Sara Shulman interviews the winners and nominees of the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2015.
Best Newcomer Nominees:
Adam Hess: Salmon
Daphne Do Edinburgh
Larry Dean: Out Now!
Sofie Hagen: Bubblewrap
The Story Beats (John Henry Falle)
Tom Ballard: Taxis & Rainbows & Hatred
Tom Parry: Yellow T-Shirt
Interview with the Best Newcomer nominees:
Best Comedy Show Nominees:
James Acaster: Represent
Joseph Morpurgo: Soothing Sounds for Baby
Kieran Hodgson: Lance
Nish Kumar: Long Word…Long Word…Blah Blah Blah…I’m So Clever
Sam Simmons: Spaghetti for Breakfast
Sarah Kendall: A Day in October
Semour Mace is Niche as F*ck
Trygve Wakenshaw: Nautilus
Interview with the Best Comedy Show nominees:
Sofie Hagen – Acceptance Speech for Best Newcomer
Karen Koren – Acceptance Speech for Panel Prize
Sam Simmons – Acceptance Speech for Best Comedy Show
Interview with Lucy Lumsden, Head of Comedy at Sky and Chair of the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards Panel
Interview with Nica Burns, Director of the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards
Interview with Sofie Hagen – Best Newcomer Winner
Interview with Karen Koren – Panel Prize Winner
Interview with Sam Simmons – Best Comedy Show Winner
Stand-up, in itself, is a tough art. As an act, making audiences laugh every time you perform along with constantly developing your material adds even more to the challenge.
However, when a comedian discovers their voice and understands what it is they are passionate about discussing – it is a very special moment for both them and audiences.
Andrew Ryan has been gigging since 2008. Having tried 16 different jobs previously ranging from being a private investigator to a petrol pump attendant, barman and waiter, finance manager, delivery driver, call centre worker and many more, the skill of naturally being someone that can make you laugh makes the job of a stand-up comedian seem the perfect fit.
Andrew now performs all around the world and headlines at some of the best comedy clubs in the UK. Andrew has also performed stand-up on shows such as Russell Howard’s Good News, Comedy Central’s Live at the Comedy Store and often presents for Talk Sport where his interview of Chelsea fans has gained over a million views on YouTube.
Andrew has taken several shows to the Edinburgh Fringe however his new show, Perfectly Inadequate, showcases the change you can see in a comedian after so many years of learning and performing around the circuit. The show combines Andrew’s experiences socially, professionally and romantically along with his realisation of the inadequacies that have often made these a struggle but they’re full of humour and some brilliant stories.
For anyone that is looking to laugh, and I mean really laugh, then do not hesitate to see Andrew perform whether it’s in a comedy club near you or at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe:
Show: Andrew Ryan, Perfectly Inadequate
Venue: Assembly George Square Studios – Venue 17
Time: 19:50 (1 hour)
Dates: 5 – 30 August
Discovering new talent is one of the most exciting parts of the Edinburgh Fringe. Some of the most loved comedians in the UK and around the world, such as Steve Coogan, Harry Hill, Sarah Millican and many more, started their careers by taking shows to the Edinburgh Festival.
Sarah Callaghan is a truly special talent. Elephant, Callaghan’s debut hour, is a show all about ambition rooted in the stresses and insecurities of peers and society that can often hold one back from fulfilling their potential. In particular, Callaghan shares the frustrations she has in her personal life along with those she has with people who conform to what is supposedly expected of them, even if they are capable of so much more.
Callaghan’s comedy is fresh, raw and honest with a sensitive vulnerability that lies at the heart of her humour and an outstanding passion committed to every line and moment of laughter – it’s full of attitude and is hugely funny.
Having recently made her debut on E4’s Virtually Famous (the youngest female stand-up comedian to be featured on a panel show in the UK!), Callaghan invited audiences to have a tiny taste of what she is all about. But if you really want to know why Callaghan is one of the most original and unique comedians in the UK then a ticket to see her show in Edinburgh is a great place to start.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe:
Show: Sarah Callaghan, Elephant
Venue: Pleasance Courtyard
Time: 17:50 (1 hour)
Dates: 5 – 30 August
SWAG: A Short Silent Comedy Film, written by David Elms, directed by Matt Holt and produced by Sara Shulman is currently playing at Glastonbury Festival!
