One Of London's Best Free Comedy Festivals Is This Weekend

By Londonist Staff Last edited 17 months ago

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One Of London's Best Free Comedy Festivals Is This Weekend
The frankly nuts Richard Gadd is performing en route to Edinburgh

It's one of London's best comedy festivals, it's totally free, and it's starting on Friday.

From 29-31 July the Balham Free Fringe Festival returns to The Bedford — a veritable funhouse of  a pub. In our humble opinion it's one of the best ways to gen up on this year's Edinburgh Fringe (starting next month). Or, just be cheap and treat it as an admirable substitute.

Here's three people you should see each day:

29 July

Gareth Edwards has proved his comedy credentials on Russell Howard's Good News, talking about ironing on trains like this:

If you've ever wondered what it's like to hear Ice Ice Baby or Bohemian Rhapsody played as a recorder solo, Kirsty Newton is almost certainly your bag:

James Bennison has many strings to his bow. Not only is he a failed maths teacher (as expanded on in the video below) at the Balham Free Fringe this year, he'll be teaching you how to be a supervillain. Marvel-lous.

30 July

Trevor Lock likes to riff on the idea of wasabi peas, and we happen to be gaga about comedy AND wasabi peas.

Here's this article's cover star, Richard Gadd auditioning for The Revenant. We reckon this is relatively sober compared to a lot of his stuff. You've been warned.

And how can we forget Chris Coltrane — politics cynic, Kinder egg critic and organiser of Balham Free Fringe.

31 July

We were rolling in the aisles at Elf Lyons' talcum powder-chucking, foil space suit-wearing set at last year's festival, and we've an inkling the young stand-up will be even funnier this year.

Paul F Taylor is a surrealist clown, who likes to reference Seinfeld, and create his own crazy worlds around him. Very much like this:

Stuart Laws, meanwhile, has lots of useful tips for being an adult at a theme park.

Balham Free Fringe is on at The Bedford, 77 Bedford Hill, SW12 9HD from 29-31 July. Start times vary by day. All comedy is free, but the place gets packed so arrive early. And donate generously.

Last Updated 25 July 2016