Nominees announced for the 2018 Edinburgh Comedy Awards

day Nica Burns, Director of the Edinburgh Comedy Awards announced the nominees for Best Comedy Show and Best Newcomer.

The nominees for Best Comedy Show are:

Ahir Shah: Duffer (Laughing Horse @ Cabaret Voltaire)

Ahir Shah’s hour of stand-up about life and what comes after, death and what comes before, and Bohemian Rhapsody. Shah’s last show, Control, enjoyed a critically acclaimed Fringe run, culminating in a nomination for Best Comedy Show at the 2017 Edinburgh Comedy Awards.

Alex Edelman: Just For Us (Pleasance Courtyard, Cabaret Bar)

2014 Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer Alex Edelman returns with his third solo show. It’s about jigsaw-loving Nazis and tribalism. In the last year alone, Edelman has performed on Conan, supported Beck and Ricky Gervais and saw his special, Live at the BBC, released on Netflix UK. A Boston native, NYC dweller, this millennial posterboy is wise beyond his years, remarkably self-assured and at the top of his game.

Felicity Ward: Busting a Nut (Pleasance Courtyard, Pleasance Above)

Fresh off the back of her new BBC Radio 4 series Appisodes, a Netflix special Live from the BBC, and regular co-host of The Guilty Feminist Podcast, Felicity Ward returns to the Edinburgh Fringe after a two-year hiatus.

Glenn Moore: Glenn Glenn Glenn, How Do You Like It, How Do You Like It (Just The Tonic at the Tron)

Glenn Moore from Mock the Week and Absolute Radio presents a new show full of the distinctive jokes and offbeat gags. This time, he’s going somewhere nobody’s been before so you might want to join him for the big send-off.

Kieran Hodgson:’75 (Pleasance Courtyard, Beneath)

Twice nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award (2015 &2016), Kieran returns to the Fringe with the epic tale of how Britain joined Europe in the first place. An overambitious hour of history, politics and enduring friendship punctuated by stunningly accurate impressions of dead politicians you’ve never heard of.

Larry Dean: Bampot (Assembly Checkpoint)

2015 Best Newcomer nominees returns to Edinburgh fresh from a sell-out international tour and smash-hit Live at the Apollo debut. Larry returns with a new hour of ‘unexpected and excellent’ **** (Times) thoughts on Scottishness, sodomites and self-esteem.

Rose Matafeo: Horndog (Pleasance Courtyard, Pleasance Above)

Rose Matafeo has kissed nearly 10 men in her life, AKA she’s a total horndog. But what is horniness? Is it that intangible essence of excitement and opportunity? A fire that flickers in the beating heart of every human being? Or is it simply wanting to bone everyone, all the time? Stand-up, sketch and mid-20s angst from this critically acclaimed New Zealand comic.

The nominees for Best Newcomer are:

Ciarán Dowd: Don Rodolfo (Pleasance Courtyard, Pleasance That)

Don Rodolfo is a total butthead, a shameless libertine and the greatest swordsman the world has ever seen. The grotesque love child of Don Juan and Don Quixote takes you on a journey through his conquests, his adventures and every stupid thought in his idiot head. Returning to Edinburgh with his debut solo show, Ciarán is a character comedian and member of the critically acclaimed sketch group BEASTS.

Maisie Adam:Vague (Gilded Balloon ,Teviot)

18 months ago, Maisie decided to try stand-up comedy. Within a year, she won the biggest stand-up comedy newcomer competition (becoming the fourth woman to have done so in its 30 years), opened for major comedians, and claimed a Best New Comedy nomination at Brighton Fringe. In her debut, the northerner and self-confessed “Slave to the Sesh” relays her experiences of navigating the recklessness of youth whilst dealing with a medical condition that requires you to be a “Sensible Susan”. Winner: So You Think You’re Funny? 2017.

