Mervyn Stutter's Pick of the Fringe

4th Aug 2018 - 26th Aug 2018

Pleasance One - Pleasance Courtyard


Restricted to ages 12 and above


It's like the Royal Variety Show of the Fringe. Mervyn and his team carefully research the Fringe and bring you live extracts from seven top shows in a packed 90 minute lunchtime extravaganza. Every day there is a different selection. Pick the ones you like and then go and see them. Simple! Brilliant! There's comedy, theatre, cabaret, music, dance, the indefinable.

Daily line-ups at

'A vibrant, stimulating showcase of talent' (Scotsman).

'Excellent, really, really good!' (Observer).

Twenty-seventh year!







1. Dietrich: Natural Duty - Theatre (cabaret)
2. Chris Washington - Comedian.: You Beauty! - Comedy (stand-up)
3. That Daring Australian Girl - Theatre (solo show, historical)
4. Early Birds - Theatre (comedy, new writing)
5. Revelations - Theatre (storytelling, new writing)
6. Ivo Graham: Motion Sickness- Comedy (stand-up)
7. The Choir Of Man - Comedy (musical theatre, cabaret)
Host: Mervyn Stutter 

Open/closeReviews and Quotations

"What makes this show special is that it’s not just a few comics and some music. We had two comics a theatre piece, some circus skills, sketch comedy, a musical section, and of course opening up with the slightly scary cabaret star Bernie Deiter. Another beauty of this show is that there are different acts each day so it is definitely something that can be seen more than once, that is if you can get a ticket of course."
4 stars
"It’s expertly compèred by Stutter, who gets the audience warmed up and conducts informative interviews with the acts. Giving a more eclectic spread of performers than other showcases in Edinburgh, it introduces you to a sample of some of the better performers in the Fringe."
4 stars
Three Weeks
"To summarise, this was an invaluable introduction to the enormous variety at the Fringe, a good way to get a whole lot of acts ticked off your list (or added to the must-see list) and an excellent way to start the day, after you’ve had your wake-up lunch. Just book early for this one, as it is a sell-out show."
5 stars
"Stutter is fabulous - not only through the execution of his own act and songs, which leave you crying out for more - but through his insightful questions to the acts which help bring their performances more to life. More please, Mr Stutter; his command of the stage is something that many of the acts he punctuates can only hope one day to achieve."
4 stars
Broadway Baby


What Is Mervyn Stutter's 'Pick of the Fringe'?

Q: Hi Mervyn. How are you today?

A: Very well, thank you.

Q: Can you some up in a few sentences what your show is all about.

A: Yes, of course. In a nutshell, it is a similar concept to the Royal Variety Show. It is a ninety minute showcase of some of the best talent on the Fringe selected from all the different genres on offer, whether it be Theatre, Comedy, Dance, Clowning, Acrobats, Circus, Opera, Spoken Word, or the indefinable. Each day seven different Fringe shows are invited to perform a five minute extract of their show followed by a five minute interview with me. They see the extract and then I chat to them and this gives the audience a true flavour of each show plus some interesting background information about the performer(s) involved. Armed with these insights, audience members can confidently pick the shows they liked and then go to see the whole performances should they wish.

Q: You emphasised 'different shows'. What do you mean?

A: Yes, it is important that people fully understand that my 'Pick of the Fringe' showcase is completely different every day. Over the past 26 years I've been doing this, no two Pick of the Fringe shows have ever been the same so Fringe goers can come back to see more than one Pick of the Fringe shows during the Fringe. And many do. I am humbled by the number of regulars I have acquired. Lovely people.

Q: Is it just 'big names' and 'comedy' like most of the 'Best of...' shows on the Fringe?

A: No and no! The focus of the showcase is to find truly talented performers and exceptional shows from all the different genres regardless of their showbiz status. We do pride ourselves in trying to find shows that don’t have the big budgets, management, or PR that the more established acts have, but we do not limit ourselves in any way; if the show is great and worth shouting about, we will invite it to showcase. Of course, if we can, we like to find those hidden gems of the Fringe and bring them to the attention of Fringe-goers but the number one criteria is, "it must be really good". It’s a big old Fringe these days and you may have to sit through a lot of the not-so-good-stuff to find the truly amazing. That's where we come in. We filter the wheat from the chaff, hopefully saving punters money as well.

Q: How do you find the shows to showcase?

A: Each year, I put together three separate teams of Arts professionals who go out onto the Fringe and sit through hundreds of shows. These teams are drawn from all parts of the Arts Industry, each with their own expertise, and each team works for a part of the Fringe. This ensures a wonderful mix of styles and influences, and it keeps the showcases fresh and vibrant for the entire run.

Q: Can people find out who the performers are in advance?

A: Yes, go to our show website at and click on 'Shows'. However, please be sure to say that we rarely know the line-ups until the day before so if there is no information available, please check back again in the evening before the showcase date you are interested in. When a show or act is 100% confirmed, our Webby will update the website accordingly. Another way to "be the first to know" would be to join our mailing list and/or follow us on Twitter and Facebook. All three can be found via our website.

Q: That's great, Mervyn. So, where can people buy tickets to your show?

A: Where can I buy tickets?"
There are three ways to buy tickets, you can
1. buy online from, or
2. book tickets on the telephone by calling the Pleasance Box Office on 0131-556-6550, or
3. buy tickets in person by either going to any Fringe Box Office or any Pleasance Box Office.

Q: If the reader wants to find out more information, where should they go or who should they contact?

A: Well, first off I would suggest they visit the website but if anyone has a specific question then just write to the me and the Team at

Q: Thank you for doing this short interview. I wish you the very best for your 27th consecutive 'Pick of the Fringe'.

A: Thank you.

Sign up to our weekly email newsletter