John Pape wins West End Old New Act of the Year 2023

Tuesday 14th November 2023, 8:25am

  • The West End Old New Act of the Year competition is for acts over the age of 35, but who have been performing for less than 4 years
  • John Pape was named the winner at the live final
  • Twins Matthew Ali and Chris Ali took the second and third places
West End Old New Act of the Year 2023. Image shows left to right: Matthew Ali, John Pape, Chris Ali

John Pape has won the inaugural West End Old New Act of the Year competition. The contest has been created "help break the age glass ceiling that exists in the industry", with all contestants over 35 years-old but performing for less than 4 years.

Pape has been gigging for less than a year, but was the clear favourite of the judges.

The final took place last night (13th November) in a show headlined by Neil McFarlane, with Steve McLean as MC. The contest was judged by promoters Ali Warwood and Matt Arnold, with an audience vote determining third place.

The runner-up places were given to Matthew Ali and Chris Ali respectively, who are twins. The organisers say: "We think this may be the first instance of twins being in a comedy final together and almost certainly the first time they've shared a podium."

A small cash prize was on offer for the three winners, as well as comedy development courses from the We Are Funny Project and a spot on a pro-bill at Dulwich Hamlet Comedy.

The other finalists were Matt Lowes, Paul Little, Leslie Gold, Seam Anderson, CK Nath, Barry Mathews, Mark Vincent, Rabiah Coon, Alex Lawrence, Claire Carty and Barbara Fernandez.

All of the finalists will be offered stage time as part of the competition's 2024 Edinburgh Fringe showcase.

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