(This blog originally appeared in What’s On Stage)
According to the comedy industry website Chortle, the gloriously eccentric Japanese group Frank Chickens are likely to be named the best comedy show to have performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in the last 30 years. This has transpired because comedian Stewart Lee complained about a misguided attempt by Fosters, new sponsors of what used to be the Perrier Awards, to get some cheap publicity and pretend they’d been sponsoring the prize for 30 years. (This is their first year.)
As a further result of this misguided publicity stunt by Fosters, I have now nominated Stewart Lee for this year’s Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award for best publicity stunt at the Fringe – in this case, for publicising a non-existent show not playing the Edinburgh Fringe. I feel Malcolm would have approved both of Stewart’s original complaint and the nomination.
Frankly, so far, it looks like a pretty slim year for publicity stunts and currently Stewart stands a pretty good chance of winning.