As part of our 2024 programme launch, we have selected shows that represent some major themes from this year's festival. Please note that the following article does not cover every theme at the Fringe, and the shows listed under each section are not a comprehensive representation of all shows that address that theme – they're just here to give you a taste of what's on offer.

Browse 2024 Fringe shows

Climate change and sustainability

A recipient of the Keep it Fringe fund, FREAK OUT! (Pleasance, p 286) is a ‘multi-layered show tells the story of UK communities battling coastal erosion'. In 45 Degrees of Perspiration (Laughing Horse, p 46), Ben Harrington explores the 'complexities of climate change and promises to deliver a blend of clever observations, witty anecdotes and funny commentary,’ while Gracie and the Start of the End of the World (Again) (Assembly, p 289) tells the story of ‘an immortal, nerdy, very horny jellyfish looking for love after the end of the world’.

Mother Nature (Greenside, p 22) is ‘still pining for dinosaurs but crushing madly on mighty homosapiens' while giving Planet Earth a pep talk, while there are ‘young people finding fragile hope in the face of an overwhelming threat’ in no one is coming to save us (Pleasance, p 312). Stuart Goldsmith: Spoilers (A Climate Crisis Stand-Up Show) (Monkey Barrel Comedy, p 158) is a ‘hilarious, hopeful and vaguely educational stand-up about hope, horror, hypocrisy and how to feel OK’, while ‘the typical day of a California weather girl descends into a scorched earth catastrophe' in Weather Girl (Summerhall, p 338).

‘One guy attempts to perform 26,000 animals in under an hour’ at Vigil (ZOO, p 337) while Things We Will Miss (C Arts, p 332) is a ‘meditation on the climate crisis' exploring ‘the (potential) collapse of the Anthropocene'. Three Scottish musicians present ‘music written to reflect the changes that are affecting wildlife's natural habitats’ at Aardvark Trio – Wild Changes (The Jazz Bar, p 195) and a ‘multimedia concert experience calling attention to the urgency of the climate crisis through original songs’ is performed in The Seas Are Rising: Stories of a Climate in Crisis (Paradise Green, p 221).

Tania Kovats’ ongoing series SEAMARKS (Dovecot Studios, p 193) presents ‘multiple seascapes captured in brushstrokes, drawings and ceramics’. As part of Korean Season presented by AtoBiz Ltd, Sleeper (Assembly, p 180) creates ‘new perspectives on contemporary Korean traditional performing arts'. Circus Baobab: Yé! (Underbelly, p 172) showcases incredible acrobatics whilst bringing essential environmental issues to the forefront.


Join the ‘supercharged urban circus’ of ‘BMX, basketball, breakdancing, beatboxing, acrobatics and drumming’ at 360 ALLSTARS (Assembly, p 170). FUFC (theSpaceUK, p 286) is a ‘dark comedy and semi-autobiographical play dealing with the consequences of a life-changing moment of a diagnosis of cancer’.

Adam Riches: Jimmy (Summerhall, p 257) tells the story of Jimmy Connors, one of the ‘greatest tennis players on Earth’ and his comeback after getting ‘annihilated at the US Open’, while Tennis (Zoo, p 180) is ‘an action-packed, poetic hunt for true fighter's spirit’ at Wimbledon in 1980.

The Ghost of White Hart Lane (Underbelly, p 287) tells the story of Spurs and Scotland star John White, ‘one of the best footballers of the 1960s’ who was ‘was struck by lightning and killed at 27 years old’. ‘Ismail, a British Indian schoolboy, attempts to secure his own cricketing glory’ in the summer of 2005 while England prepares to win the Ashes in Duck (Pleasance, p 281). Find out the answers to questions like, 'Did football originate in Scotland? Does Argentina owe all to the Gorbals? Was the first floodlight a searchlight? Did Scotland really ban women?’ at ScotlandsFest: We Are Scottish Football – Julie McNeill (Gladstone's Land, p 253).

The Stand Comedy Club is host to In Conversation with ‘broadcaster, author, DJ’ Pat Nevin (p 248), ‘one of Scotland’s most renowned and controversial football pundits’Micheal Stewart (p 248) and ‘legendary Scottish TV / radio football pundit and journalist’ Chick Young (p 248).

