Edinburgh Comedy Awards: Josie Long shortlisted for third year in a row

JOSIE Long will be hoping it is third time lucky after she was included in the shortlist for this year’s Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Awards, which was announced today.

The stand-up is on the six-strong list alongwith Claudia O’Doherty, Doctor Brown, James Acaster, Pappy’s Last Show Ever and Tony Law.

Formerly known as the Perriers and more recently the if.Comeddies, the award is now in its 32nd year and previous winners have included Steve Coogan, Frank Skinner and Dylan Moran.

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The winners of the top prize and the best newcomer award will be announced on Saturday afternoon.

The best newcomer nominees are: Daniel Simonsen, David Trent, Ben Target, Joe Lycett and Sam Fletcher.

Most of the shortlist have received positive reviews from The Scotsman and sister title the Edinburgh Evening News during this year’s Fringe:

• Claudia O’Doherty: “O’Doherty does an impressive job of portraying a twitchy performer on the edge of a nervous breakdown – or maybe she really is that bonkers. Either way, she dares to be different, even if the outpourings of her fevered imagination are sometimes more funny peculiar than funny ha-ha.” (The Scotsman)

• Doctor Brown: “Doctor Brown’s shows for adults are so impenetrably eccentric that they have divided audiences in half; children, though, seem to get him completely. He’s back this year for another hour of silliness, fresh from winning awards in both Adelaide and Melbourne.” (The Scotsman)

• James Acaster: “A sharp comic mind, allied to astute observational comedy, and with the confidence to draw every laugh out of any situation, James Acaster clearly has the potential to be a cut above the rest.” (Evening News)

• Josie Long: “After becoming politicised following the 2010 election, Josie Long has since questioned her commitment to the cause, suffering an existential crisis that many will identify with. How can she reconcile her everyday life with her desire for a better world? Searching for the answer has provided her with some potentially award-winning material.” (Evening News)

• Pappy’s Last Show Ever!: “The theme of The Last Show provided a valuable narrative throughout as one sketch after another skilfully took their audience on a journey through their world of bizarre characters and inventive setpieces. If this does prove to be their farewell appearance then it should be on everyone’s must-see list.” (Evening News)

• Tony Law: “Expertly deconstructing familiar comedic conventions, he delivers an hour of superb absurdism covering everything from abortive pirate raids to imprisoned magical dragons and his ending - a 20-minute epic stemming from a reimagining of a “two elephants walk into a bar” gag - is nothing short of genius.” (Evening News)

Nica Burns, director of the Edinburgh Comedy Awards producer, said: “The nominees sum up an extraordinarily inventive year for comedy at this year’s Fringe.

“The shows demonstrate all the comedic art forms - standup, mime, sketch and multi-media experimentation.

“The performers are all immensely charismatic and often thought-provoking whilst being extremely funny. Two excellent nomination lists.”

Last year’s prize was won by Adam Riches.

The value of the Best Comedy Show prize is £10,000 and best newcomer wins £5,000.

On Monday Canadian comedian Stewart Francis scooped an award for the best joke at the Fringe with his one-liner about David and Victoria Beckham.