The (ISH) Edinburgh Comedy Awards - the alternative new Fringe-based awards run by volunteers - have announced their longlists.
The organisers explain: "A collective of around 35 volunteers have seen all eligible comedy shows (full run, not compilation) and have chosen a long list of shows below. This week the judges will see more shows to choose a short list of 5 shows in each category, the short lists will be announced next Monday 21st. The winners will be announced on Saturday 26th August at the ceremony at The Three Sisters (Maggie's Chamber). Tickets will be available for the 40 minute ceremony shortly."
These prizes were created in June, when it looked like the long-running Edinburgh Comedy Awards might not be going ahead. The Edinburgh Comedy Awards have since found funding, but The (ISH) Edinburgh Comedy Awards decided to continue regardless. The organisers explain: "The ISH Awards (Insert Sponsor Here) are still looking for a sponsor so to get your name on the awards please get in touch through the website - we are looking for a one-off sponsorship of £20k (your name instead of ISH on all publicity) so we can give £10k, £5k and £5k respectively to the winners of Best Show, Best Newcomer and Panel Prize. Otherwise the trophy is what will count!"
Comedy producer and comedian Sarah Bowles is overseeing the ISH Awards. She says: "We have been blown away by the incredible support the Awards has received from comedians, producers, all the amazing venues that have given the judges comps, and the Edinburgh Comedy Awards themselves who have been so supportive of the process. We love the Edinburgh Comedy Awards, and this idea came about when it looked like they weren't going ahead this year - we are so pleased that they are and are so grateful for their support and we can't wait to hear their nominees next week too."
Talking to comedians at the Fringe, she adds: "As we all know, being judged as well as judging is hard and unscientific, but our main rule was did the show make the audience and/or judge laugh lots on the day we saw it, and do we think it could be judged as the best show or the best newcomer on the Fringe. That's quite a high bar of course. Not everyone can win and be nominated, and not being on these lists doesn't mean your show isn't great, we saw a lot of great shows that aren't on this list as we need to keep the list down and make the cut somewhere - and there's always a chance that we saw your on the wrong day for you (doesn't that always happen?!)
"What we are saying is this list obviously does not represent by any means the definitive list of what is great at the Fringe, it's just our panel of judges' opinions, and at the end of the day you will hear much better from the streets and word of mouth what to see, always listen to the streets rather than awards and reviews!"