Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2017 nominees in full
- Craig Angus
- 23 August 2017
Hannah Gadsby, Ahir Shah, Mat Ewins, Lauren Pattison, Natalie Palamides and Mae Martin are amongst the nominees
The Best Show and Best Newcomer nominees for the 2017 lastminute.com Edinburgh Comedy Awards have been announced, with the list showing more female nominees than ever before.
Hannah Gadsby's Nanette, which has already claimed the Barry Award in Melbourne this year is the early favourite for Best Show. Gadsby's powerful comedy swansong has received six five-star write ups at this year's Festival, and is currently sitting pretty at number one on our top rated page, which takes an average of reviews and ranks all the shows at the Festival.
It's a strong shortlist, though, and Gadsby faces stiff competition to claim a prize which has previously been won by Dylan Moran, The League of Gentlemen, David O'Doherty and Bridget Christie, and was awarded to Richard Gadd last year for his show Monkey See Monkey Do.
Spencer Jones' The Audition, an hour of character comedy with hugely inventive props and a sense of purpose underlying a shambolic appearance, gets a well-deserved nod, while festival stalwart and man of endless mischief Mat Ewins is rewarded for a career-best show in Mat Ewins presents Adventureman 7: The Return of Adventureman. The latter, whose show features cameos from fellow comedians John Kearns, Tessa Coates and Fin Taylor, shuns posters and flyers and is fond of submitting photos of other comedians to go with his reviews. His nomination shows that word of mouth still goes a long, long way over the course a month in Edinburgh.
John Robins was dumped by Sara Pascoe at Christmas, but every cloud has a silver lining and the Bristol stand-up and radio host has been nominated for his raw response to that separation, The Darkness of Robins. Elf Lyons' multi-lingual, costume heavy ode to Tchaikovsky's famous ballet, Swan and Jordan Brookes' unpredictable hour of mayhem Body of Work make up the shortlist for the main comedy award.
The shortlist for Best Newcomer, a prize previously claimed by the likes of Sarah Millican, Josie Long and Tim Minchin, includes Lauren Pattison, Natalie Palamides and Rob Kemp.
Pattison's Lady Muck wowed us in the early stages of this year's Festival. A coming-of-age story that's sharp and empowering, we awarded it full marks in our first Festival edition. The cover star of that issue, Natalie Palamides, is also nominated for her debut hour Laid. The Pittsburgh surrealist's dark and original debut marks her out as a formidable talent. Time will tell if she reaches the household name status of previous Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre cast members like Amy Poehler and Zach Galifanakis, but Palamides has made a promising start.
Similarly creative is Rob Kemp. His Edinburgh introduction, The Elvis Dead, fuses the music of the King of Rock and Roll with the grisly themes of horror classic The Evil Dead. A great idea on paper, it went down a storm on the stage, as did another eccentric performance, Lucy Pearman's immersive Maid in Cabbage.
Junior Doctor Kwame Asante's debut hour has been long awaited (he's busy saving lives, and all the rest) but Open Arms hit the spot, Asante's laid-back hour given a spark with its discussion of racism and identity. Ed Night's Anthem for Doomed Youth, Chris Washington's Dream Big (Within Reason) and Darren Harriott's Defiant make up the shortlist.
The nominees for the lastminute.com Best Comedy Show Award of 2017 are:
- Ahir Shah: Control
- Elf Lyons: Swan
- Hannah Gadsby: Nanette
- John Robins: The Darkness of Robins
- Jordan Brookes: Body of Work
- Mae Martin: Dope
- Mat Ewins presents Adventureman 7: The Return of Adventureman
- Sophie Willan: Branded
- Spencer Jones: The Audition
The nominees for the lastminute.com Best Newcomer Award of 2017 are:
- Chris Washington: Dream Big (Within Reason)
- Darren Harriott: Defiant
- Ed Night: Anthem for Doomed Youth
- Kwame Asante: Open Arms
- Lauren Pattison: Lady Muck
- Lucy Pearman: Maid of Cabbage
- Natalie Palamides: LAID
- Rob Kemp: The Elvis Dead
The winners will be revealed on Sat 26 Aug