25 Things to See at the Edinburgh Fringe 2023

22 Aug 2023

There's nothing quite like the Edinburgh Fringe. In 2023, the Fringe will take place from the 4th to the 28th of August, and the city will be filled with performers and visitors alike, all soaking up the electric atmosphere that the Fringe seems to bring.

Now, with over 3000 shows and exhibitions to choose from at the 2023 Edinburgh Fringe, it's not an easy task to narrow it down to 25 shows. So I've compiled this list based on recommendations, my own personal taste (sorry, let's hope I have good taste), and shows / artists that are returning from last year that I heard great things about. 

Hopefully there's something in here that appeals to you, but if not, you can pick up Fringe guides on the streets here in Edinburgh, and all of the shows are available to view on the Fringe website!

Reuben Kaye: The Butch is Back

I don’t think I spoke to a single person at the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe who hadn’t been to a Reuben Kaye show, and who also hadn’t said it was one of the funniest things they’ve ever seen. So I think with this show, you are guaranteed a hilarious night, especially as this is what all the reviews say too.

UPDATE: I have now been to see this and I have nothing to say except that Reuben Kaye is an absolute SUPERSTAR with an incredible voice. Do yourself a favour and get a ticket to this if you can!


August 15-20, 22-27


Get your ticket here!

Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story

The death of Princess Diana was an event that shook the world. We all know the story of what happened, but this show gives us a new take on it as she shares her extraordinary albeit untrue story from heaven. The description of this show says it blends drag, multimedia, audience interaction and puppetry, with a reviewer describing as unhinged. That’s all I really look for in a Fringe show, so I’m sure it will be a classic.

UPDATE: I have now seen this too and while it was potentially the most bonkers show I've ever seen, I was in physical pain from laughing so much. Definitely get a ticket for this one!


August 2-14, 17-20, 22-28


Get your ticket here!

Solve Along Murder She Wrote

In October 2022, we lost a legend. The absolute icon of stage and screen Angela Lansbury unfortunately passed away. Now whether you were a fan of Bedknobs and Broomsticks, or enjoyed her turn in The Manchurian Candidate, there’s one role that stands out among others. The one and only Jessica Fletcher from Murder She Wrote. If you’ve ever wanted to become Cabot Cove’s best crime writer and help solve a murder, this is the show for you!

UPDATE: Been to this too, and I can confirm that this should be the only way to ever watch an episode of Murder, She Wrote. Even if you have never seen a single episode of the show, you will have such a brilliant time as the host is an absolute pro that will have you hooked in no time, especially thanks to the multiple costume changes.

August 4-12, 14-19, 21-26


Get your ticket here!


Hello Kitty Must Die

Did you know the worldwide hit musical Six started right here at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017? So who knows, if you come to see a musical this year, you might be one of the first to see the next smash hit. Coming from the same producer as Six, is Hello Kitty Must Die, following the a disillusioned Chinese-American woman fed up of the stereotypes forced upon her by a white society. Described as an “irreverent musical mash-up of Asian feminism with a killer score”, if Six is anything to go by, you won’t want to miss this one.


August 2-7, 9-14, 16-21, 23-27 


Get your ticket here!

Shamilton! The Improvised Hip Hop Musical

Yes, we all want to go see Hamilton, but unfortunately it’s not very easy to get tickets. This however, is much more achievable, and probably a lot funnier, the story might be a wee bit different though. There is a lot of improv at the Fringe, but what could make it better than an improvised musical based on historical figures and celebrities chosen by the audience. If you’re a fan of improv, musicals, powerful singing, you’ll want to grab a ticket for this sell-out show.


August 2-27


Get your ticket here!


Want to learn about Scottish history via a musical and a very special storyteller… a toilet? Then you might want to get a ticket for Scots. It will take you on a journey through Scottish history and explores some of our most iconic stories, all from someone who has seen it all, yes… the toilet. Who knows, you might even learn something and feel like an expert the next time you’re on one of our tours and you already know the story a driver-guide is telling you!


August 14-16, 18-20, 22-27


Get your ticket here!

La Clique

An award-winning blend of circus, comedy and cabaret – basically everything you could want from a Fringe show, they’ve even won an Olivier Award, so you know it’s going to be good. It promises to be a stellar collection of new artists and unmissable favourites, with mountains of laughs and unbelievable moments, who knows what you’ll see!


August 4-13, 15-20, 22-26


Get your ticket here!

