Winners have been announced for The Comedians’ Choice Awards 2019, the Edinburgh Fringe awards voted on by comedy performers.
Joz Norris scooped the award for his show Heroes co-starring Ben Target in a “mysterious cameo role”.
Joz said: “I’m so happy and proud and humbled to have won this award. When I set out to make this show, my hope was that it would express something I’d always struggled to express, something to do with how it feels to make and create and explore what it means to live a life.
“Winning the Comedians’ Choice Award feels like it succeeded in touching something in the minds of other weirdos and dreamers and makers who create and imagine for a living, and the thought that I said something that struck a chord with the people who do this with their lives is beyond humbling. Thank you to all of them.”
Taking home Best Performer was Laura Lexx. Laura was surprised on stage with the award at the end of her show by Gilded Balloon founder Karen Koren. It is the second year in a row she has been voted Best Performer.
Laura said: “I think we’re all here craving recognition and validation… to get that from the people who know jokes and structure and presence and comedy more than anyone else is amazing. I don’t think comedy should be competitive, but to get this nod is so soul warming. Thank you, I am extremely grateful.”
Brian Dobie won ‘Best Person’ of the Fringe. Brian is the operations manager of The Pear Tree, The Counting House and 32Below venues on West Nicolson Street, which run shows as part of the Laughing Horse Free Festival.
Brian, who is celebrating his 5th year at the festival, can be seen most hours of the day positioned on the pavement outside the venues helping direct and advise audience members on what to see.
Brian said: “We work all year to prepare for the festival, to spend 25 days of hell… which is really Heaven on Earth. I couldn’t think of a more rewarding job. The Free Festival concept works brilliantly with our venue.”
The Comedians’ Choice Awards were founded in 2014 to help highlight the amazing work of those at the Fringe who may well otherwise go unrecognised, as judged by those who understand their efforts the best: their peers.
Every comedy show at the Edinburgh Fringe is eligible to both cast a vote, and to be voted for.
There is no panel of judges, no industry specialists – only the performers themselves decide whom amongst them is worthy of special recognition at the festival. Voting is conducted during August via an online form administered by British Comedy Guide, with the website also verifying the voting data.
The awards are presented in 3 main categories: Best Show, Best Performer and Best Person.
The trophy – new for 2019 – is designed and constructed by inventor John Ward. He explains: “It’s mounted on a base comprising of three pillars, representing Mirth, Merriment and Laughter; with a brass/copper central stem (based on the idea you might need a ‘brass neck’ to perform in some venues!); a steel, lopsided wide big ‘grin’ signifying laughter; and a red nose on top being the traditional emblem of the clown.”