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9 exciting newcomers to see at Edinburgh Fringe 2022

Make note of these nine now, before they become household names.

The first time I visited the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was in 2012 and up until 2020 I had been back every year, spending three weeks there in 2019. There's nothing quite like the atmosphere in Edinburgh in August. So much so, that it's difficult to explain to those who have never been. So if that's you, go. You'll fall in love with it.

Sadly the Fringe we all knew and loved had been missing for the last two years due to the pandemic, but now it's back and I've decided to run my coverage a little differently. Whilst Edinburgh can be a great place to go to watch your favourite comedian, it's also a great place to discover new talent and that's where I want to focus my Fringe coverage this year.

As well as a number of other lists, I'm kicking off my 2022 coverage with a list of who I believe to be the 9 most exciting newcomers performing their debut solo hour at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year.

From Wednesday (13th July), I'll be releasing one interview a day with each and every one of these comedians, and do look out for my reviews of their debut hours from 19th August as I visit the Edinburgh Fringe once again.

1. Amy Gledhill

Credit: Matt Crockett

Hull-born Amy Gledhill is already an Edinburgh Comedy Awards nominee thanks to her 2019 show Ginster's Paradise as one half of comedy duo The Delightful Sausage, alongside Chris Cantrill. This year, Amy (and Chris) are also going it alone with Amy debuting her first solo hour, The Girl Before The Girl You Marry.

Described as an ultimate antidote to a post-covid hangover, the show promises to be a good-time stand-up show about resilience and dancing, with tales of ballroom triumphs, New Year’s Eve mishaps and (accidentally) flashing royalty!

Just in case the pressure of debuting your first solo hour wasn't enough, Amy will also be performing with Chris as The Delightful Sausage in their brand new show, Nowt But Sea.

Away from the Fringe, Amy Gledhill has appeared in The Stand Up Sketch Show on ITV2 she writes and stars in The Emily Atack Show also on ITV2 and has appeared on shows Hypothetical, Late Night Mash and Question Team, all on Dave.

She was also in Sophie Willan's BAFTA-winning BBC Two sitcom Alma's Not Normal, which is fitting as they both share the honour of being awarded The Caroline Aherne Bursary.

Designed to find, develop and support great new comedy talent, its annual winner is awarded £5000 to support the development of a comedy script and they also receive mentoring from a BBC Comedy Commissioning Editor. Let's hope we get to see Amy's sitcom before too long!

Look out for my interview with Amy on Wednesday 13th July.


2. Aurie Styla

With over a decade in the game, and four tour shows under his belt, Aurie Styla is one of the UK's best comedians and given his longevity and success to date, it's almost unthinkable that he's never performed at the Edinburgh Fringe - except for two shows at a slimmed-down Fringe in 2021.

Hosting The Scene on BBC Radio London, a leading role in upcoming British comedy On The Other Foot and appearances on a number of television shows including Jonathan Ross' Comedy Club, Don't Hate the Playaz and The Stand Up Sketch Show are opportunities that many comedians feel they need to go to Edinburgh if they're to be offered them.

Increasingly, successful comedy careers are less dependent on the Edinburgh Fringe than they once were but there's still an appetite for comedians to give it a go, at whatever stage in their career they choose.

For Aurie, it's taken 12 years but that doesn't mean the job is any easier. Yes his material is oven-ready, but instead of the classic Fringe problem of not having enough material to fill an hour, Aurie is having to trim down a show that he's already toured - to critical acclaim - in order to make it fit the Edinburgh hour.

As a result of the global pandemic, the last couple of years have shown us a different perspective on life and for Aurie in his new show Green - it means looking at his own hilarious outlet and his way of dealing with change, and finally going Green (his real last name).

Look out for my interview with Aurie on Thursday 14th July.


3. Chloe Petts

Credit: Matt Crockett

I first saw Chloe Petts perform as a finalist in Leicester Square Theatre's New Comedian of the Year in 2017 and have been anticipating her debut hour ever since.

In 2018, she was part of the Pleasance Comedy Reserve which meant that she was able to share the bill at the Pleasance Dome with three other up-and-coming comedians. In 2019 she split an hour with comedian Sam Lake and in 2020 she was due to take her debut hour Transience to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Good things come to those who wait and whilst this might be Chloe's debut hour in Edinburgh, it's a show she's already performed a number of times up and down the country and comes off the back of supporting Ed Gamble on his latest tour.

In Transience, Chloe promises to use her trademark cerebral “laddishness” to examine her desperate attempts at living in the moment, the darts and her (strictly non-romantic) love for men who watch it.

Away from the Fringe, Chloe has appeared in a number of television shows including Hypothetical, Richard Osman's House of Games and Pointless Celebrities.

Look out for my interview with Chloe on Friday 15th July.


4. Josh Jones

Credit: Jacob Hare

In 2019, Manchester born-and-bred Josh Jones, was part of Pleasance Comedy Reserve which meant that he was able to share the bill at the Pleasance Dome with three other up-and-coming comedians, including Lily Phillips, who I've also included in this list.

Since then, Josh has performed at the biggest clubs in the UK, supported Kiri-Pritchard-McLean, Rob Beckett, Russell Kane and Suzi Ruffell on tour and appeared on a number of television shows including Jonathan Ross’ Comedy Club on ITV, CelebAbility on ITV2, Late Night Mash on Dave and last year he teamed up with Jayde Adams to take part in Dating No Filter on Sky Max.

