Comedy of the week: Edinburgh Fringe, Various venues


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The Independent Culture

With a befuddling 2,695 shows on offer, picking the cherries from Edinburgh's annual, glorious mess at this point is a tricky business.

Two notable acts not arriving with fresh moves, though, are last year's champs: top-gong winner Adam Riches (although he is popping by late on) and Humphrey Ker, who bagged Best Newcomer for his exquisite wartime ace Dymock Watson.

Perhaps, though, it's the turn of Ker's very entertaining Penny Dreadfuls mucker Thom Tuck, or any number of comics with the chops for top spot: Greg Davies, deliciously caustic Andrew Lawrence, raucous Nick Helm, Richard Herring (Talking Cock), matchless storyteller Daniel Kitson… But I'm rooting for Josie Long, pouring her latest warm-hearted ideas and obsessions into Romance and Adventure.

Elsewhere, look out for top sketching from Sheeps, The Pajama Men and The Beta Males – and if the cash is running dry (it will), keep 'em peeled for a growing programme of gratis (but still splendid) events.

(0131 226 0000; Fri to 27 Aug