The Barry Award is one of the world’s most prestigious comedy awards. Launched in 1998 as the ‘Stella Award’ (and won by Miss Itchy) before being renamed in 2000 to pay tribute to the Festival’s founding patron Barry Humphries, the Barry recognises the Most Outstanding Comedy Festival show.
The 2017 Barry Award nominees are: Anne Edmonds – No Offence, None Taken, Damien Power – Utopia, Now in 3D, Hannah Gadsby – Nanette, Richard Gadd – Monkey See, Monkey Do, Sammy J – Hero Complex and Tom Walker – Bee Boo
To be eligible for the Barry Award, a show must have had at least 10 performances during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in the particular year. The 2017 Barry Award winner will join a long list of illustrious comedians including: Zoe Coombs Marr (2016), Sam Simmons (2015), Denise Scott (2014), Rich Hall (2013), Dr Brown (2012), Russell Kane (2011), Sammy J and Randy (2010), The Pajama Men (2009), Nina Conti (2008), Daniel Kitson (2007), Mike Wilmot (2003) and Ross Noble (2002).
The Barry Award will be presented at the 20th Annual Comedy Festival Awards on the final Saturday of the Festival. A night where performers and punters stand side by side and look back and celebrate comedic talents, moments of unforgettable hilarity and non-stop laughter, fans and industry heavyweights will gather at the Festival Club to celebrate the greatest comedy shows in 2017.
And the nominees for the Golden Gibbo Award, named in honour of the late Lynda Gibson for best independent production are: A Visit with Nan in a Caravan, Clara Cupcakes – The Worst, Fran Middleton – Ceiling Fran, Game Boys – Clash Battle Warlords Age of Royal Candy Robots Royal Strike Kingdom Mobile Legends Saga, Michelle Brasier and Laura Frew – Doubte Denim, and Rama Nicholas – The Lucky Ones
Other awards to be presented on the night include Best Newcomer Award, The Director’s Choice Award, The Piece of Wood (comic’s choice award), The People’s Choice Award and, for the first time, the The Pinder Prize, honouring Festival co-founder John Pinder. John was one of Australian comedy’s most influential producers and biggest fans. The recipient’s show will be presented as part of the Assembly Theatre program at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe.
After months of heats and state final events, twelve finalist from across Australia took to the Main Hall stage of the Melbourne Town Hall on Sunday 16 April to see Victorian Zack Dyer take out the coveted RAW Comedy crown! Bonnie Tangey from NSW and Shaquille Blackley from WA were announced as runners up.
With more than 60 events Australia wide, more than one thousand contestants registered for RAW Comedy in 2017. Zack will be off to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to perform in So You Think You’re Funny? – the UK’s leading open mic competition.
The 20th Annual Comedy Awards will be take place on Saturday 22nd April at Max Watt’s from 11pm. For more information, visit: www.comedyfestival.com.au for details.
Image: Zack Dyer (centre) and 2017 RAW Comedy Finalists (supplied)