Edinburgh Fringe 2024: The Recs’ First Picks

The first shows of the Edinburgh Fringe 2024 have been unveiled. The Recs casts an eye over the the initial line-up.

Image by David-Monteith-Hodge

The world’s biggest arts festival, the Edinburgh Fringe, has announced the first tranche of shows for 2024. It’s like spotting the first tree of Christmas for The Recs.

With reassuring familiarity, we can confirm that 007 Voices of Bond is the show that opens this year’s alphabetical line-up. We do wonder what would happen if anyone ever came up with a show called 006! Flicking through twenty-eight pages of Fringe offerings, the traditional resistance to professional graphic designers is still present and incorrect on oh-so-many artworks. Tread carefully: there are some posters guaranteed to trigger your font rage, kids!

So, what are the ten first-announced shows to have caught our eye, for all the right reasons? In no particular order, here are our first Fringe2024 Recs.

Arturo Brachetti: SOLO

What a thrill that the genius, Italian visual artist Arturo Brachetti is bringing his show to Edinburgh. His dreams, memories and fantasies inform a beguiling world of wonder. Hailed the master of quick change, you’ll find Solo suddenly populated with 50+ characters such as Pavarotti, Elvis, Sherlock Holmes, Shrek, Madonna and many more icons of popular culture. A spectacle not to be missed!

Pleasance at EICC |  Jul 31 Aug 1-6, 8-12, 14-20, 22-25

The Italians in England

Staying with that theme, Action Theatre will bring an intriguing show from Italy. Set in 1572, when Commedia dell’Arte is all the rage in European theatre houses, Queen Elizabeth I insists on seeing the Italian players at her royal court.

Adapting  Il Vecchio Geloso (The Jealous Old Man), expect wild plots, improvisation, leather half masks and a wild boar! Imagine CC Blooms but with actors. 

theSpace @ Surgeons’ Hall | Aug 2-10, 12-17, 19-24

In Loyal Company

One-person shows often offer a rich seam of entertainment at the Fringe – so it’s a welcome return for In Loyal Company which originally premiered in 2018. David William Bryan tells the incredible true story of a WWII soldier, his great uncle Arthur Robinson, who was declared missing after his ship in Singapore is destroyed by Japanese dive bombers. Compelling.

Pleasance Courtyard | Jul 31 Aug 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24

A Gay Dad Murders Sex

Maths teacher (no really) and stand-up comedian Xander Platz returns to the Fringe with his new show, A Gay Dad Murders Sex.

Xander has promised a show that will feature “Dark obsessions. Evil desires. Twisted kinks” but enough about his priest.

If the comedy is as sharp as his abs, you’ll be in for a good evening.

theSpace @ Surgeons’ Hall | Aug 2-10, 12-24

Margolyes & Dickens: The Best Bits

If the word ‘incorrigible’ didn’t exist, it would have to be invented for the UK’s naughtiest national treasure, Miriam Margolyes. 

After a 12-year absence, she will be gracing the Fringe with a show that will demonstrate her passion for the preeminent Victoria novelist, Charles Dickens, and his colourful characters. In an interview with The Guardian last year, Miriam said that she still wants to be admired for her acting. “I don’t just want to be a foul-mouthed old biddy”.

Although a fantastic character actress, we’re not entirely convinced. Speaking about her return to Edinburgh this year, Miriam commented: “The Fringe makes you brave.  I am overjoyed to be back!  An old cunt having a go. Fun friction, Mr Dickens and me…and you!”


Pleasance at EICC | Aug 7-15

A Jaffa Cake Musical

The Edinburgh Fringe has been known on occasion as a hotbed of controversy. But Gigglemug Theatre might be reopening a can of worms with their new production. 

With its official UK premiere, this family-friendly musical explores the question for the ages: Jaffa Cake…cake or biscuit? Inspired by the 1991 tribunal which determined the true identity of a Jaffa Cake, tickets will sell like hot cakes. Or biscuits. Don’t ask us – we just eat them!

Pleasance Courtyard | Jul 31 Aug 1-12, 14-26

Tom Hearn Live

The Recs always has a soft spot when a performer travels around the world to make their Edinburgh Fringe debut. 

And this year, multiple award-winning sketch comedian, actor, drag queen and director Tom Hearn is leaving his home in Toronto Canada to bring How Fabulous Is That? to the Scottish capital. He promises character comedy, musical performances and the iconic impressions that has earned him more than 500K social-media followers. 

theSpace @ Surgeons’ Hall | Aug 2-4, 6-10, 13-18, 20-24


Sarah Cameron-West brings her new, one-woman, comedy rollercoaster, Karen, to the Fringe. The premise sees the Protagonist being dumped by her long-term boyfriend. On her 30th birthday! At Alton Towers! Mid-Calippo!

This emotional tipping point triggers an identity crisis that will ends in an explosive office showdown. With fourth-wall-breaking humour, could this be this year’s honorary inheritor of the Fleabag mantle?

Underbelly, Cowgate | Aug 1-11, 13-18, 20-25

Solve Along A Murder She Wrote

Sometimes there are shows that are such a simple idea, it’s impossible to fault them. Anyone who saw Solve Along A Murder She Wrote at last year’s Fringe would agree. 

Essentially it’s a screening of an episode of Murder, She Wrote with games and lots of laughs, hosted with his trusty Suspiciometer by Tim Benzie, an Australian super-fan of the murder-mystery show. Interactive fun to release your inner Jessica!

theSpace @ Symposium Hall | Aug 2-10, 12-17, 19-24

Pleasance Courtyard | Jul 31 Aug 1-4, 6-11, 13-18, 20-26

Gwyneth Goes Skiing

The Edinburgh Fringe can be the springboard to launch certain performers and shows into the stratosphere.

My Son’s a Queer (But What Can You Do?) was such a runaway hit at Edinburgh 2021, it propelled Rob Madge into a West End run at the Garrick Theatre and on to further success.

Two sell-out runs (plus a Recs’ 5-star review) at the 2022 and 2023 Fringes have sent Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder! to the West End for an extended run at the Ambassadors Theatre this year.

We’ve watched Awkward Productions (Linus Karp and Joseph Martin) build up an ever-growing fanbase with ever-bolder, queertastic shows such as How to Live a Jellicle Life: Life Lessons from the 2019 Hit Musical ‘Cats’ and Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story

And then in December 2023, they unleashed Gwyneth Goes Skiing, a play with music that reimagines Gwyneth Paltrow’s infamous ski crash with retired optometrist Terry Sanderson. With puppets, snowstorms, audience interaction, ridiculously catchy songs, it’s like a Goop bag of delights. 

The Recs is going to stick our neck out here: not only will Gwyneth Goes Skiing be the hot ticket for Edinburgh but whether it is sooner or later, a West End transfer is surely on the cards?