The Sorries

Having began their career at the Fringe in 2009, The Sorries are back to provide you all with some old Scottish songs. If you want to experience some classic Scottish music, and hear all of the tales in the music, some happy, some sad, then you might want to come along to this one. With plenty of banter in between the music, it should be a brilliant afternoon. This show is suitable for everyone and will give you all a taste of some of the songs a lot of us have known for years growing up here, and should give you a proper Scottish experience if you are visiting for the first time.


August 4-12, 14-19, 21-26


Get your ticket here!

A Midsummer Night's Dram

Now for any fans of our Ultimate Whisky Experience or Rosslyn Chapel, the Scottish Borders and Glenkinchie Distillery tour, of course there’s something at the Fringe for you too. Join the Scotch Malt Whisky Society for a tasting of three drams, beautifully complemented with fun and interesting whisky stories. Contrary to what the name suggests, this tasting is also available during the day, and there’s nothing like a few drams to get you into the Fringe spirit.


August 1-6, 8-13, 15-20, 22-27


Get your ticket here!

Children's Underground Vaults Tour

The best thing about the Fringe is that there is literally something for everyone, even the little ones! Now, this might be a wee bit scary for the very small children (the Edinburgh Vaults are scary even for adults, believe me), but this is a brilliant way to explore the gruesome history of Edinburgh! They’ll even learn something as they go around, all about the history and the uses of the vaults, from body snatchers to witches. You just might have to offer them some ice cream or something after.


August 4-27


Get your ticket here!

Ceilidhs (Scottish Dancing)

You’ve heard us mention Ceilidhs in our blogs before, you might have even heard them talked about out on tour, but do you want to experience one for yourself? There’s nothing quite like a ceilidh. They are full of brilliant Scottish music that you will be tapping your toe to even if you’re not up dancing. The dances might look intimidating and dizzying, but with someone walking you through them and telling you what to do, you’ll be a pro in no time, if not a wee bit dizzy. If you’re visiting Scotland for the first time and want to experience a proper traditional Scottish ceilidh, I would recommend giving this a try!


August 5-18, 20-23, 25-26


Get your ticket here!

Adam Kay: Undoctored - This is Going to Hurt... More

The author of the multi-million copy selling This Is Going To Hurt, which was adapted into an award-winning TV series, returns to the Fringe for the first time since 2016. The show will see him sharing excerpts from the award-winning diaries of a junior doctor. Judging by the success of both the book and the TV series, I think you’re in for a treat with this one.


August 2-14, 16-28


Get your ticket here!

Lawrence Chaney: Overweight and OVER IT!

A drag legend, the first plus-size winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK and Scottish! If you have seen Lawrence on TV you will know just how funny they are, and they now have their own show all about living life plus size, and they will look fabulous telling you all about it.


August 21-27


Get your ticket here!

Sooz Kempner: Y2K Woman

A pick from Jodie, our Reservations Manager. She is always going on about Sooz Kempner and how funny she is, you’d think that Jodie was actually on her PR Team. That being said, Jodie herself does comedy, so if we’re going to trust anyone’s opinion on who has a good show – we should listen to her! This show is billed as being for anyone who remembers the year 2000, and I was only 3, but I think I’m definitely still eligible to go.


August 2-14, 16-27


Get your ticket here!


Five Mugs, No Tea

Speaking of Jodie doing comedy herself. If you want to have the chance of seeing her perform in a guest slot, she will be doing so during one of the showings of Five Mugs, No Tea, some of her comedy pals. Having seen some of them myself in a show, they are absolutely hilarious and I can definitely guarantee a good laugh. What’s more – it’s free. What more could you ask for?


August 15-27


Get your ticket here!

Gail Porter: Hung, Drawn and Portered

An absolute icon of Scotland, the Gail Porter has her very own show. You might recognise her from Top of the Pops, her BAFTA award-winning documentary “Being Gail”, or even from the music video for Driving Home for Christmas by Chris Rea. She has her very own show here at the Fringe where she goes into her life and talks about all her ups and downs, hoping to spread a bit of love and kindness.


August 2-13, 15-20, 22-28


Get your ticket here!

ABBA Tribute - Voyage

Sweden have given us a lot over the years, they even won Eurovision this year for the 7th time with Loreen, who has now won the competition twice, becoming the only woman to do so and the second person ever after Johnny Logan did it for Ireland. Just in time as well, because next year it will have been 50 years since ABBA stormed onto the scene by winning Eurovision in 1974, changing all of our lives for the better. Unfortunately, they are not performing at the Fringe, but the 100% Scottish tribute band, Voyage, are! So if you want to be a Dancing Queen, grab your ticket for this one.


