(This blog originally appeared in What’s On Stage)
After an ‘interesting’ discussion** this morning, the shortlist for the annual Malcolm Hardee Awards has been announced. The Awards are being presented until the year 2017 in memory of the late “godfather of British alternative comedy”.
The Malcolm Hardee Award winners will be announced around midnight on Friday 27th August during the nightly Shaggers show at the Three Sisters in Cowgate, Edinburgh as part of the Laughing Horse Free Festival.
Today, the shortlist for the three awards was announced as:
THE MALCOLM HARDEE AWARD FOR COMIC ORIGINALITY
Dr BROWN is an act where ‘surreal’ does not quite do justice to what is or is not happening on stage – “Uncomfortable weirdness” was one attempt to categorise it.
LEWIS SCHAFFER for turning round his act Into a highly improvised and totally unpredictable event… and for being able to literally take his show Free Until Famous onto the streets.
BOB SLAYER for his continued services to anarchy in comedy, including his gobsmackingly anarchic Punk Rock Chat Show (which usually has nothing to do with punk, rock or chat)
ROBERT WHITE for his enthusiastic unconventionality and for being (in his own words) “the only gay, Aspergers, quarter Welsh, webbed-toed dyslexic pianist debuting this Fringe”
THE MALCOLM HARDEE CUNNING STUNT AWARD
(for best Fringe publicity stunt)
STEWART LEE who, while complaining about the former Perrier Award incidentally, almost accidentally promoted Japanese act the Frank Chickens who were not performing at this year’s Fringe. As a result, they actually did come up to Edinburgh to perform at the Fringe for the first time in 25 years – at a show promoting Stewart Lee’s new book. The fact that Stewart did not intend to unleash publicity does not negate his success.
MANOS THE GREEK for claiming he will donate 10% of the total earnings from his Free Fringe show to rescue the Greek economy and by pushing his luck in a Hardee-esque way by, one hour before we decided on the shortlist, having a photocall wearing a langolia (Greek kilt) atop Calton Hill in front of the Doric columns of the National Monument.
ARTHUR SMITH for declaring that he would pay £100 to any journalist attending his show who would juggle fish. When his bluff was called by critic Bruce Dessau, Arthur neglected to buy the required kippers, but he still got publicity out of a silly idea: a pre-requisite for getting a Cunning Stunt nomination.
THE MALCOLM HARDEE ‘ACT MOST LIKELY TO MAKE A MILLION QUID’ AWARD
(first time this new annual award has been made)
BO BURNHAM certainly one of the hottest young comedians on the Fringe for several years. Might already have made a million in the US, which might or might not disqualify him.
GREG DAVIES for his sense of the absurb. Known as the psychotic head of sixth form, Mr Gilbert in The Inbetweeners and the most out-of-shape member of We are Klang.
Separate from the Awards, The Malcolm Hardee Documentary Preview continues to screen daily at 1520 at the Newsroom venue in Leith Street (east end of Princes Street) until 28th August. The screening comprises a 32 minute documentary The Tunnel about Malcolm’s most notorious comedy club; and 17 minutes of clips from the currently-in-production 90-minute documentary Malcolm Hardee: All The Way From Over There.
** The’interesting’ discussion resulted in the shortlist for the ‘Act Most Likely to Make a Million Quid Award’ reduced from four to two nominees.