The Barry Award is one of the world’s most prestigious comedy awards, having launched in 1998 as the ‘Stella Award’ (and won by Miss Itchy) before being renamed in 2000 to honour the Festival’s founding patron Barry Humphries. The Barry recognises the Most Outstanding Comedy Festival show.
With just a few days remaining on the 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) calendar, the judges for the 18th Annual Barry Award – who include industry professionals and media – came to a consensus on the shortlist late last night. The 2015 Barry Award nominees are as follows (in alphabetical order):
- Luisa Omielan – What Would Beyonce Do? (UK)
- John Kearns – Shtick (UK)
- Steen Raskopoulos – Character Assasin
- Lawrence Moooney – Surely Not
- Sam Simmons – Spaghetti For Breakfast
- Damien Power – I Can’t Believe I Cared
“The 2015 shortlist represents the eclectic comedy genre mix and something-for-every-taste appeal celebrated by the Festival,” says MICF Director Susan Provan. “There’s weird and wonderful epic absurdity, pop culture razzle, ferociously funny stand-up and false teeth. What more could we want?”
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 2015 Barry Award winner will join a long list of illustrious comedians including: 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) – all of whom are performing in the 2015 program.
The Best Newcomer Award nominees were also announced late last night are:
- Corey White – The Cane Toad Effect
- Juan Vesuvius – Calypso Nights
- Sam Campbell – Cambo’s On Top
- Heidi O’Loughlin – A Woman Talking
The nominees for the Golden Gibbo Award for best independent production (named in honour of the late Lynda Gibson) were announced on Saturday night. The Nominees are as follows (in alphabetical order):
- Watson – Who’s Afraid of the Dark
- Ben Russell – The Tokyo Hotel
- Laura Davis – Ghost Machine
- David Quirk – Thrasher
- Clara Cupcakes – The Merchant of Whimsy
- Jon Bennett – It’s Rabbit Night!!!
The Barry Award and Golden Gibbo will be presented at the 18th Annual Comedy Festival Awards on the final Saturday, and the 23rd day of the Festival, where everyone who is anyone (funny) will congregate in the Festival Club at the Hi-Fi as the annual Oscars of the industry are presented, providing a look back at the humorous highs, the laughable lows and the greatest of the comedy shows in 2015.
Other awards to be presented on the night include The Best Newcomer Award, The Directors’ Choice Award, The Piece of Wood (comics choice award), and for the second time Airbnb present The People’s Choice Award, offering festival goers a chance to win a trip for two to the world-famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
For more information, visit: www.comedyfestival.com.au for details
Image: Michael Leunig