Discover Ben Target, Underbelly, Edinburgh

Ben Target (pronounced Tar-jay) has clearly taken the original spirit of the Fringe to heart in this show, which attempts to create a kind of ‘happening’ in the space of an hour-long comedy gig.

Doctor Brown - The good doctor has made a splash at Edinburgh the past two years, and has returned with another heavily feted show. The Puck-ish performer makes full use of the space in his 'Befrdfgth' show, stealing audience drinks and creating uproar without saying a word. The clowning skills instructor trained with French master clown Philippe Gaulier

Doctor Brown, Underbelly, ****/ Tony Law, The Stand, ***

There are no words. Literally. Edinburgh has witnessed a mime wave this year, with acts such as The Boy With Tape On His Face, Billy the Mime and Doctor Brown stealing punters away from the stand-up acts who are already experiencing a downturn.

James Acaster: Prompt, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

After a tumbleweed-inducing debut solo show last year, the 27-year-old Kettering boy has returned to the Fringe and imposed an effective rule of three on his whimsical stylings: judicious repetition, reinforcement and joined-up thinking.

Rachel Stubbins is Stubbing Out Problems, Udderbelly Bristo Square, Edinburgh

Rachel Stubbins' agony aunt character is a disappointingly drab creation, albeit a confident one. It is quite a feat that she elicits an emotional response from her audience by the end of her show, snatching it rather from the jaws of indifference.

The Imaginary Radio Programme: Drennon Davis, Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh

If you add “with Monique Moreau on keyboard” to the self-explanatory title of this show then you get exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a simple recipe to prepare and serve: the American duo pretend to dial surf through the airwaves in order to pastiche various musical styles.

Comedian Dies in the Middle of a Joke, Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh

Ever watched a stand-up and thought, ‘I could do better than that?’ The latest work from the brilliant, genre-leaping performer/ writer Ross Sutherland is a chance to prove it.

Eddie Pepitone’s Bloodbath, Just the Tonic at the Tron, Edinburgh

“I used to want to be a star but now I just like the hot darkness.” So laments the 53-year-old Eddie Pepitone. Part of this year’s American contingent, the comedian and actor (his roles include a recurring part on The Sarah Silverman Show) powers through a set that is almost exclusively anticomedy.

Nick Mohammed, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

How to define Nick Mohammed’s show? It’s a character comedy/maths lecture/magic show with a bit of Countdown and some acrobatics (he does an Arab spring – and has been doing them since way before the political movement took off, he tells us proudly) thrown in.

Tiffany Stevenson: Uncomfortably Numb, Underbelly, Edinburgh

Youth-preserving tips from a dermatologist inspired this latest hour from Tiffany Stevenson, known to television audiences from a stint on ITV’s ‘Show Me The Funny’ comedy competition.

Pappy's: Last Show Ever, Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh

After some muted outings, the sketch group Pappy's are back to their lovable best, on the kind of form that saw them shortlisted for Edinburgh's comedy award in 2007 and will probably get them a place on this year's list, too.

Marek Larwood: Typecast, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

“I’m sick of playing people who have been hit by spades”, laments Marek Larwood in his debut solo show. It’s not clear whether he is offering this slapstick stereotyping as a reason for his permanently startled expression, but there’s little doubt that the 36-year-old has a face for comedy.

Rubberbandits, Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh

The Gilded Balloon’s nightclub is rarely used for its intended purpose during the Fringe, but the boisterous Irish outfit, and YouTube smashes, Rubberbandits warrant it. Their fans, some of whom have come with plastic bags over their heads to mimic their heroes’ attire, have come to dance as well as to laugh.

Josie Long

Alfie Brown: Soul for Sale, Underbelly, Edinburgh

Alfie Brown isn’t the only comedian at the Fringe berating his industry for catering to the lowest common denominator, but he may well be the one doing it with the least amount of grace.

Sean Hughes' Life Becomes Noises is a musing on his dad's death that sees the Irish comic donning a jockey's outfit in honour of his father's passion for horse racing

Sean Hughes: Life Becomes Noises, Pleasance Courtyard,***/ Sean Hughes Stands Up, Gilded Balloon, *

In recent years the returns that Sean Hughes has made to the Fringe have been diminishing ones, contrasting ever more unfavourably with his peak in the 1990s and exposing an increasingly bitter disillusionment with, well, everything.

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