August 8, 11-12, 17-19, 22, 24-26


Get your ticket here!

Viggo Venn: British Comedian

When Viggo Venn first auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent this year, I don’t think any one was really expecting the unique performance he gave everyone. Or any of the others, right up until he ended up winning the show! So who knows what you can expect when you go to see him, but look up his videos from Britain’s Got Talent and you might get an idea! This show follows his journey as a Norwegian Clown who moves to London to become a British Comedian and live out his life-long dream.


August 16-27


Get your ticket here!

The Thinking Drinkers Pub Quiz: Fancy Another One

A quiz, comedy, a fringe show, and 5 drinks to taste for everyone all in one show? Sounds like an instant classic and a great evening. Reviewers say that this is one of the best value shows at the Fringe, full of laughs, and educational. What more could you want!?


August 3-13, 15-27


Get your ticket here!

All Stars Burlesque

There is something about the Fringe and Burlesque that just goes hand in hand, and I’m not talking about the film with Christina Aguilera and Cher. This show is brought by the producers of the sell-out Fringe show Best of Burlesque which was a showcase of some of the best Burlesque talent from around the world, each offering their own unique spin on the art. So, you can expect the same from this show, a celebration of bodies, tradition and inclusivity. Having attended the Best of Burlesque show in the past, you are absolutely in for a treat with this one.


August 3-27


Get your ticket here!

The Steamie

An absolute classic piece of Scottish theatre. The Steamie is a comedy-drama set in a steamie (almost like an olden-days laundrette) on Hogmanay in Scotland. Showings of this used to be on TV here in Scotland almost every New Year’s Eve, so it’s a very nostalgic play for a lot of us. If you want to experience a wee bit of 1950s Scottish life as told by a group of women from Glasgow, you’ll not want to miss this one!


August 7-12


Get your ticket here!

Danny Beard and Their Band

Fresh off their win of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Season 4, the brilliantly bearded drag queen from Liverpool takes to the stage in what is no doubt going to be a hilarious, high-fashion and camp event. Danny showed their comedy and musical chops on the show, so I think a good night is almost guaranteed!


August 21-25


Get your ticket here!

Best of the Fest

With over 3000 shows on at the 2023 Edinburgh Fringe, it can be pretty overwhelming trying to choose one, even with the help of this blog. Luckily, every year there are shows called Best of the Fest, these one hour taster shows allow performers to show off around 10 minutes of their show, giving you a taste of what to expect. Either you can leave it at that and enjoy the 10 minutes, or go and see the full show later on if you really loved it!


August 4-6, 10-13, 17-20, 25-26


Get your ticket here!

Trainspotting Live

Believe it or not, after all my years in Scotland, I’ve never actually watched or read Trainspotting, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t heard how brilliant it is and how much everyone loves it. So why wouldn’t you want to see it live? A highly immersive show in a bespoke venue, even Trainspotting’s writer Irvine Welsh has said that this is the best way to experience it. This has sold-out at the Fringe for 6 seasons, so if you’re a fan of the book or the films, you might want to book your ticket early for this one!


August 3-8, 10-15, 17-20, 22-27


Get your ticket here!

Explore Edinburgh

Now, this isn’t a show so much as a recommendation. When you are visiting Edinburgh for the Fringe this August, sometimes one of the best things you can do is just walk around the Royal Mile, George Square, Assembly Gardens, all of the major Fringe areas, and see where the day takes you! If you have visited the Fringe before you will know there is someone on every street, and someone round every corner offering you a flyer for a show you might never have heard of. Sometimes though, these are absolute hidden gems and could be the best shows you see the whole fringe. So if you’re feeling adventurous, rather than going by reviews or what I mention, take to the streets and see where you end up! There’s also nothing better than the feeling of being able to recommend a show to your friends that they’ve never heard of, you end up feeling very cultured and in-the-know.


Every day, any time.


Tickets very much not required for this.


Even though it can seem like the busiest place in the world, and you will end up with pockets full of flyers, there’s nothing quite like the Edinburgh Fringe. So whether you want to plan your shows out to a perfectly timed itinerary, or stroll around the town and see who’s flyer distributor is most persuasive, be sure to have the best time!

And remember, if you’re visiting Edinburgh for the Fringe, and maybe want to explore a bit more of Scotland and escape the hustle and bustle of the city, hop on a tour with Timberbush and we will take you there.


Have fun!