Olga Koch: Fight (Pleasance Courtyard, Pleasance This)

In 2014, Olga Koch’s father got stopped by authorities on the Russian border, which resulted in the most surreal year of her family’s life. This year, the Amused Moose National New Comic Award finalist will try to dissect this real-life spy drama with nothing but a projector and ‘a naturally comic mind’ (Bruce Dessau). As heard on The Now Show.

Sara Barron: For Worse (Just The Tonic at the Tron)

The ‘reigning queen of New York’s live storytelling scene’ (Jon Ronson) and host of the hit US storytelling show, The Moth, delivers her debut stand-up hour. Filthy, funny and incisive, Barron skewers her husband, her child, WhatsApp, herself and, notably, a tweenage sex script she wrote way back in 1992. As heard on The Guilty Feminist and BBC Radio 4 Extra.

Sarah Keyworth: Dark Horse (Pleasance Courtyard, Bunker Two)

Nottingham-born rising star Sarah Keyworth tells you about her life with an important little girl and her battle against every expectation of what being a girl means. Think Girls Just Wanna Have Fun but British, deadpan and in no way similar. Tour support for Dane Baptiste, Stewart Francis and Kerry Godliman. Funny Women runner-up.

Sindhu Vee: Sandhog (Pleasance Courtyard)

Loving your children, spouse and aging parents is very hard work, very intense and, a lot of the time, it sucks. But who wants to live without love? Highly anticipated debut from host of BBC Radio 4’s Comedy of the Week podcast.

Nica Burns, Director of the Awards says of this year’s shortlists:

A truly international shortlist of extremely talented funny comedians for Best Comedy Show, with female stand-ups dominating an outstanding Best Newcomer shortlist for the first time in the history of the awards. Between them, they cover every aspect of contemporary life from: why Britain voted to stay in the EU in 1975 to family, personal relationships, love, sex in your 20s, gender and sexual identity, living with your in-laws and being the only Jew at a meeting of the far-right.

The panel, chaired by Stephen Armstrong – Comedy Critic, Sunday Times, consists of seven professionals and three comedy punters representing the public.

● Gayle Anderson – Arts Writer and Herald Comedy Critic

● Jane Dempsey – Public Panellist

● Joe Gardner – Public Panellist

● Morwenna Gordon – Commissioning Editor, Sky Comedy

● Richard Morris – Producer, BBC Studios Comedy

● Sarah Asante – Assistant Commissioner, BBC Comedy

● Saurabh Kakkar –Executive Producer (Comedy), Big Talk Productions

● Tashi Radha – Public Panellist

● Tristram Fane Saunders – Commissioning Editor/Culture Writer, The Telegraph

There will be a press call with the nominees at Assembly Checkpoint at 9.45 on Thursday 23 August.The winners will be announced at a lunchtime ceremony on Saturday 25 August.

The prize money for best comedy show is £10,000 with £5,000 each for the Best Newcomer and the Panel Prize winner.


Nina Conti: Nina Is Monkey: McEwan Hall Aug 20-27th

It could be easy to characterise this show as unchanged but this was my first visit and i loved it, the venue must have had 900 seats filled, if you command an audience in this range you probably don’t tweak the format too much, Nina is a time served entertainer her meta ‘monkey is me’ introduction is a nice absurdist twist and a handy excuse to choose her subjects in the audience, it is certainly a night one lawyer and his family and friends won’t forget tonight in a hurry, the sisters and friend really got into their roles as Nina crafted a scenario, culminating in a performance finale of expressive fun all designed to make the audience belly laugh. her ability to stage manage the chaos is impressive, make sure you see her run before the end on Aug 27th
Coroner Rating
4 Stars

Alice Fraser: Ethos Underbelly Bristo Square – Fresian Aug 19-27

Ethos,the artificial intelligence robot assistant welcomes and introduces the audience to the sold out venue, the set up of taking a call from Alice who was ‘running late’ was a clever fun way of starting the show, Alice is clearly a gifted performer who can interweave complex philosophical thought processes with a thoughtful knob gag or two, Ethos butts in occasionally and the back and forth is intriguing as it feels like Alice is answering her internal dialogue rather than the robot as she explores themes of Family and feminism, her delivery is warm and enthusiastic you are off on a journey of considered thought with her, one thing is for sure, i can never hear “The Gambler” without the new lyrics.
make sure you see Alice Fraser live before she is snapped up by T.V. studios and Netflix specials it won’t be long before she is catapulted into that world.

