Julian Hall

Julian has been the comedy critic for The Independent since 2003. He is also the author of The Rough Guide to British Cult Comedy, www.textualhealing.co.uk

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Cariad Lloyd: The Freewheelin’ Cariad Lloyd, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

The hit of The Free Fringe and a newcomer nominee for the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award last year, Cariad Lloyd is back with another collection of loopy characters and sparkling one-liners.

Sara Pascoe: The Musical, Assembly George Square, Edinburgh

“It’s actually about adolescence and images of women in the media – you’ve been punked.” It’s not a spoiler to give away the ending of Sara Pascoe’s third Edinburgh show, as it quickly becomes evident that the musical notion is slight at best.

Felicity Ward: The Hedgehog Dilemma, Underbelly Bristo Square, Edinburgh

Returning to Edinburgh after three years, the established Australian television sketch show star and stand-up Felicity Ward is one of the most charismatic performers you are likely to see at the Fringe this year. Unfortunately, her exuberance sometimes falls into the “gotta sing, gotta dance, gotta act” category.

Andrew Lawrence, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Having been described, in a recent magazine article, as “up and coming”, despite a career lasting nine years so far, Andrew Lawrence is understandably put out. Luckily for us, it’s another green light for the rake-thin comic to see red for our entertainment.

Getting political: Josie Long is back on the Fringe after a year off and is on great form

Josie Long: Romance and Adventure, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

The 2010 election marked the political awakening of Josie Long. An activist in a hurry, she wants to have everything sorted by the time the next election rolls around in 2015.

David Trent: Spontaneous Comedian, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Eighteen months ago David Trent, a 40-year old junior school teacher, performed some of his video-assisted routines in front of hundreds of people at the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year award.

Andrew Maxwell: That’s The Spirit, Assembly George Square, Edinburgh

Nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award last year, the Irish comedian Andrew Maxwell returns to the scene of that creditworthy show to stage a paler imitation of it.

Lucy Porter: People Person, The Stand, Edinburgh Festival

After getting pregnant “twice in the same tax year” the always glowing Lucy Porter returns to the Edinburgh Fringe after a two year absence - a long break by the standards of this petite comic’s big appetite for the festival.

Rhys Darby is preparing for his first ever tour of the UK this summer

Rhys Darby: This Way To Spaceship, Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

Rhys Darby made his name playing the hapless manager Murray Hewitt in Flight of the Conchords, and in his latest live show the Kiwi comedian can’t resist reminding us of that. The small-screen character is not only with us in name tonight, he’s with us in spirit too: This Way To Spaceship is a Murray Hewitt production through and through - it’s well-meaning, but incompetent.

Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, Soho Theatre, London

It is the first time in London for American comedian Mike Birbiglia, for either work or play. "Why have you never been before?" interviewers have asked him in advance of his two week run, to which he has replied "Have you been expecting me?"

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