Because sometimes the best shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe are free.
Of course, you can spend a small fortune seeing a number of your favourite comedians at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, both established and up and coming but what you might not know is that there's also a Free Fringe, which many refer to as the true spirit of the Fringe.
For the shows that are part of PBH's Free Fringe, it's first come first served, which means you just turn up on the day and hope there's space for you.
The Free Festival works differently, in that you are also given the option to book a ticket in advance to guarantee entry, if you don't fancy turning up on the day and risk being turned away. These prices start from £2.50 and I've listed these details below.
It's the perfect way to take a punt on a comedian you may not yet know. And at the end of each show, you're able to show your appreciation for the artist, paying what you think the show deserves by chucking cash into a bucket.
Having looked through this year's programme, I've picked 10 free shows that are worth adding to your Fringe plans for this year...
Character comedian Anna Morris is best known for playing Mrs Bryce-D'Souza in Channel 4's hit comedy Lee and Dean, and now she's returning to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the first time since 2018 and marking 10 years at the festival with her seventh hour.
But whilst Kid-Life Crisis (Work in Progress) might be her seventh Fringe hour, it's her debut stand-up show as she steps away from the characters and reveals a side we've never seen.
The new hour promises to be an honest, funny and uplifting show about turning 40, eligible bitchelors, biological clocks and embracing 'otherhood.
Banana Split (Louisa Keight and Níamh Curran)
Louisa Keight and Níamh Curran met at University and are both former members of the Cambridge Footlights. As they perform at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year, it's only fitting that they're splitting an hour under the name Banana Split.
A Stand-Up Comedy Show as the title would suggest, promises an hour of off-beat comedy from Louisa who was a finalist in the 2021 Funny Women Stage Awards and Niamh who was a quarter-finalist of the Leicester Square New Comedian of the Year Awards.
Louisa's style has been described as witty and cerebral, pairing the whimsical with the mundane whilst Niamh's style offers a dry and dark take on the life of a millennial who grew up in post-troubles Northern Ireland.
Since taking her debut hour to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2018, comedian, presenter and musician Faye Treacy has presented a weekend evening show on Scala Radio and now she's returning to the Fringe with a brand new hour.
Having toured the world as a musician since she was a teenager, Faye has come to realise that you can run away from most things on the road, except yourself.
Where's Your Head At? promises big revelations, bigger laughs and maybe a little music as when the unimaginable happens, Faye finally battles her demons head-on, learning that maturing isn't the same as conforming.
I've been watching and reviewing Heidi Regan since her debut at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2018 and now she's returning with her third hour and this time, she's part of PBH's Free Fringe.
Heidi Regan Gives Birth Live on Stage Every Night or Your Money Back - possibly the best title on the Free Fringe this year - promises to be Heidi's most personal hour to date.
Having had very limited experience in committed relationships, Heidi moved in with her girlfriend and began looking into parenthood minutes before a global pandemic kicked off. As things got serious, an increasingly hopeless Heidi tried to support her NHS girlfriend via her usual tactics of telling very bad jokes and making niche pop culture references that never land. With mixed results.
Huge Davies and Janine Harouni
Comedians Huge Davies and Janine Harouni performed their debut hours at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2019, both receiving Best Newcomer nominations at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards.
Since then, Huge Davies has written and starred in a three-part short form sitcom for Channel 4 called The Artists and Janine Harouni has a main role in Iain Stirling and Steve Bugeja's ITV2 sitcom Buffering.
Now as they prepare for their next solo shows, Do New Jokes (Work in Progres), does as the title would suggest and sees two of the most exciting new comedians on the circuit test out new material, for free. You literally have nothing to lose.
In 2019, Mamoun Elagab was one of four comedians selected to be part of the Pleasance Comedy Reserve, where he was able to share the bill at the Pleasance Dome with three other up-and-coming comedians, including Lily Phillips and Josh Jones who I've included in my 9 exciting newcomers to see at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
In his new work in progress hour, rising star Mamoun promises to take a left field look at all walks of British society from a revered scholar of hood philosophy as he shares his unfiltered, idiosyncratic and unorthodox world view. The things you think about and never say out loud, but need to hear.
Comedian Mary O'Connell has written for The Emily Atack Show on ITV2 and The Now Show on Radio 4 and first appeared at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2015 in Hearts of Folk, a comedy show about a slightly over the hill folk band.
She returned the following year as part of the Rotating Bill at Cabaret Voltaire and in 2019 she split an hour with Patrick Healy. Now she's returning to the Fringe with a free hour-long work in progress show.
There's Something Wrong With Mary promises to be a show of observational annoyance from a blunt and disturbed perspective. She hates capitalism but she loves to shop. Expect routines about money, pop culture and trying to be a good person while living in London.
In 2019, Swedish comedian, author and illustrator Olaf Falafel's one-liner about vegetable Tourette's was voted Dave's Joke of the Fringe and thanks to the pandemic he's been the holder of that title for three years.
Returning to the Edinurgh Festival Fringe with his fifth hour since his debut in 2016, STOAT (STupidest Of All Time) promises plenty of the daft audience participation that his fans have come to love, levitating fruit, mind reading mic stands and ducks bearing insults.
All of this is underpinned with the story of one of Olaf’s most treasured collaborators and two things can be guaranteed, it will be stupid and it will be funny.
As well as STOAT, Olaf will be bringing a kids show to the Fringe this year. Olaf Falafel’s Super Stupid Show promises to be an hour of really stupid kids' comedy plus a drawing lesson and possibly something that involves fishing, ducks, bumbags and sausages. The show runs at Laughing Horse @ The Pear Tree between 4-21* August (expect 16).
Following a sellout debut in 2016 and three Fringe hours, Welsh comedian Robin Morgan is returning to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the fifth time since 2015 with Snip, Snip, Bitch is a work in progress show, which promises an hour of new jokes and stories.
Robin has written for The Mash Report, 8 Out of 10 Cats and Have I Got News For You, supported Ellie Taylor, Rachel Parris and Iain Stirling on tour and has provided warm-up for The Graham Norton Show.
Sharon Wanjohi and Abbie Edwards
Part of the joy of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is witnessing comedians ahead of their debut hours before they go on to become household names. And a split hour at the Fringe is perfect for that ultimate Fringe experience.
Abbie Edwards has been heard on BBC Radio 4 Extra and Sharon Wanjohi can currently be seen in Channel 4's new digital comedy series Jokes Only A... Can Tell.
Not Too Shabby promises to be an eclectic hour of stand-up about everything from babies being racist to Brad Bird’s 2007 masterpiece Ratatouille. But that's not all! The show will end with stand-up roasts about themselves written by the other comedian that they’ve never seen before.
So prepare to see their deepest insecurities ridiculed on stage as the audience finds out what they really think of each other... but in a fun way.