Mythos: Ragnarok (Assembly, p 311) is ‘Viking mythology performed by professional wrestlers’, while you can ‘grab a pint, pick a side’ and watch ‘the best team win’ at Wrestling with the Champ: Chortle Combat (PBH's Free Fringe, p 169). Keep it Fringe recipient Chokeslam (Assembly, p 273) is a 'knockout' solo show about one woman's love of pro wrestling.

Cooking and world heritage

Join ‘performance-maker and foodie Sean Wai Keung as he gets to the centre of that most enigmatic of after-meal snacks: the fortune cookie’ in A History of Fortune Cookies (Summerhall, p 225), or head to My English Persian Kitchen (Traverse Theatre, p 309) to see ‘the journey of one-woman’s quest to build a new life around cooking and food'.

Start your day at The Big Bite-Size Breakfast Show (Pleasance, p 267) with ‘brand-new, delicious, rotating "menus" of 10-to-15-minute comedies, eccentricities and dramas, served up with complimentary tea and coffee, croissants and strawberries'. End it with ‘relaxing classical music by candlelight' at Old Saint Paul's Hot Chocolate at 10 (Old Saint Paul's Church, p 217), or ‘three hand-picked special drams paired with tasty tipsy treats of Scottish delicious canapes’ at Tipsy Midgie Midnight Treats (Tipsy Midgie, p 188).

‘Taste each dish cooked before your eyes’ as Australia’s singing cook Michelle Pearson ‘serves up an evening of live music, cooking and comedy’ at Comfort Food Cabaret (Edinburgh New Town Cookery School, p 17) or have Shakespeare for Breakfast (C Arts, p 324) filled with ‘pentameter, puns and pastries'.

The female experience

A Fire Ignites (theSpaceUK, p 284) sees a ‘teenage girl in modern-day Iran... removing her hijab in public' and being ‘attacked by the morality police'. Meanwhile, ‘a captivating tale of recovery from partner abuse’ is told in a boxing ring at Angry Snatch: A Reclamation Job in 15 Rounds (Port O'Leith Boxing Club, p 171).

‘Inspired by a grandmother’s incarceration for seeking independence in 1960s Australia’, BATSHIT (Traverse Theatre, p 265) is an ‘unexpectedly funny and deeply intimate story of female madness'. With ‘original songs, music videos from her past and the inside scoop on scams and pedophiles’, hear how Devon tried to be a teen pop star in Devon Drew: Pop Star (ZOO, p 82).

Do Not Look Away: The Story of Medusa (Scottish Storytelling Centre, p 280) is a ‘moving storytelling performance with live musical accompaniment’ while After Troy (theSpaceUK, p 258) asks ‘what can the fates of the women left behind’ after Troy falls ‘tell us about the survivors of conflict today?’

‘Ever wanted to know what really happens in the VIP room?’ Head to Ask A Stripper: No Holes Barred (Laughing Horse, p 14). Meanwhile, A Girl Gets Naked In This (Bedlam Theatre, p 287) features an all-female cast bringing a ’series of monologues about sex'.

Join Endometriosis as she takes you on a tour of the inside workings of Anna's body at ENDHOE (Greenside, p 87). In Good Luck, Cathrine Frost! (Assembly, p 289), hear ‘about the universal act of being born, and how Socrates "forgot" to talk about it'.

When accused by her tech-bro fiancé of being 'too emotional', overachieving journalist Anya prepares a slide deck to save her relationship at Psychobitch (Summerhall, p 318). PALS (Gilded Balloon, p 314) is a Scottish adventure-comedy play featuring ‘four crude, chaotic yet completely normal gal pals as they embark on a camping trek in the west of Scotland'.

Neurodiversity and neurodiverse led works

A Day in the Life (Greenside, p 245) is a ‘solo narrative navigating life with neurodiversity’ and Eccentrics Assemble – Guerilla Autistics Year 10 (Laughing Horse, p 282) introduces ‘legendary outsiders like Emily Dickinson, Spike Milligan, Screaming Lord Sutch and Patricia Highsmith'.

‘Mind-reading and unbelievable trickery abound’ in Naughty or Neurodiverse – Magic from Another Planet (theSpaceUK, p 24), an 'exploration of how autism and magic make anything possible'. Keep it Fringe recipient NeuroChatter (theSpaceUK, p 311) sees ‘one actor taking on the role of three alter-egos in this tragi-comic psychodrama: Mike, an eccentric, scatter-brained academic in training; Elliott, a defensive yet laid-back aspiring artist; and Host, the reluctant, vulnerable core-self hiding beneath'.

