Edinburgh Fringe: And the winners are!

Posted on 05 September 2012

Edinburgh Fringe is over and The British Comedy Guide has kindly provided us with a list of comedians who received four stars or more across the media. Forget the Olympics. Edinburgh is where the Aussies are truly punchlining above their weight. Of the top fifteen shows six are headlined by Australians/New Zealanders.

Number one on the list is Sam Wills and his show The Boy with Tape on His Face. I saw this show at Adelaide Fringe in 2009. The man is a silent genius. Anyone who doubts that more comedy is still to be found in mime should see his show. He was able to create his vignettes with a crispness and vividity that easily brought people into his world. THIS is why you want to take Miklos’s mime workshop.

At number three we have, drumroll please, Sammy J and Randy in The Inheritance! I reviewed this show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival earlier this year. Sammy J and Heath McIvor just go from strength to strength. Their sense of storytelling has improved with each show, they get cleverer with props and stage setting, the songs are catchier every time, and the jokes funnier. They have been showing up more frequently on commercial TV, but still need to find their stride in that medium. It will come.

At number four dear Dr Brown comfortably finds his place in the comedy pantheon. I tried numerous times to get into his show at Melbourne International Comedy Festival, but it was packed every night. Since his show Befrdfgth is part of Melbourne Fringe, I IMMEDIATELY purchased tickets. You should do the same. Check this space for further insight into this man.

Felicity Ward made the list at a respectable number six. She’s a top raconteur with a broad sense of humour offered with a dry twist. I enjoyed her in The Book of Moron and am sure Hedgehog Dilemma is equally fun. It’s worth taking a squiz at her article about writing articles during Edinburgh Fringe. The scenario is not that different for writing comedy shows.

At ten and eleven are Sam Simmons and Jim Jefferies. Simmons has won numerous awards for his comedy including the Melbourne Comedy Festival Directors’ Choice Award. Jefferies has been performing largely in the UK over the last number of years and created an FX TV series called Legit set to launch in January 2013.

What’s interesting to note is how diverse our top people are. You can’t pick a type of Australian humour to focus on to please Edinburgh audiences. What can be said about this group is that they are all highly polished veterans. Also, our quirkier and more over-the-top material seems to strike a chord. I love craziness, I’m also fond of subtle humour but it doesn’t always sell itself as well to the reviewers.

If you are thinking of going to Edinburgh some day, think about what you can do now to start giving yourself some polish. Acting classes, TheatreSports, Toastmasters, workshops, etc are good places to start. Be willing to get professional help in the way of directing, writing, marketing, image making, etc. Form writing/performing groups where you are bouncing your material off others on a regular basis. My Professional Comedy Skills Workshops are specifically created to help with this. Yes, I’m tooting my own horn, but I want these to be successful and for the people taking them to be successful. At the prices I’m charging, I’m clearly not out to make a bazillion dollars. 🙂

It’s never too soon to start dreaming big. Edinburgh Fringe is an amazing goal to help you become the best comedian you can possibly be.

Peace and kindness,


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