, Frances. Maintaining everything fans have come to love from her hundreds of videos while demonstrating a remarkable live presence. This one-woman show is a tour-de-force of modern sketchy goodness.

Laura Ramoso: Frances is playing at the Pleasance Dome from 20:20 until 28 August. Get your tickets here.

Ange Lavoipierre: Your Mother Chucks Rocks and Shells

Ange Lavoipierre

Credit: Ange Lavoipierre

Ange Lavoipierre: Your Mother Chucks Rocks and Shells review | This exorcism does a whole lot of good

When David Gordon Green’s reboot of the Exorcist franchise, Exorcist: Believer, comes out later this year, it will no longer just have the original movie and its sequels to live up to. It will also compete with Ange Lavoipierre’s lucid-dreamed version, where Fathers Karras and Merrin drive around Reagan’s consciousness on a golf buggy hunting for leather shorts. Completely absurd, frequently baffling and totally original, Your Mother Chucks Rocks and Shells is a treat for horror fans and insomniacs everywhere.

Ange Lavoipierre: Your Mother Chucks Rocks and Shells is playing at The Wee Coo in Underbelly, George Square until 27 August. Get your tickets here.

Creepy Boys

creepy boys fringe review

Creepy Boys review | Twins only a mother could hate

Okay, you’ve got me. This isn’t really a sketch show. But then, if it’s not, then what is it? Brilliant, that’s what. A slightly satanic party bus with its sights set firmly on the absurd, this insane, bodily fluid-filled late-night show is the kind of thing that only exists at the Fringe. Come ready for a good time – and say hello to Sharon for me while you’re there.

Creepy Boys are playing at the Summerhall – Demonstration room at 22:00 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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