The nominations have been announced for Best Comedy Show and Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Fringe festival and there has been praise all round for the strength of talent on this year’s list.
For the first time a 20 year old, Bo Burnham, has also been nominated for the Best Comedy Show and he has enjoyed an incredible reception so far from audiences and press alike, including Telegraph and Guardian commentators. American Bo initially came to London in 2008 with an agent and he was even signed up to Comedy Central but ticket sales struggled to take off. His comic videos have become increasingly popular on YouTube with tens of millions of hits, but although his popularity was growing his sensational performance and reception at the festival was not predicted. The star feature of Bo’s show “Words, Words, Words” is his incredible range of comedy, featuring everything from songs and sonnets to stand-up with the audience often “too dumbfounded by what they were watching, too intent to see what gag – verbal, visual, musical – would come zipping from this virtuoso young American next”. It’s a freeform style that has so far come across as fresh and engaging and for Bo, “95 per cent of the comics look the same – not so much over here, but in America they do – because of all the rules they create for themselves. 'Open with this joke, close with that.’ I’m a little disgusted by that. I think: 'You’re turning this into another job!”
For the first time there are also two women, Josie Long and Sarah Millican, nominated for the Best Comedy Show reflecting the increasing number of female comedians on the stage which has risen to 20% this year. Russell Kane’s show Smokescreens and Castles and Greg Davies show are highlighted as their best yet, so it will be interesting to see who comes out on top.
In the Best Newcomer category, Imran Yusuf has come through as a rising star. The 30 year old Muslim comedian used to work with video games but decided to take the plunge into comedy and has performed 500 shows in the past 3 years. This year he performed at the Laughing Horse Fringe which is free, and his show is founded on the principle that “regardless of what you look like, who you are, or where you come from, what ultimately defines us is our behaviour.”
The final nominations for the comedy awards in their 30th year are as follows:
BEST COMEDY SHOW
Bo Burnham: Words, Words, Words
Josie Long: Be Honourable!
Greg Davies: Firing Cheeseballs at a Dog
Russell Kane: Smokescreens and Castles
Sarah Millican: Chatterbox
Asher Treleaven: Secret Door
An Audience with Imran Yusuf
The Boy with Tape on his Face
Gareth Richards: Stand Up Between SongsLate Night Gimp Fight!
Roisin Conaty: Hero, Warrior, Fireman, Liar
Copyright Speakers Corner 2016