Hannah Gadsby takes out top gong at Melbourne International Comedy Festival

MICF Hannah Gadsby - photo by Jim LeeHannah Gadsby has edged out five other contenders to take out the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s most prestigious gong, the Barry Award, for her critically acclaimed show Nanette.

Launched in 1998 as the ‘Stella Award’ before being renamed in 2000 to honour the Festival’s founding patron Barry Humphries, The Barry recognises the Most Outstanding Comedy Festival show, and is considered one of the world’s most highly regarded comedy awards.

As one of Australia’s most applauded and beloved comedians, Gadsby has previously been nominated for the Award in 2011 and 2013, and was announced the winner amongst a selection of Awards (listed below) presented at the Festival Club on Saturday night.

She now joins 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 and Kristen Shaal (2008 joint winners), Daniel Kitson (2007), Mike Wilmot (2003), Ross Noble (2002) and The Mighty Boosh (2000), to have been honoured with the Award.

2017 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award Winners:

Golden Gibbo:
Granny Bingo – A Visit With Nan In A Caravan (presented in memory of the late, great Lynda Gibson and awarded to a local, independent show that pursues the artist’s idea more strongly than it pursues any commercial lure)

Best Newcomer: Angus Gordon – Sad Boy Comedy Hour / Aaron Chen – The Infinite Faces of Chenny Baby

Pinder Prize: Damien Power – Utopia: Now in 3D (named after MICF co-founder John Pinder)

Piece of Wood: Luke Heggie – Rough Diamonté

Directors’ Choice: Demi Lardner – Look What You Made Me Do

People’s Choice: Denise Scott and Judith Lucy – Disappointments & Wil Anderson – Critically Wil

Funny Tonne: William Erskine (154 shows – awarded to the most die-­hard comedy fan who has reviewed the most shows during the 2017 Festival)

Previously announced Awards:

Raw Comedy: Zack Dyer (VIC)

Class Clowns: Daniel Reeve (NSW)

Deadly Funny: Genoa Gela (NSW)

While the 2017 Festival may have come to an end, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow kicks off this week, and continues through to July, visiting more than 75 towns and cities across Australia. For more information, visit: www.comedyfestival.com.au for details.

Image: Hannah Gadsby – photo by Jim Lee