Scots Comics Take Edinburgh Comedy Awards
The winner of this year’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards is Richard Gadd from Fife with his intense personal show Monkey See Monkey Do, based on the emotional repercussions of a sexual assault several years ago.
Gadd is the second Scot to win the top spot in the award’s 36-year history, the other being Arnold Brown, who won in 1987. The free show has been a hot ticket this Fringe in a small, 40-seater venue at Banshee Labyrinth.
An emotional Gadd received the award saying: “I don’t even know where to begin. The darkness I was in. I cannot tell you how bad it got. The worst thing my abuser ever did was take my confidence away from me and I feel that this, in some way, is going to get it back.”
As well as the prestige, the award comes with £10,000 in prize money.
Gadd’s show was one of several that have seen Fringe comedians open up about psychological and physical health issues. The Best Newcomer award went to a former Glaswegian call centre worker for a show about the trauma of suffering a brain haemorrhage. The award includes a £5,000 prize.
The third award, the Panel award, went to the team behind Iraq Out & Loud: Reading the Chilcot Report in Full. Around 2,000 people read, non-stop, the public report into the nation’s role in the Iraq war from a specially erected shed. It took 284 hours and 45 minutes. The show was not meant to be a comedy, but was initiated, and involved many comedians - Bob Slayer, Omid Djalili, Simon Munnery, Stewart Lee and others.
The £767 Chilcot Report is available for free online in its full 6000 page form.
The Edinburgh Comedy Awards have been running since 1981, formerly as the Perrier Awards, if (Intelligent Finance) awards, and the Edinburgh Comedy Awards sponsored by Fosters and now Lastminute.com (they were briefly sponsored by AbsoluteRadio.co.uk in 2009). The awards driving force and producer is theatre impressario Nica Burns, who has been at the helm since 1984.