On this day two years ago, when the Edinburgh Comedy Awards shortlist was announced, I have to confess I was a little outspoken and abrupt in my criticism of the narrow selection and how nine out of 11 nominees were all on in the same venue. My words were so brusque yet concise that, somehow, they ended up making it into the Scotsman, splashed across the promo photo of the shortlisted acts.
Do I have such grounds for complaint this year? Let's have a look. The nominees are, Best Act:
* Adam Riches: Bring Me the Head of Adam Riches (Pleasance)
* Andrew Maxwell: The Lights Are On (Assembly)
* Chris Ramsey: Offermation (Pleasance)
* Josie Long: The Future Is Another Place (Pleasance)
* Nick Helm: Dare to Dream (Pleasance)
* Sam Simmons: Meanwhile (Gilded Balloon)
And Best Newcomer:
* Cariad Lloyd: Lady Cariad’s Characters (Voodoo Rooms)
* The Chris and Paul Show (Just The Tonic Caves)
* Hannibal Buress - My Name is Hannibal (Pleasance)
* Holly Walsh: The Hollycopter (Pleasance)
* Humphrey Ker is Dymock Watson: Nazi Smasher! (Pleasance)
* Thom Tuck Goes Straight to DVD (Pleasance)
* Totally Tom (Underbelly)
* Josh Widdicombe: If This Show Saves One Life (Pleasance)
So this year we have a bit more balance, with the Pleasance providing just 9 out of the 14 nominees (a success rate of only 64%), and with all the main venues making a showing. Plus the Voodoo Rooms which, coincidentally, is the only one of these Edinburgh venues that the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre have appeared in this year, which must mean something.
Good luck to all the contenders. And the Socks take great consolation in the newcomer nominations for Humphrey Ker and Thom Tuck, both of whom have previously been nominated as members of the sketch show Penny Dreadfuls. So, if each Sock does a solo show next year...
PS: The winners will be announced on Saturday (27th) & the Awards Show is on Sunday (28th) at the Pleasance.