Every August, Edinburgh, Scotland becomes the arts and entertainment capital of the world, bringing more than 50,000 shows to the picturesque ancient town. There are comedy, dance, theatre, circus, kids, and music shows happening at venues, big and small, all across town.
A number of Jewish artists perform at the festival each year, including acts from the United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States.
The following are some of the best acts to see in 2018:
In his new show “Just for Us,” Boston-born, Los Angeles-based Jewish comedian Alex Edelman tells the story of the time he went to a neo-Nazi meeting in New York City. He sprinkles the story with other tales of meeting Prince William, writing with Stephen Fry, being the brother of an Israeli Olympics champion, and getting tested for autism 11 times.
English comedian Rachel Creeger performs a one-hour show about her various Jewish-themed adventures in “It’s No Job For A Nice Jewish Girl.” Creeger wanted to be a pop star when she was young, so she joined a signing group for Orthodox women. They all went off, got married, and had babies, so the group was no more. Now, Creeger tours around doing standup, and is the only Orthodox Jewish female comedian in the UK. Not bad for a nice Jewish girl.
Ashley Blaker, Britain’s only Orthodox Jewish male comedian, made his 2018 Edinburgh Fringe debut with his one-man show, “Observant Jew.” In it, he talks about his journey becoming frum, being a father of six, and dealing with issues like not being able to shake women’s hands at the BBC, where he works, and being the only TV producer who doesn’t actually own a TV.
Daniel Lobell, a Los-Angeles based comedian and storyteller, is back for his second year at the Edinburgh Fringe with his show “Fat Chance.” It’s a touching and hilarious tale about his battle with obesity, his friendship with the late comedian Ralphie May, and his many attempts to lose weight through Weight Waters, the Atkins Diet, Overeaters Anonymous, and an eating disorder rehab. As he says, he’s trying to lose it all… one pound at a time.
UK-based comedian Philip Simon MCs “Jew-O-Rama,” a daily comedy show featuring other Jewish comedians. It’s free, it’s funny, and it’s featured comedians like the legendary Al Lubel, Aaron Levene, and Ivor Dembina.
Musician Daniel Cainer, who plays the piano, tells humorous stories about his Yiddish-speaking grandparents, his first foray into music recording, and his return to his religion. Reminiscent of Billy Joel, he plays the festival every year, playing new and beloved songs like “Bad Rabbi” and “A Merry Purim Song.”
7Colt Cabana and Brendon Burns
Every night in a basement of an Edinburgh bar, Jewish professional wrestler Colt Cabana and Australian comedian Brendon Burns play and roast hilarious clips from professional wrestling matches. Audience members are all professional wrestling fans, and know Cabana from his podcast, “Art of Wrestling.”