Wilma’s Top Ten Edinburgh Fringe Festival Shows

RAINBOWCLASS-net-copy-1350REVIEW: RAINBOW CLASS (Assembly Hall) ★★★★★

Vivienne Acheampong (The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-time) draws on her past experience of being a primary school teacher in this one woman comedy sketch show which is playing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year.

Rainbow Class is one of the best things I saw at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Vivienne Acheampong is brilliant as all the characters and the accents were all so convincing I am still trying to work out which was her real voice. The writing is outstanding and the hour flies by and left me wanting to go back to Twiddlesworth school the next day.


If Tamar Broadbent has noticed her YouTube hits spike dramatically over the past few weeks, then that will be have been me binge-watching the music video to her comedy song “The Tube Ride of Shame”.

The room was packed out with people and raucous laughter, one guy actually couldn’t catch his breath for the tears streaming down his face. I was so pleased that going to see Tamar on the strength of one YouTube video turned out not to be a disappointment but a delight. There are sure to be great things to come from Tamar Broadbent, she is a real triple threat. She sings like a dream, is ridiculously funny and can play the piano! She also looks strikingly like Kerry Ellis’s sister .


Panti Bliss is a well known head on the Irish gay scene. A national treasure you might say (and she does). She even has her own Cabaret bar in Dublin called the Pantibar. I went along expecting an hour of comedy and lip-synced songs but what I actually got was a very interesting look into the life of a drag queen, told through stories of her life.

Panti covers a whole host of other insightful topics including living with HIV (something thankfully that seems to be being talked about more openly these days, being the second time at this years Edinburgh Fringe that I saw a performer bear their soul on the topic). Panti also discusses gender stereotypes and explains she wears make up, wigs and high heels because she can and just because she is a man, why shouldn’t she be allowed to wear what she wants.

REVIEW: MARGARET THATCHER QUEEN OF GAME SHOWS (Assembly George Square Gardens) ★★★★★

Following the last year’s successful show of Maggie’s transition into an international cabaret star, the Iron Lady is back; this time to revive and conquer the world of Saturday night light entertainment and “take back Saturday nights like I took back the Falklands”.

I saw Maggie’s “Queen of Soho” show at the Leicester Sq Theatre last year and it was good. This show is brilliant. At a time when the whole country is politically charged this is the perfect show to go along and see and take an hour out to laugh about it all.

REVIEW: Axis of Awesome: Won’t Ever Not Stop Giving Up (Gilded Balloon, Teviot) ★★★★★

Axis of Awesome are an Australian, rock trio, reminiscent of Jack Black and his band Tenacious D. They have been together for ten years and have released six albums of Musical comedy and jokes set to tunes.

Axis of Awesome give the audience an hour of non stop rock tunes on subjects ranging from KFC, to Harry Potter and of course a song addressing the ‘Elephant in the room’, Gender (Jordan came out as Transgender in February 2016 and jokes on stage about the band looking a little different from the last time they were in Edinburgh).

REVIEW: SOOZ KEMPNER: A BIT OF A CHARACTER (Just The Tonic at The Caves) ★★★★★

Comedian Sooz Kempner returns to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for the third year running after her critically acclaimed shows ‘Defying Gravity’ and ‘Character Activist’. This year she gives us not one but two separate shows, ‘Queen’ and a revised version of last years show ‘A Bit of a Character’.

Sooz Kempner has heavily redeveloped these characters since last year, switching out some of the ones that didn’t work so well and adding new ones. Whilst last years show was brilliant, the characters that have now been replaced were weaker, which is why the show only got four stars from me last time. This year however, it is a rip-roaring hour of hilarity, with brilliant characters and a show I could watch over and over again.

Katie Brennan
REVIEW: KATIE BRENNAN’S QUARTER-LIFE CRISIS ( Underbelly, George Square) ★★★★★

2016 has been a great year for Katie Brennan.  She launched her Quarter-Life Crisis show as a two-hour cabaret at the AlleyCat Bar in London’s Soho.  So popular was it that extra dates were added and it was subsequently picked up by the St James’ Theatre for a resoundingly successful three-show run.  Katie, together with her trusty co-writer and MD Joseph Atkins, now bring their show to the good people of Edinburgh for a run at the Fringe!

By the end of the show you feel like you have gone on a journey with Katie and leaves your spirits uplifted. I would urge anyone over the age of 25 to see this show as it is bound to resonate. Book fast though as last night was a sell out and very well deserved too!

REVIEW: PIFF THE MAGIC DRAGON (Assembly George Square Theatre) ★★★★

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist
in a land called Honnah Lee.

His younger brother, Piff, however leads a slightly different lifestyle. A man sized dragon, on stage, performing magic tricks with his handy assistant Mr Piffles, the magic performing Chihuahua!

Police Cops

Word of mouth is a wonderful thing within the world of theatre and this show was recommended to me by countless friends before I had even arrived in Edinburgh. A quick research into the show and the company revealed them to be winners of numerous awards, including Stage Award for Acting Excellence 2015, as well as completing two sell-out runs at London’s Soho Theatre; I certainly felt I was in safe hands. Police Cops is written by Tom Roe, Nathan Parkinson and Zachary Hunt, and follows the story of a young boy who promises his brother he’ll grow up to become the best “police cop” ever; battling baddies and a variety of other hilarious characters to fulfil his promise. It’s a mad-cap, ’80s-inspired feast of hilarity and, as the ‘Top Gun’-esque genre demands… six-packs and homoeroticism to the max!

beach hunks

Imagine my surprise this Edinburgh Fringe when I somehow managed to visit Scotland in the only week that had some sunshine… And what better show to get me into the summer mood than the Beach Hunks, with their new show ‘Very Handsome’ – performed as part of Free Fringe in Laughing Horse @ The News Room (Venue 93) at 12:30am – and it’s a show worth staying up for! A comedy sketch show following Michael Dodds, Jack Nicholls and Dave Duncan as they embark upon fulfilling their dreams of becoming sketch comedians, among other wants and wishes.