If your time is short to catch the last week of The Fringe you can see snippets from seven great shows (changes daily) all in one at Mervyn Stutter’s ‘Pick of the Fringe’.

Playing at Pleasance One till 28th , this is known as the ‘ Royal Variety Performance’ of the Fringe, and it sells out each year.

On the day I visited there were three acts I would definitely still try to get seats for: the brilliantly topical Alistair Barrie in ‘Alistaircractic’. One of the UK’s sharpest comedians is playing FREE at The Liquid Rooms 16.15. Then A Magic Show by Neil Kelso with Live Music – a member of the Magic Circle and a remarkable pianist who explores outstanding magic thru the medium of all forms of music. FREE entry at Fingers Piano Bar 15.10. Lastly ’ on Pointe’ is a fresh dance fusion show combining everything from ballet to break dancing. A talented troupe of 12, performing 19.00 at Assembly Hall.

Mervyn himself is a topical great comic – even the Edinburgh Bin Strike gets a song!



Well, you missed it this year – the hottest Fringe ticket was to the Underbelly Big Brain Tumour Benefit, but it will will occur again in 2023. This year’s names included Jason Byrne, John Bishop, Maisie Adam, Rhys Nicholson and Danny Bhoy who all came together to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity - the world's leading brain tumour charity and the largest dedicated funder of research into brain tumours globally. It raised

over £32,000 inspired by seven-year-old Alfie Bartlam, son of Underbelly Director Ed and his wife Lucinda, who died of a brain tumour in 2019.

100% of the £15,000 of ticket income goes straight to The Brain Tumour Charity. During the event, Ed Bartlam confirmed that Underbelly will match every penny of the box office income. This along with an additional £2,000 in donations, brings the final total raised to over £32,000.

For those who’d still like to contribute to this important cause, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/braintumourbenefit.


If you’re remotely near the East End of Edinburgh – then for a great meal at a bargain price try ‘The Olive Branch’ on Broughton Branch (www.theolvebranch.com).

So called because this is in Edinburgh’s ‘Pink Quarter’ and is traditionally where young people take their parent’s to ‘drop the news ’in the hope the olive branch would subsequently be offered.

For me there is only one starter, and that’ the delicious ‘crispy Shredded duck leg, watermelon, pomegranate, orange salad with dukkah and passion fruit dressing. Costs £7.50 as starter;£14.40 as main.

For Mains, among others, there’s seabream, 28-day steak, slow cooked hoisin pork belly or their own excellent beef, halloumi or southern fried chicken burgers.

Puds are equally impressive.

Prices average £8 a starter and £16 a main and the quality is excellent. Book early! www.theolivebranchscotland.co.uk tel 0131 557 8589


Simon Evans is a familiar drole face on TV and one of the finest comics in the UK today. His rapid-fire, word perfect sardonic take on the world is remarkably refreshing and the epitome of shadenfreude.

His routine on Boris’ contribution to the UK is superb, and ironic jokes abound such as the only tennis player not to be allowed to play because of refusing a vaccine being ‘Novak’ and the fumblings of politician Pincher bringing the demise of Boris and, oh, so much more. Clever stuff.

A different show every night. Brilliant suff.

This year ‘Simon Evans & His Big Ideas’ is playing until 28 Aug at George Sq Studios at 7.45pm


Rich Hall – just one look at his face will have you cracking up. He is misery on two legs and his tales of woe from reflections on lockdown only to return to tiny venues in small-town America are great, fresh material.

He takes a good pot shot at British politics too and has just the right amount of gentle made-up-on-the-spur ribbing with a few unlucky members of the audience ( I know, I was one).

This excellent comedian is a regular on British TV and it’s been six years since he and his guitar graced The Fringe.

Rich Hall is at Assembly Ballroom, George St 7.40pm till 28th