BCG Pro Talent Awards for Performance 2022 finalists

Friday 27th January 2023, 4:08pm

BCG Pro Talent Awards: Performance

The shortlist for the BCG Pro Talent Awards for Performance 2022 has been announced.

Selected by British Comedy Guide's judges, the five acts will now each perform a set during a live final at London's Museum Of Comedy on Thursday 23rd March. Tickets are available now.

The finalists are as follows:

Kate-Lois Elliott

Kate-Lois Elliott

British Writers' Guild Awards nominee Kate-Lois Elliott tells stories that are self-deprecating and (according to a drunk man at the fringe) unexpectedly profound. She also makes (same guy) 'really weird' sketches. She has appeared on the BBC, Netflix and in London's West End.

James Murphy

James Murphy

James Murphy is an off-kilter comedian/writer whose act is essentially death by pride, offering a high-energy lowdown on what it's like to be tall and gay. He's previously been a Max Turner Prize finalist, 2Northdown New Act finalist and LST New Comedian of the Year semi-finalist.

Image shows left to right: Ralph Jones, Vyvyan Almond, The Awkward Silence

The Awkward Silence

The Awkward Silence are a sketch double act. As well as being nominated for things like the BBC Writer's Prize and a Writers' Guild Award, Ralph Jones and Vyvyan Almond have performed six shows across the country and been described as "wonderfully absurd" by Broadway Baby and "the best sketch group on the planet" by themselves.

Silham Shahzad

Silham Shahzad

Silham Shahzad is a 27 year-old stand-up from Bradford. He combines his personal experiences with current affairs. He is a working class, Muslim, dyslexic and dyspraxic comedian who is of Pakistani heritage. He really does showcase his blend of unique experiences with an original voice.

Ashish Suri

Ashish Suri

Ashish's journey in the UK started as a student but quickly lead him to stand-up comedy in search of a cheap substitute for therapy and lack of social life. Nine years down the line he is now a comedian and a full time immigrant, telling the stories of how outside of the Motherland (India) even the simple things in life are different and that despite his tan, he's just as weird as everyone else.

The Performance contest - open exclusively to subscribers of BCG Pro, British Comedy Guide's platform for comedy creatives and professionals working in the industry - is for those who perform on the stage. The initial entry round involved members uploading a video of themselves performing.

The award is split in two self-identified categories: one ('Starter') for those beginning their comedy careers and one ('Pro') for those who are more established. The above nominees are all Pro members and will now battle it for the crown in a live final with a public audience, to take place on Thursday 23rd March 2023 at London's Museum Of Comedy, with Jessica Fostekew hosting.

Ella Gonzales

Meanwhile the winner of the Starter category - Ella Gonzales - was picked outright by the judges and will perform at the live final as part of her prize.

Her biography explains: "Ella Gonzales originally trained as an actor but found no-one ever took her seriously. A joke, in fact, so she decided to run with it. Her first venture into comedy was writing and performing in the short film Kirsty, which placed her in the top 3% of submissions to the BBC Caroline Aherne Award. Another project, the sketch Car Schmars, was shortlisted for a Funny Women Award and won the BCG Pro Video competition. Having dipped her toe in the comedy ocean, she lost her saltiness about the acting and in 2022 decided to take the plunge into stand-up, performing regularly on the open mic scene in London. Ella has been described as an 'acerbic storytelling comedian' by someone that knew what 'acerbic' meant."

On receiving the news, she said: "Holy moly this is incredible! I'm completely and utterly delighted to have won!"

Talking about preparing to perform at the final, James Murphy says: "I'm absolutely overjoyed to be part of the BCG Pro Performance final! I can't wait to tower above a new audience and perform my chunky winter socks off!"

Silham Shahzad comments: "I am shocked that I have been selected. I am sure that I will be amongst some emerging new talents in stand-up so it feels good to be in the mix with highly regarded company."

The Awkward Silence say: "Our gobs are smacked at the news. It's a fantastic honour, and we hope to triumph over the other finalists in what we understand will be a wrestling match to the death."

Tickets to attend the live show on Thursday 23rd March are available now via the Museum Of Comedy

The BCG Pro Talent Awards will open again this summer, with the submission window running from August to October 2023 inclusive. Open to any live stage performers - stand-up, sketch or improv - entrants will again be asked to submit recordings of their act, filmed in any setting. More about the awards

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