Edinburgh Fringe 2019: 10 of the top rated female comedians to see at the Festival

The Fringe is well underway and here we round up the female comedians who have received reviews from The Scotsman's critics with four stars or more.

Tuesday, 20th August 2019, 4:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th August 2019, 5:35 pm
Picture: Sara Barron

Catherine Cohen: The Twist...? She's Gorgeous22:45, Pleasance Courtyard - Beneath,

What The Scotsman critic said:

* * * * “Hot mess” seems an outmoded label for fabulous chanteuse Catherine Cohen. Because if, as she purringly declares, she’s the voice of her generation, this millennial New Yorker has apparently absorbed and erased the boundaries of ironically detached performance… In one important regard Cohen is an absolute throwback, a trouper of the old school, unable to extricate her winning smile from the pain and bewilderment. An hour in her company is a unique and confusing delight.”

Picture: Catherine Cohen

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You can read the full review here.

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Jena Friedman: Miscarriage of Justice, Assembly George Square Studios

Sophie Duker: Venus19.00, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Picture: Sophie Duker

What The Scotsman critic said:

* * * * "Yas Queen! For the avowedly woke, yet overwhelmingly white, middle-class Edinburgh Fringe, Sophie Duker is festival royalty in-waiting… A queer black woman from a single-parent family with daddy issues on call, she’s nevertheless reassuringly privately educated and an Oxbridge graduate, a highly articulate, charismatic, one-woman stroke of supreme right-on-ness for smug liberal crowds....While ticking the box for an introductory hour of being an affecting account of self-discovery, this is distinctly secondary to the laughs Duker mischievously elicits from would-be white knight saviours and the po-faced woke. A cautionary tale for Meghan Markle, Venus features some exceptionally witty skewering of pop culture and screamingly hilarious insight into the full horrors of Stacey Dooley Syndrome."

You can read the full review here.

Sara Barron: Enemies Closer20.30, Pleasance Courtyard – Upstairs (Venue 33)

What The Scotsman critic said:

* * * * "Sara Barron reckons that being in the UK for seven years and in a relationship for eight has sucked the pep out of her, the enthusiasm and entitlement that are otherwise Americans’ manifest destiny… Approaching her fifth decade, the New Yorker is instead sustained by vicariously gorging on her single friends’ romantic humiliations with a schadenfreude bordering on connoisseurship and a clairvoyant’s capacity for judgment… Whether it is the way she talks of summoning up tears for wedding speeches or her how she can’t even manage the modicum of effort it would take to cut her frenemies adrift, Barron isn’t slow in convincing you of, and allying you to, her cynicism. A hasty death is wished for an older relative and we root for her."

You can read the full review here.

Candy Gigi Presents - Friday Night Sinner!20.35, Monkey Barrel 5 (Venue 515)

* * * * "Wow. Just, wow. I realise that is not a particularly helpful response to a show. But I guarantee it will be yours when you watch the extraordinarily talented Candy Gigi power through the story of a doomed Borehamwood housewife (and murdering psychopath) who just wants to be a star… A glorious big Broadway voice, belting out her very own show tunes along a plotline that hurtles from troubled childhood, showbiz fantasies, a loveless arranged marriage, a desperate bid for stardom and, of course, murder… The entire show is pretty much one huge trigger warning. And it is glorious. It is Little Shop of Horrors with Candy as both Audreys. It is a one psychopath tour de force and she is as ruthless as she is fabulous."

You can read the full review here.

Josie Long: Tender20:20, The Stand Comedy Club

What The Scotsman critic said:

* * * * "Reframing the concept of edgy comedy to mean sleep-deprived and on the verge of nervous exhaustion, Josie Long is persecuted by her nagging fears about climate change… Her excitability is, however, as infectious as always. And though she scarcely needs it, goodwill towards this goofy optimist is enhanced by the news that she’s had a baby. With some obvious caveats about the apocalypse and acknowledgement that everyone’s experience of parenting is different, Tender is explicitly personal and positive."

You can read the full review here.

Sarah Kendall: Paper Planes19.00, Assembly George Square

What The Scotsman critic said:* * * * "The London-based Australian storyteller, known for her brilliantly funny and insightful shows, has been finding it hard to sleep.She has been scrolling the internet instead of getting on with her work. And although she does not go so far to say she’s depressed, she’s been struggling to find the joy in life.The trouble is, she says, that her faith in the power of stories has been called into question. The rise of Donald Trump has made her doubt that actions have consequences... Weaving together tales from Greek mythology and the account of a work trip to Los Angeles, Kendall takes her audience on a search for meaning in a world which is out of control."

You can read the full review here.

Diane Chorley: Modern Love 20.00, Assembly George Square

What The Scotsman critic said:

* * * * "Modern Love paints a vivid picture of the heyday of the Flick as a melting pot of British naff and global chic at a specific point in time, a place where real ale and tequila sunrises flowed together. But, for all its details, it clearly stands for something bigger with acute relevance today: the importance of coming together in difference and joy. As well as hearing the tale in Modern Love, you can get a little hint of what Chorley has in mind at the late-night variety show Down the Flick, at the same venue, where she’s joined by some cracking guests from the weirder, queerer end of Fringe entertainment, some of whom aren’t afraid of an orifice."

You can read the full review here.

Cave Women: Work in Progress12.05, Marlin's Wynd

What The Scotsman critic said:

* * * * * "Jessie has a something of a spatial awareness problem with her microphone stand and she is still making notes. But there is absolutely nothing that can stop you from falling in love with this funny, fragile, hilarious and heart-breaking hour. The rawness and the newness of it simply add to its power, and the tiny unscripted asides to the laughter. Jessie Cave has already shown that she has an unerring sense of where to place her comedy to have you in love, in tears and in fits of giggles all in the same moment. No one in the world does it like this. Except maybe her sister Bebe. Sitting on stools, with scripts and handwritten cardboard signs, the sisters pluck moments and thoughts from their lives and magically crystallise them in laughter... I cannot imagine where the progress of this work might take it. It is already a beautiful, funny and frankly unforgettable thing."

You can read the full review here.

Stand Up with Janine Harouni (Please Remain Seated)20:15, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

What The Scotsman critic said:

* * * * "Spanning several popular stand-up themes – a young comic kicking against an older relative’s regressive views; that same comic returning to spend an enforced period of adulthood with their parents; an outsider’s perspective on contrasting cultures; and confronting a life-changing personal setback – Janine Harouni’s debut still manages to be an organic masterpiece of storytelling, rich in fond detail, intricately woven together... She might imply that living in the UK has jaded her into comedy but she demonstrates plenty of the dramatist’s art in this uplifting and very funny hour."

You can read the full review here.

Jojo Sutherland: Riches to Rags16.15, Golden Balloon Teviot

What The Scotsman critic said:

* * * * "It has been a long, long time since I heard a room full of laughing people stunned into silence by a single line. But two-thirds into Jojo Sutherland’s hour that is exactly what happens. You need to go and see this show. You need to hear what she has to say. For the first 40 minutes what she is saying is great fun and you will laugh a lot. Life in a castle, uber-posh parents, financial crisis and council house envy sit alongside tales of brain haemmorhages, domestic violence and quite a lot more talk about death and funerals than is usual in a comedy show... And then Jojo drops the bomb. It will shock you. It should."

You can read the full review here.