So You Think You're Funny?, the long established comedy newcomer competition, is now open for 2017 entries. Organisers the Gilded Balloon also have a competition for those under the age of 18, and are launching a new material night near Edinburgh. Details on all three are below...
So You Think You're Funny?
Celebrating its 30th year this year, the So You Think You're Funny? competition has a strong track record of showcasing the stand-up stars of the future. Created in 1988 by Karen Koren (the Artistic Director of the Gilded Balloon) to develop comedy stars of the future, the competition has previously featured finalists including Dylan Moran, Peter Kay, Aisling Bea, Jason Byrne, Tommy Tiernan, Miles Jupp, David O'Doherty, Lee Mack, Tom Allen and Phil Kay.
The final takes place, as always, in August as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The organisers say: "This year will be the 30th Anniversary of the newcomer competition and will be celebrated alongside the Fringe's 70th celebrations."
Applications are now open, and close at the beginning of May. For entry details visit soyouthinkyourefunny.co.uk
Class Clowns (under 18s competition)
The main competition's younger sibling, Class Clowns, is billed as the UK's only comedy newcomer competition for under 18s. Created by the producers of SYTYF? in association with Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Class Clowns gives a platform to aspiring young comics and performers to try their hand at stand-up.
Each year, Class Clowns hosts workshops in the run up to the final in August, with established comics helping to develop the applicant's material and getting comfortable on stage. The Gilded Balloon says: "It's a fantastic opportunity to get tips and advice from professional comics who get up on stage every day."
The Class Clowns Final will be held at Gilded Balloon during 2017's Edinburgh Festival Fringe and will be judged by a panel of industry professionals.
The competition producers say they make all efforts to ensure that every applicant is given a place on at least one of the workshops "but all workshops are booked on a first come first served basis - so apply now or risk missing out!"
More details can be found on soyouthinkyourefunny.co.uk
New Material Night
Gilded Balloon have also announced today they are launching a year-round new material night linked to the competition.
Running on one Thursday each month from Thursday March 9th at Leith Depot on Leith Walk (near Edinburgh), the comedy night aims to give new comics a platform to practice and develop.
The organisers say: "With the success of the competition over the years, we are excited to launch a platform for those that have been through the competition as well as for complete newbies.
"The night will be an opportunity for past and future contestants to try out new material alongside more established comics. Each night will have open spots for new comics to trial new material with a familiar headliner to close the show. Headliners for the first couple of months will include Alexis Dubus (aka Marcel Lucont), Amy Howerska, Chris Forbes, Eddy Brimson, Will Duggan, Luca Cupani and Scott Gibson. Expect a few special guest surprises along the way as Gilded Balloon opens up the night to the huge roster of acts that have been part of the competition and their Fringe programme over the years."
Katy Koren says: "Leith is the perfect place to host a night of new comedy each month. I love Leith and it's an area with new events and venues popping up all the time. Moving our offices after 15 years from the top of Leith Walk to the bottom seemed like the perfect opportunity to bring a little comedy to Leith too!"