10 Hidden Gems From Edinburgh Festival 2019

1. Steffan Alun - You Can’t Escape Free Stand Up

This is Steffan’s fourth solo show, and the fourth year in a row he's intentionally kept to 40 minutes to avoid reviewers coming ("I've seen what happens when you get reviewers," he tells us knowingly at the start. "Your audiences come with Expectations. Not having that.") You have to wonder, though, just how many more times he can get away with this before reviewers come anyway.

The topic this year is his ill-fated attempt to have a real job in an escape room, an irreverent and charming tale – but it’s undercut by the revelation that he was also bullied this year for, among other things, his sexuality. With that sort of premise, this could have been a fairly heavy and uncomfortable show, but as ever, Steffan is witty, cheerful and intelligent, giving his subject matter all due deference while never losing the good mood of the room - or the laughs.


Jane Frost has contributed 1 post since joining in August 2019.