Edinburgh Fringe 10x10: Ten shows about sport | Back of the net!

Edinburgh Fringe 10x10: Ten shows about sport

Back of the net!

There doesn’t seem to be much of a crossover between sport and art at the Edinburgh Fringe. Of more than 1,300 comedy shows we could only just find ten with any sort of sporting theme. Here goes… 

1. Football:  Millwall Jew 

Stand-up Ivor Dembina got so tired of people assuming that as a Jewish man he must support Tottenham Hotspur, he decided to swear allegiance to his local club instead – Millwall FC, a club whose hooligans have been known put up antisemitic posters in London. This is his story of fandom…

Laughing Horse @ Bar 50, 14:15

2. Showjumping: The Shit Kid

For this one-woman comedy play from New Zealander Sarah Harpur, was initially inspired by the elitism of equestrian sports, inaccessible to anyone without substantial means. But she was widened it out after starting to ponder if ‘the Olympic dream is a flawed concept’, often ruinous for the mental health of those pursuing it, and leaving them lost when it’s over.

Just The Tonic at The Caves, 12:10

3. Basketball: Chris Forbes: Court Jester 

As a  skinny 16-year-old, Scottish comic Chris Forbes – who played PC Charlie MacIntosh in Scot Squad –  moved to America with dreams of becoming a professional basketball player. This is the story of his time at high school in Portland, Oregon, among the jocks and cheerleaders.

 Monkey Barrel Comedy (The Hive), August 2 to 13 only

4. Tennis: The Duncan and Judy Murray Show

Forbes has also had success as the ‘less talented third son’ of tennis coach Judy Murray, after Andy and Jamie. The character became an online hit, with Judy getting in on the joke, first on a viral video and then live, in this show which has been at last year’s  Fringe and at the King’s Theatre as part of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival. Des Clarke hosts the two shows at this year’s Fringe.

The Stand's New Town Theatre, 21:20, August 19 and 20 only

5. Running: Bryan Berlin: Running Scared 

After 10 years of being a runner,  Brooklyn-based comedian Bryan Berlin looks back at the love/hate relationship he's had with the sport  and tries to figure out why he's still doing it.

Just the Tonic at The Mash House, 19:15, August 3 to 13 only.

6. Wrestling: Wrestling with The Champ: Smiledriver 

Wrestling with The Champ is a podcast from Damien St John and Ant McGinley, a scripted show, featuring guest stand-ups, that documents life in the fictional Pub Wrestling Federation. In their Fringe show, it’s the end of the line for the champion – who now has to figure out what to do next.

PBH's Free Fringe @ Burrito ‘n’ Shake, 17:00, August 5 to 11 only

7. American Football: Jacob Hatton: Touchdown! 

Jacob Hatton is a dyspraxic, 30something, London-based stand-up (and graduate of the Soho Theatre Young Company) with one dream – to score the winning touchdown in the dying seconds of an American football movie.

Laughing Horse @ 32 Below, 14:00, August 3 to 15 only

8. Cycling: Lunch With A Cyclopath

Dion Owen is a Canadian stand-up, whose biography always describes him as a ‘professional comedian and an avid cyclist’. So guess what he’s going to talk about in Edinburgh…

Laughing Horse @ The Counting House, 12:00

9. Football: Bob Doolally – Still Alive 

The sozzled ex-footballer and pundit is a stalwart of the Fringe of more than 25 years’s standing. The alter-ego if Paul Sneddon, who also performs stand-up as Vladimir McTavish, returns with more ‘ugly musings on the beautiful game’ in a one-off show.

The Stand's New Town Theatre, August 15 only

10. Table Tennis: King of the Table 

Forget talking about sport… lets see some action! Australian comedian Ray Badran is putting on a table tennis tournament featuring some of the best comedians of the Fringe. Whether that’s best at comedy or best at table tennis, only these two late-night events – both running to nearly three hours – will decide. 

Monkey Barrel Comedy, 23:55, August 18 and 25 only

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Published: 22 Jul 2023

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