Musical Comedy Awards 2021 finalists

The Big Asian Stand-Up. Mawaan Rizwan. Copyright: BBC

The Musical Comedy Awards has always been the best place to see funny up-and-coming musical comedians.

The 2021 final is set to take place on Saturday 23rd October, with ten acts who have battled through the heats set to take to the stage.

Sponsored by WeGotTickets, and hosted by Josh Weller, you can see the final live at London's Bloomsbury Theatre or watch it streamed online via the NextUp platform.

Aside from the finalists, the show will also be a chance to see comedy star Mawaan Rizwan (pictured top) performing a headline set, so tickets via the link at the bottom of this page before they sell out (it's always a popular show).

The organisers say: "Since 2009, the MCA have helped to launch the likes of Abandoman, Rachel Parris, Mae Martin, Jay Foreman and Frisky & Mannish. If you enjoy acts that combine comedy with music such as Bill Bailey, Tim Minchin and Flight of the Conchords, you will love this show!"

Here's a guide to this year's finalists, with the biographies they've supplied.

Christy Coysh

Christy Coysh

Christy Coysh is a musical comedian who takes rap and pop music and twists it to fit his simpleton ways. He can usually be seen with his trusty loop pedal which his dad likes to remind him, "is not a real instrument".

David Hoare

David Hoare

A rising star of the Bristol comedy scene, David Hoare combines wit and flair with precise delivery. He'll have you in stitches with his hilarious songs and boyish charms. He reached The Musical Comedy Awards semi finals in 2017 and was the runner up of Stand Up For Cider 2018.

DING

DING

DING are a musical comedy trio based in London, made up of Farah Sharp, Ehsaan Shivarani and Pete Noden. Their songs were all written in their podcast, also named DING, with a song per episode. Genres span country, rock, and 80s pop, and topics range from a side salad empowerment ballad to a world war one march personifying blood cells. 2021 sees the start of DING's venture into live performance, so if you are a fan of the podcast and always wondered "what would this song be like on stage?!" - now's your chance to find out!

Ed MacArthur

Ed MacArthur

Ed is a multi-instrumentalist comedian and performer. His comedy songs have featured on Sky, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Scotland, with two albums on Spotify and Apple Music. Solo shows at the Fringe include Ed MacArthur: Humoresque and the cult-hit Stack ('madcap energy, intuitive comic timing and whip-smart script' Fest). Other acting credits include the critically acclaimed Murder For Two ('MacArthur has talent in spades' Dominic Cavendish, The Daily Telegraph; 'Ed MacArthur has natural charm and considerable skill' Lyn Gardner, The Guardian).

Edy Hurst

Edy Hurst. Copyright: Andy Hollingworth

Edy Hurst is a joyously downbeat musical comedian, filled with quick-fire songs, sharp writing and the manic oddball energy of a dog showing you its favourite toys. Heard on BBC Radio 4, Edy performs his unique brand of immediately charming and absurdist comedy across the UK, receiving acclaim for his debut hour show Hurst Schmurst at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe. He's one half of Cultural Comedy Tours, a series of collaborations with museums where stand-up comedians give personalised tours inspired by exhibitions and research, and is also host of Edy Hurst's Podcast Version Of...The War of the Worlds, where he takes apart the famous sci-fi novel adding songs, tangents and comedy guests, taking its rightful place as the number 1 Science Fiction podcast in Bermuda.

Flat & The Curves

Flat & The Curves. Copyright: Rah Petherbridge

Flat & The Curves consists of four fabulously funny front women: Charlotte Brooke; an award winning comedy writer and multi-instrumentalist; Issy Wroe Wright, producer and performer of the hit sell-out comedy Sh!t-Faced Showtime; Katy Baker, director, singer and comedy writer responsible for MCA royalty Four Femmes on the Thames; and Arabella Rodrigo professional session vocalist and West End performer. Since their debut show in May, the girls have gained traction gigging across the South East; from the famed Brighton Fringe to London's The Ned. The girls draw influence from a myriad of different genres, from 90s girl-groups to classical prima donnas. Their comedy ranges from the observational to the downright obscure and we have it on good authority that their shows are 'a seriously good night out' (***** West End Wilma).

Hel MacCormack

Hel MacCormack

Hel MacCormack is a musical comedian: a little bit musical, a little bit comedical. Her delightfully dark ditties around mental illness, femininity, sexuality, and the debris of life will get you going 'haha! Wonderful! Oh actually that's a bit fucking grim.' Since performing as a semi-finalist in the 2019 Musical Comedy Awards, Hel has taken up roles as composer/lyricist for sellout Friends parody musical The One With All The Singing, creator of tenderly personal musical storytelling project The Womangirl's Flood, and collaborator for playfully disturbing trauma-themed sketch show Tonedeath, which ran online at Brighton Fringe 2021. Originally from Liverpool, the 2021 MCAs are not only Hel's first gig in her new home of London but also her first gig back performing since 2019. Get your party hats on and your party pants off.

Orlando Gibbs

Orlando Gibbs

Orlando is a musical comedian who has written for BBC Radio 4's Newsjack and NewsRevue (Canal Café / Edinburgh), and was shortlisted for the 2019 First Laugh Comedy Competition. He has also been featured in the Call The Midwife 2020 Christmas Special. ('hits the laughs in all the right places' - The Reviews Hub).

Rhiannon Hopkins

Rhiannon Hopkins

Rhiannon Hopkins is a musical comedian and multi-instrumentalist. Her comedy songs are mostly inspired by relationships and the psychoticism that inevitably comes with love. She has previously been a semi-finalist in the Leicester Square Sketch Off, shortlisted for the The Funny Women Awards 2020 and recently won the award for 'Best Comedy Song' in the International Songwriting Competition. The music video for her original comedy song 'Naked Pictures' has had over 150,000 views online, won awards in festivals worldwide and been featured on BBC Radio. She is currently working on new material and is thrilled to be in the final of the Musical Comedy Awards.

Simon David

Simon David

Simon David's debut hour was nominated for Broadway World's Best Cabaret of the Edinburgh Fringe Award 2018 and his latest show White Gay won the Balkan / Otherplace Brighton Fringe Award 2021. Over lockdown, his comedy videos gained over 150K views with his online shows raising over £1K for transgender charities, Gendered Intelligence and FiveforFive. Simon hosts a monthly seaside variety show, Gaywatch on Brighton Beach and plays regularly at musical theatre piano bar, Overtures at The Hippodrome.


The final will also feature a set from the comedy group named Best Newcomers:

Plastic Jeezus

Plastic Jeezus

Bournemouth-based Plastic Jeezus are Simon (ukulele) and Aaron (bass). They sing silly songs about everyday situations like being put on hold and getting your foot stuck in a horse's arse. Despite releasing several critically acclaimed albums and EPs, and having performed up and down the country - including headlining various ukulele festivals, Plastic Jeezus have never performed a dedicated musical comedy set - or entered a contest. Until now.

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