Arielle Dundas: Hyperactivity Disorder (Just the Tonic, p 61) is ‘relatable for people with ADHD... informative for people without it’ and ‘hilarious for everyone'. Baby Belle: Young, Dumb and Full of Autism (Greenside, p 15) is a ‘musical exploration of social versus personal identity from the perspective of a late-identified and diagnosed non-binary autistic person'. Driver's Seat: Obsessive Compulsive Disaster (theSpaceUK, p 281) is a ‘twisted ride through OCD, an epic break-up, major breakdown, coming out and (just possibly) learning to drive'.

Joe Wells – Daddy Autism (PBH's Free Fringe, p 107) is a ‘show about wanting to be an autistic dad’ while Josephine Lacey: Autism Mama (Pleasance, p 108) explores a mother helping her autistic son through puberty.

Technology and AI

Transhumanist (Assembly @ Dance Base, p 181) is a ‘duet between two male dancers who unfold in an alluring universe where the boundaries between artificial and human nature dissolve’, while Long Distance (A Cyber-Dialectic of Falling In and Out) (ZOO, p 303) observes two boys falling in love ‘through an exchange of texts over one year'.

Influenced (Greenside, p 296) follows ‘the rise to power of an insecure YouTuber. In his struggle with truth, trust and toxic masculinity, what will he do with his new empire?’ Meanwhile, in Do You Know What Comes Next? (The Stand Comedy Club, p 245) explores that ‘by 2050, nearly 2.5 billion people will be impacted by hearing loss’ and ‘reveals how your brain processes and predicts conversations to help develop the hearing aids of the future'.

As part of the Korean Season, You & It: The Musical (Assembly, p 241) tells a ‘beautiful and sad love story about a human husband and his wife, who dies and come back as AI'. In Picasso 2033 (C Arts, p 316), audiences can ‘dive into a future where AI dominates art, and explore the essence of creativity and identity amidst technology’s tide'.

It’s 225 years 'After Download' in Away Went the World (theSpaceUK, p 263) andSarah lives in OutpostCaanan, apart from the AI-dominated Overworld. When a strange girl arrives in her community, Sarah must decide: protect those she loves, or trust what she cannot understand.’ In Mitch Benn: The World's Cleverest Idiot (Underbelly, p 129), Mitch considers how 'artificial intelligence is no match for good ol' organic stupidity, and (from experience) how actual intelligence can't save you from being unbelievably cretinous...’


It's the Economy, Stupid! (Pleasance, p 297) attempts to ‘uncover how the economy wins elections, and why the force that dominates our lives is so bloody complicated’, while ‘a team of young co-workers try and get through their day whilst navigating a broken system’ in Badger (theSpaceUK, p 264). Gamble (Summerhall, p 286) is ‘a glittering, glamorous peek into the spectacular world of online gambling’ and explores ‘addiction and its effect on families, friends and communities'.

‘Learn how to outmanoeuvre your colleagues with an obnoxious LinkedIn profile, a passive-aggressive email and the phrase "circle back"’ in Wankernomics: As Per My Last Email (Pleasance, p 166). Meanwhile, Art of Selling Out (Greenside, p 61) will teach you how to ‘sell out your Fringe show in an immersive pyramid scheme parody paired with a side of manipulation and capitalism'.

‘The remnants of Liverpool stand as a testament to the neglect of the UK' in dystopian fantasy Hoarderz (theSpaceUK, p 292), while ‘America is on fire’ in Maggie Chavez: Letters from America (Laughing Horse, p 121), a ‘hilarious dissection of the American condition'.

Family friendly shows

A Bee Story (Assembly, p 31) is a ‘unique physical theatre show for children and families' telling the story of ‘Queen Bee and Worker Bee who must rebuild their hive together', while a professional violinist and cellist performs ‘familiar classical melodies and tells a musical version of The Gingerbread Man’ at Wriggle Around the World (Stockbridge Church, p 41).

Join Absolute Improv! (theSpaceUK, p 50) for ‘spontaneously sparkling family-friendly performances never seen before, and never to be seen again’, or solve a murder mystery in A Brief Case (Laughing Horse, p 69), offering family-friendly fun for everyone, from nursery to nursing homes’.

