Australian absurdist comedian Sam Simmons has won the most prestigious prize in comedy, the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award for his show Spaghetti for Breakfast. Simmons was described in The Guardian today as “a true comic original whose work over the last decade deserves all the laurels that come his way”. Meanwhile, the Best Newcomer Award was won by Danish comic Sofie Hagen, whose show Bubblewrap talks about her mental health problems and her obsession with the boy band Westlife.
So, a truly international feel to the top two awards along with a slightly nagging feeling that the cream of British comedy talent has been passed over in favour of two performers who are already firmly established in their own territories.
The Foster’s “Panel Prize” went to the Artistic Director of the Gilded Balloon Karen Koren, as recognition for 30 years as one of the fringe’s leading promoters and impresarios. Karen is stepping down at the end of the 2015 festival and handing over to her daughter Katy. It remains to be seen whether Katy will possess anywhere near the guts and drive of her mother – two qualities that are undoubtedly needed these days to survive the increasingly ruthless Edinburgh comedy scene.