Coroners Rating:
5 stars

Show Up 16:45 Laughing Horse @ Counting House- The Lounge

Peter Marino hosts “Show Up” at the counting house and is a show about your crazy life, he expertly architects a show from audience suggestions on a post it note board, he has to work hard both to get suggestions out of a reserved audience this afternoon but also to explain his 80’s movie and music references to a younger audience which in itself was really funny, if you are in your 40’s if you have a show yourself at the start he’ll give it a shout out, so make sure you tell him you are a fellow artist, you can tell he is a director and producer as he rushes about keeping busy setting up while making sure everyone is welcomed offered a badge and spoken to this is a nice touch and icebreaks the audience, he does assure you you won’t be up on stage performing as the stage is too small he does manage to hire a set designer a music producer and a prop supplier from the audience through various stages improv within improv came when the set designer had to leave early (which they did tell him prior to the start) he had to hire a set designer on the spot and a volunteer stepped up. Show Up had great energy this format ensures each show is different I would not be surprised if members of the audience show up again before the run ends.

Coroners Rating:

4 Stars

Show Up runs until Aug 18-21 & 23-26 Peter also hosts the 4 star show up kids from 12:00 at the same venue so if you have kids take them along to this already 4 star rated show.

Tom Stade: I Swear To… Rose Street Theatre Until Aug 26th 21:15

Thursday nights audience was healthy but not sold out, I thought this strange for a comic that can sell out venues double the size. He started his set mentioning the ‘venue outside the city’ regardless Tom Stade is a professional performer and plays to whomever turns up, and before you know it we are caught up in his latest philosophy,encompassing technology,young people, and how smart they are these days he expertly chooses three members of the audience with expert interaction to support his points,outside the box comedy comes from an audience member keeping Tom from getting Geoff’s name mixed up with Tonys,this was entertaining,but probably uncomfortable for Tony! the language as the title suggests was heavily salty but if you know Tom’s work its not unexpected, comparing god to Bill Cosby went down well and leaving drug dealers a review on tripping adviser were my favourite laughing points, all in the hour went quickly. Tom Stade is a 2 hour set comedian and is thoroughly good value make sure you catch up with the commander before Aug 26
Coroners Rating: 4 Stars

Coming soon:

Alice Fraser: Ethos

Friday 17th Underbelly Fresian Bristo Square 19:55

I’m really looking forward to seeing her show for the first time this Friday.

Jollyboat: Bards Against Humanity

We Enjoyed their show! apparently they have a large facebook following and they sat in the front row, the puns come thick and fast with the aids of video presentation, it was their first show of the run but were well received last year by all accounts, they absolutely can be forgiven for tech errors and forgetting sections of various bits, but there is a legit talent here and i’d like to see them toward the end of their run as i imagine it would be more polished, my pro tip: never write the show on your way to the first show,or at least tell punters you did Coroners rating:

steady pulse 3 stars

Helen Lederer: I Might As Well Say It!

…it was definitely a simile Helen, I think.

14 years has passed since Helen last performed in Edinburgh, but she is back, with a show that chronicles her past and present interweaved expertly by instances of forgetfulness and script checks which I chose to think this was part of her master plan to explain her reason for coming back to stand up, everything gets a mention, it’s time to spill the beans and she performed a masterclass in the monologue genre and is one of the nations premier talents, growing up watching her appear in naked video and Absolutely, made this a highlight of my edfringe this year.

The venue was sold out and the audience were enthusiastic and thoroughly enjoyed the hour.

The show runs until Aug 25th (apart from Aug 18th)

Coroners Rating:

5 stars

Show Up! Peter Michael Marino

Coming up, this edfringe more to follow preparations are in full swing and the fringe buzz is starting!