Uh Oh Spaghetti-Oh! (Pleasance, p 41) features ‘tracks with catchy lyrics and easy dance moves that celebrate childhood, promising fun and laughter for all’. In both Italian and English, ‘servants Pasta and Pizza are tasked by their master with bringing Commedia dell’Arte masks to life' in Masquerade Mask (C Arts, p 307).

Knight, Knight (Underbelly, p 114) is a ‘wild romp through a medieval world you thought you knew'. In The Secret Room at Lauriston Castle (Lauriston Castle, p 25), you can ‘travel back in time to a world of clandestine laboratories, hidden passages and secret rooms...’

Puppet Zoo Adventure! (PBH's Free Fringe, p 39) blends ‘laughter and learning’ in a show where ‘animals come to life’, while if you’re ‘tired of grown-ups being know-it-alls' and want to win prizes, head to The Kids Always Win (Gilded Balloon, p 37), a ‘game show where the kids always win'.

Wellbeing and mental health

300 Paintings (Summerhall, p 257) ‘examines 300 paintings created during a five-month long manic bipolar episode... exploring art, mental health and creativity’, while The Funny Thing About A Panic Attack (ZOO, p 246) uses ‘theatre, dance and poetry reading to reveal the connections between mental health, art and pancakes'.

Lost in Wonder (Nicolson Square Park, p 186) is an ‘immersive experience of storytelling and spirituality for passers-by to explore’ where you’ll find ‘a moment of connection, encounter and creative meaning-making in the midst of the busy city'.

‘Mentally unwell man Alastair Clark’ takes the hypothesis ‘comedy is therapy [to] its logical conclusion’ in Alastair Clark: And Then He Turned the Fun on Himself (PBH's Free Fringe, p 52), while ‘a man attempts to map aspects of his mental health through perhaps the worst medium possible: poetry’ in Reflections Upon an Ugly Little Soul (Greenside, p 319).

Love Your Work (Greenside, p 176) brings ‘the love of minds and the medium of dance together to open conversations on mental health and wellbeing'.

Famous faces

Miriam Margolyes visits Edinburgh with her new show Margolyes & Dickens: The Best Bits (Pleasance, p 306), performing Charles Dickens' most iconic characters. Adam Kay: Undoctored (Edinburgh Playhouse, p 51), the ‘bestselling show of 2023’, returns for one night only.

‘In this election year, only one comedian can kill the mood even further’ – it's Nish Kumar: Nish, Don't Kill My Vibe (Work-in-Progress) (Monkey Barrel Comedy, p 133). Joanne McNally is back in Edinburgh with Joanne McNally: Work in Progress (Assembly, p 106) following her ‘sold-out global tour with of Prosecco Express'.

‘Fumbling a flute on Would I Lie to You, combusting over a Cork accent on Radio 5 Live, scaring the Traitors' Diane with a T-shirt of her face’, join Ivo for more at Ivo Graham: Grand Designs (Pleasance, p 102). Paul Merton and Suki Webster's Improv Show (Pleasance, p 138) is an ‘hour of fast, fabulously funny improvised games, scenes, stories and laugh-out-loud surrealism from two masters of comedy improvisation and special guests'.

David O'Doherty: Ready, Steady, David O'Doherty (Assembly, p 81) is ‘a new megaconcert of talking and songs’, while Dara Ó Briain: My Entire Life is a Work In Progress (Work in Progress) (Assembly, p 80) has his ‘first Edinburgh run since 2005, as he prepares for his next global tour'.

Hannah Gadsby is back at the Fringe ‘for the first time since 2017, when they won the Edinburgh Comedy Award (and an Emmy)’, with Hannah Gadsby: Woof! (Underbelly, p 95).After getting a dog, and her dog coming on heat, a series of strange events started to happen in Grace's life’, leading to Grace Campbell Is On Heat (Gilded Balloon, p 94).

‘Flippant and fabulous’, ‘wicked sharp and delightfully silly’, ‘gender non-conforming and genre non-conforming', ALOK makes a return to the Fringe with ALOK (Underbelly, p 56). As seen on I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson, Shrill, and The Lost City, Patti Harrison returns to Edinburgh with Patti Harrison: My Huge Tits Huge Because They Are Infected NOT FAKE (Pleasance, p 136).

