Befrdfgth Wins Top Comedy Award
Heard the one about an American, a Norwegian, and a New Zealander? They all just won Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Awards.
The clown Doctor Brown won Best Comedy, dry wit Daniel Simonsen won best newcomer, and mime act The Boy With Tape On His Face won the Panel Prize.
The Awards, formerly known as IF and Perrier in their 32 year history, were presented yesterday at a ceremony at the Dovecot Studios, by last year’s Best Comedy Show winner Adam Riches and special guest, Suggs.
Foster's Best Comedy Show: Doctor Brown – Befrdfgth
Doctor Brown is the stage persona of American performer Phil Burgers (pictured above). Burgers, who cites Rowan Atkinson, Tommy Cooper and Woody Allen as influences, studied clowning with respected French practitioner Philippe Gaulier, whose students have included Sacha Baron Cohen and Theatre de Complicite's Simon McBurney.
Burns (pictured above also), producer of the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards said: "Doctor Brown’s show starts with fun pranks and then takes the audience on a roller coaster from inspired lunacy to pulling your heart strings. He can express emotion with a gesture, a look or an eyebrow. A breathtakingly brilliant clown with enormous charisma in a fantastic show.”
Foster’s Best Newcomer: Daniel Simonsen - Champions
Now living in London, Simonsen is originally from Bergen in Norway, and got his big break in the UK when he won So You Think You're Funny.
Burns said: “He wowed the judges with his dry witty take on the day to day battle with life. Sharing a house, cleaning rotas, finding a new family in South America, fitting in.”
Foster’s Panel Prize: The Boy With Tape On His Face - More Tape
The "Boy", alias of New Zealander Sam Wills, has been packing out the 700-seat Pleasance Grand every day since the Edinburgh Fringe started three weeks ago. Wearing a strip of duct tape over his mouth, he delivers a wordless act, a whirlwind of high-energy visual jokes and audience participation.
Nica Burns said: “Sam’s work has been developed totally at the Edinburgh Fringe. He came as a street performer in 2007, met his wife who was singing opera on the street as he was trying to put his body through a tennis racquet. He came indoors for his first full show in 2010 winning a Foster’s Best Newcomer nomination and this year he has graduated to selling out one of the largest Fringe venues, the Pleasance Grand. He is an outstanding comedian who proves that punchlines don’t need words. His show is packed full of gags – all visual. Sam shows us that silence can be hilarious.”
536 different comedy shows were eligible for the three awards and the judging panel and awards team attended over 1, 400 performances over the three weeks of the Festival.
The full list of nominations:
- Claudia O'Doherty: The Telescope
- Doctor Brown: Befrdfgth
- James Acaster: Prompt
- Josie Long: Romance and Adventure
- Pappy's: Last Show Ever!
- Tony Law: Maximum Nonsense
The shortlist for the Best Newcomer was:
- Daniel Simonsen: Champions
- David Trent: Spontaneous Comedian
- Discover Ben Target
- Joe Lycett: Some Lycett Hot
- Sam Fletcher: Good on Paper
The 2012 judging panel were:
- Lindsay Hughes - Panel Chair, Head of Talent & Executive Producer, Baby Cow Productions
- Ben Boyer - Head of Development, Sky Comedy
- Oscar Cainer - Public Competition Winner
- Bruce Dessau - Evening Standard
- Lyndsay Fenner - Producer, BBC Radio Comedy
- Paul Macinnes - Editor, Guardian Guide
- Dominic Maxwell - Chief Comedy critic, The Times
- Sophie Stubbs - Public Competition Winner
- Emma Watkins - Public Competition Winner
- Ben Williams - Comedy Editor, Time Out