Liam Harney and Rachel Barker win Luke Rollason's 2024 bursary

Friday 12th April 2024, 11:45am

Image shows left to right: Rachel Baker, Alex Franklin, Liam Harney, Rebecca Harrison, Luke Rollason

The winners have been announced for the third year of the 'inappropriately-named' Luke Rollason Memorial Memorial Bursary - an award set up by the physical comedian and actor to support new comedy creatives from alternative backgrounds bringing unusual work to the Brighton Fringe.

The winners are:

Liam Harney

Liam Harney

Liam presents Beat Inflation with Sue the Cleaner, a "superbly crafted character comedy finding the absurd in the cost-of-living crisis".

Rachel Baker

Rachel Baker

Rachel performs as Gwen in This Is Not A Pyramid Scheme. The Funny Women Awards finalist presents "a hilarious one-woman seminar from a deranged Avon Lady".

The prize for the winners includes the cost of their registration, £100 towards marketing, mentorship, as well as "fizzy drinks and crisps of their choice". Two runners-up, listed below, will also have their registration costs covered and "might get some crisps from the bottom of the bag if they are lucky".

Rebecca Harrison

Rebecca Harrison

Rebecca presents Punkswats and Being Lonely. The shows sees the "bravado award-winning poet and comedian combining dry observations with giant papier-mâché".

Alex Franklin

Alex Franklin

Alex performs Girl Code, "a celebration of trans joy from the surreal siren of musical comedy".

All four will be featured in an industry showcase on the 24th May at Brighton's Komedia Comedy Club, alongside shortlisted acts - "these acts receive no crisps" - Lil Wenker, Kayleigh Jones and Huxley & Mr Cardboard (Levi Meltzer and Miles Calderon).

This is the award's third year. Previous winners include Rosalie Minnitt, whose critically-acclaimed show Clementine went on to perform extended sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Fringe and Soho Theatre, and BBC New Comedy nominee Su Mi.

Luke Rollason, who will be performing his own show in Brighton on 31st May and 1st June, says: "Once again my stupid vanity bursary is back in my quest to make tackling diversity in alternative comedy all about me. This year we're supporting more acts from working class backgrounds than ever, and it's a joy to be returning to perform in Brighton and bringing these talented freaks with me."

Rollason can currently be seen in the second series of Extraordinary on Disney+ and in his own BBC Comedy Short, Quiet Life, "which is how we assume he is affording all of this".

Liam Harney: Beat Inflation with Sue The Cleaner will be at The Actors on the 1st June and 2nd June. Tickets

Rachel Baker: This Is Not A Pyramid Scheme will perform at the Hare and Hounds on the 25th and 26th of May. Tickets

Rebecca Harrison: Punkswats is on at Laughing Horse @ The Temple Bar from the 25th to the 29th May. Tickets

Alex Franklin: Girl Code will perform at The Actors Theatre on the 25th and 26th May. Tickets

Luke Rollason, Luke Rollason, Let Down Your Hair can be seen at the Brighton Spiegeltent on the 31st May and 1st June. Tickets

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