With all that experience, it's safe to say that Josh's debut could not have come at a better time. Josh openly admits that being gay and trying to break into stand-up at northern rugby clubs had its moments for him. Moments which have certainly helped to shape him and his comedy.

Waste of Space promises to see Josh realise that when there is some kind of drama unfolding in his life, he sees himself as a waste of space. But he’s come to accept there are upsides to this, which have changed his life.

Look out for my interview with Josh on Saturday 16th July.


5. Lily Phillips

Credit: Karla Gowlett

In 2019, born and bred Londoner Lily Phillips, was part of Pleasance Comedy Reserve which meant that she was able to share the bill at the Pleasance Dome with three other up-and-coming comedians, including Josh Jones, who I've also included in this list.

Smut promises to delve into Lily's pre-stand-up life as a dancer when she took on various 'odd' jobs in between contracts, including being a Disney princess impersonator at children's birthday parties, before she got fired for spouting too much feminist rhetoric!

She also had a brief stint as a fish-n-chip shop model, donning a mermaid suit and a pot of bubbles to sell haddock and chips to creepy men.

The show will also explore the many trials and tribulations of being a woman today, from birthing your own Mooncup to desperately hiding the fact that you poo from your boyfriend of eight years. And it was when a male audience member was asked what the word smut meant, that the show found its title after he replied "It’s just another word for slut right?".

Away from the Fringe, Lily is a regular on The Stand Up Sketch Show on ITV2.

Look out for my interview with Lily on Sunday 17th July.


6. Michael Akadiri

Credit: Garry Carbon

Born in London to Nigerian parents, Michael Akadiri admits that becoming a doctor was not his choice, it was destiny and as he moves from doctor to comedian - a career path more common than you might think - Michael is bringing his highly anticipated debut hour to the Edinburgh Fringe.

As a junior doctor on the frontline and the myriad of challenges that poses, No Scrubs sees Michael explore the balance between being a role model and a young man from London. Doctors are seen as role models, but peep behind the medical screens and not all of them are.

Traversing the daily challenges of life within the NHS, surviving life in London outside of it and how he ended up in court fighting for it (his life, not the NHS), Michael's debut Fringe show promises to be unmissable, with anecdotes including the time he told a patient to reduce their sugar intake, only to later find them queuing up in the same Krispy Kreme queue.

Away from the Fringe, Michael has appeared on The Stand Up Sketch Show on ITV2.

Look out for my interview with Michael on Monday 18th July.


7. Rosie Holt

Credit: Karla Gowlett

Similarly to Chloe Petts, who I've also included in this list, I first saw Rosie perform as a finalist in Leicester Square Theatre's New Comedian of the Year in 2017.

If you've been anywhere near the internet since 2020, or even just this week, chances are you too will recognise Rosie Holt from her many guises as those all too familiar parliamentary figures sent onto television shows to defend the government. Figures she satirises accurately, hilariously and with impressive speed.

Get ready to meet those characters on stage in the Pleasance Attic in The Woman's Hour including a right-wing ‘opinionist’ distorting the news, an MP desperately defending a failing government and a left-winger wanting to say the right thing but scared of getting it wrong.

But what will happen when these characters, and more, come together after their creator accidentally becomes the news? And can they speak their truth, whatever the facts?

Look out for my interview with Rosie on Tuesday 19th July.


8. Sikisa

Sikisa is a comedian, writer and producer from South London who has never forgotten her Barbadian roots and is one of the most exciting new comedians on the circuit. Which is not something you can ordinarily say about an immigration lawyer.

That's because there's nothing ordinary about Sikisa. She's hilarious, instantly likeable and fearless, which is why her debut hour at this year's Edinburgh Fringe (supposed to have happened in 2021) promises to be one party not to be missed.

Set at her own house party, Life of the Party sees Sikisa make up for lost time, having not been allowed to go to any parties until she was 18. She still lives with her mother, a very strict, West Indian woman. Never one to toe the metaphorical party line, Sikisa constantly goes against the grain, including dating outside of her race.

Away from the Fringe, you may recognise Sikisa from appearing on Jonathan Ross' Comedy Club and Sorry, I Didn't Know both on ITV, The Stand Up Sketch Show on ITV2 and in May she was a guest on the hugely popular Off Menu podcast from James Acaster and Ed Gamble.

Look out for my interview with Sikisa on Wednesday 20th July.


9. Thanyia Moore

When searching to find out who would be performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, one of the names I hoped I'd see was Thanyia Moore, because I'm certain that her energy, skill and style will thrive if given an Edinburgh hour to do with what she likes.

Just Being Funny promises to be just that. Her debut, which was supposed to happen in 2020, was set to be a heartfelt, emotional show that rocked your socks off.

Away from the Fringe, Thanyia has appeared in Bamous on BBC Three, Mock The Week on BBC Two, Rob Beckett’s Undeniable on Comedy Central, As Yet Untitled on Dave and acted opposite Sophie Willan in her BAFTA-winning BBC Two sitcom Alma's Not Normal.

Look out for my interview with Thanyia on Thursday 21st July.



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