Following a sold-out run at the Fringe in 2023, Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK’s Lawrence Chaney’s back with Lawrence Chaney – From Holyrood to Hollywood (Saint Stephen's Theatre, p 116). As seen on RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under, Taskmaster Australia and Netflix, Rhys Nicholson brings a ‘brand-new, hour-long, stand-up comedy concert’ with Rhys Nicholson: Huge Big Party Congratulations! (Underbelly, p 144).

Lucy Porter: No Regrets (Just the Tonic, p 119) is ‘a well-known TV face (Live at the Apollo, QI), a much-loved radio voice and Celebrity Mastermind Champion of Champions'. Nina Conti: Whose Face Is It Anyway? (Pleasance, p 133) ‘delves deep into who we are, hijacking faces to spark a hysterical reality warp'.

Join comedian Sara Pascoe at Sara Pascoe: I Am A Strange Gloop (WIP) (Monkey Barrel Comedy, p 148) as she ‘reconsiders and reconstructs herself after having two babies and very little sleep’, amd join Rosie Jones as she ‘ponders whether she is a national treasure, a little prick, or somewhere in between’ in Rosie Jones: Triple Threat (Pleasance, p 147). At Sue Perkins: A Piece of Work in Progress (Pleasance, p 159), Sue tells us she ‘is a mess, but because she wears glasses and uses adverbs, people are fooled into thinking she’s together'.

Live podcasts at the Fringe this year include Nish Kumar and Coco Khan’s ‘weekly political podcast’ Pod Save the UK – Live! (Monkey Barrel Comedy, p 140), No Such Thing As A Fish (Edinburgh Playhouse, p 134) celebrating 10 years of podcasting, the live comedy podcasting phenomenon The Guilty Feminist (Gilded Balloon, p 95) and The Political Party With Matt Forde (Gilded Balloon, p 141).

Creating a buzz

Drop Dead Gorgeous: A New Musical (Work-in-Progress Concert Series) (Pleasance, p 230) is ‘based on the cult-classic film’ and features an original score written and performed by Riki Lindhome (Netflix's Wednesday).

Fringe First winner Apphia Campbell returns with Through the Mud (Summerhall, p 333), telling the story of ‘two generations of women activists in the struggle for black liberation in America.’ Winner of Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer in 2023, Urooj Ashfaq is back with Urooj Ashfaq: It's Funny To Me (Work in Progress) (Assembly, p 165).

Fringe sell-out show 2022 and 2023, The Kaye Hole Hosted by Reuben Kaye (Assembly, p 21), is back and is ‘queer, messy and f*cking hilarious. The hottest late-night ticket in town.’ Rob Madge's sell-out, award-winning show Rob Madge: My Son's a Queer (But What Can You Do?) (Underbelly, p 321) returns to Edinburgh Fringe. Join Rob as ‘they set out to recreate their childhood Disney Parade – and nobody is gonna rain on it'.

Free and pay-what-you-can / want shows

There are 354 free shows and 577 pay-what-you-can / want shows in this year’s programme.

10,000 Digits of Pi (PBH’s Free Fringe, p 47) ‘blurs the line between audience and performer, and makes you wonder if it’s a play or even a comedy show altogether’, while in Comedy Cluedo (Laughing Horse, p 75) audiences are ‘guided through Lucy's personal version of classic murder-mystery game, Cluedo, to uncover the clues and jokes to solve the crime’.

‘Imagine an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman finally in the same bar as a therapist’ and you have Five Mugs, No Tea (Leith Depot, p 89). Join Juliette on a ‘journey from cosplay to confidence’ at Juliette Burton: Going Rogue (Laughing Horse, p 109). Steffan Alun and Support: Free Stand-Up, but at What Cost (PBH’s Free Fringe, p 157) is Steffan ‘working through his latest identity crisis the only way he knows how – with 40 minutes of excellent free comedy'.

Go to Off With Your Head! (Laughing Horse, p 134) for a show that’s ‘part comedy, part improv, part video game and part choose-your-own-adventure', or learn about ‘rare, historical, often beautiful and sometimes funny’ ancient coins in children's show Ancient Coins of Forgotten Kingdoms (PBH’s Free Fringe, p 31).

Browse 2024 Fringe shows

Thumbnail photo credit: Jess Shurte.