The (ISH) Edinburgh Comedy Awards - the new alternative Fringe-based awards run by volunteers - have announced their shortlists. They are:
A collective of around 35 volunteers have seen all eligible comedy shows to choose the lists.
The winners will be announced on Saturday 26th August at the ceremony at The Three Sisters (Maggie's Chamber) along with the Panel Prize. Tickets
Comedy producer and comedian Sarah Bowles the awards. She says: "Choosing the short lists was seemingly harder than choosing the long lists, even though we all had to see far less shows this time! It was so hard that we were aiming for 10 for Best Show and ended up with 11.
"We know from talking to most of the long-listed shows that they are very happy to be long listed. As one person said, 'I'm made up, I can use this forever'. That's why we wanted to long-list early, to give people a boost in the middle of the Fringe, both in terms of ticket sales and more importantly emotionally. There's a lot of artists on the panel of the ISH Comedy Awards and we understand this. We also understand that it's tricky sometimes not to be nominated, or not to be considered because our rules make some shows ineligible. We get that too, but we come back to what we've said all along - a fraction of people get nominated for anything, and it comes down to luck sometimes - a prominent comedy critic gave lots of shows 4 and 5 star reviews that they didn't nominate for the long-list.
"To repeat myself from our long list announcement, these lists obviously do not represent by any means the definitive list of what is the best at the Fringe, it's just our panel of judges' opinions, everyone's opinion is different, that was certainly the case in our judges who had very different opinions on shows. 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! That said, we are looking forward to the Edinburgh Comedy Awards nominations this week too, and thank them again for the really kind words of positivity they have given us for this initiative - everyone's positivity and support, particularly from all the venues, has blown us away.
"And now comes the trickiest thing of all, choosing the winners. But we also think... does it really matter who wins? 'Everyone is a winner' is said sometimes but I think here it's actually the case - and funnily enough particularly if there is no big cash prize if we don't get sponsorship. In some ways it doesn't matter who wins now...ish. Hang on, of course it does! And there is still time to sponsor us, we wanted 20k but (as it's the final week) we'll take 10k now, with 2.5k going to each of the winners and 5k for the Panel Prize - the judges have already voted on that and rest assured it is a very worthy cause. Come on people, industry, venues, comedy community, one of you is minted!"