The film is part of the Groovy Movie Picture House Short Film Official Selection:
More information about SWAG:
Best Foreign Short – LA Indie Film Festival
Director’s Award – North Carolina Film Festival
Award of Merit – San Francisco Film Awards
Silver Medal – Global Music Awards
Los Angeles Indie Film Festival
LA Short Film Festival
Eastern North Carolina Film Festival
Studio 35 Cinema Comedy Festival
Short Film Corner, Court de Metrage, Festival du Cannes
David Elms for Best Actor – LA Short Film Festival
Mark Davison for Best Supporting Actor – LA Short Film Festival
Simon Elsbury for Best Cinematographer – LA Short Film Festival
Director – Matt Holt
Writer – David Elms
Producer – Sara Shulman
Director of Photography – Simon Elsbury
Editor – Fergus March
Composer – Gabriel Chernick
Cast – David Elms, Mark Davison, Ellie White, Lolly Adefope, Natasia Demetriou, Phil Wang, Pierre Novellie, Patrick Turpin, Alex Owen, Ben Ashenden, Jack Barry, Orry Gibbens, Stevie Martin, Liz Smith, Adam Lawrence, Charlie Lyons, Joe Bannister, and Hamish Colville.
Art Department/Poster Design – Imogen Lloyd, Graphics – Tom Lobo Brennan
Comedy Blogedy and Angel Comedy first invited Second City to teach and perform in London just over a year ago and what a dream it’s been over the past two weeks to see classes bursting with improv talent ready to be nurtured. From complete beginners learning the very basics of improv right through to the advanced level classes, honing their sketch and character skills, building scenes, reconstructing them and making them even funnier than the last time, it’s been an incredible experience watching so many people explore a new way of developing their talents.
With classes in the day, in the last week there was an Angel Comedy Improv Week spectacular, which included performances from The Noise Next Door, Abandoman, Max and Ivan, Showstoppers and Austentatious. The Second City Players (Kevin Frank, Lisa Merchant and Jason DeRosse) performed with some of the best improvisers in the UK delighting Angel Comedy audiences in some very special shows.
Thank you to everyone that took classes, whether it was a full week intensive or drop-in masterclasses on the weekend, the press that featured this venture, everyone that came to see the shows and the whole team at Angel Comedy who have helped behind the scenes.
We hope that either studying or watching the principles of improv will help you get more from your work and more from the laughter – whether it’s stand-up and sketch or business and leisure or even a simple conversation where ‘Yes…and’ makes it even more entertaining.
So in short, thanks everyone who was a part of Second City’s visit to London and thanks Second City!
Photo: Jason DeRosse (Second City), Barry Ferns (Angel Comedy), Sara Shulman (Comedy Blogedy), Lisa Merchant (Second City), Kevin Frank (Second City)
Some of the press that featured Second City:
SWAG, a short silent comedy film, written by and starring Musical Comedy Award Winner 2014 David Elms, directed by Matt Holt and produced by Sara Shulman has won ‘Best Foreign Short’ at the LA Indie Film Festival.
The soundtrack for the film, written by emerging composer Gabriel Chernick, has won a Silver Medal at the Global Music Awards for Outstanding Achievement.
The film has also been accepted into the Cannes Film Festival Court Métrage (Short Film Corner) and will be available in the digital library as well as screening booths during the Cannes Film Festival in May.
Sara Shulman, who produced the short film, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the film and soundtrack have received awards. Everyone in Team SWAG has put a huge amount of effort into the film and we are so pleased that individual talents and the film as a whole have been recognised by the international film festival community.”
SWAG features some of the best new and emerging comedy talent in the UK, such as Ellie White, Adam Hess, Lolly Adefope, Rhys James, Natasia Demetriou, Phil Wang, Pierre Novellie, Patrick Turpin, Alex Owen, Ben Ashenden, Jack Barry, Orry Gibbens, Stevie Martin, Liz Smith, Adam Lawrence, Joe Bannister, Lizzie Daykin and Mark Davison, who received a ‘Best Supporting Actor’ nomination at the Los Angeles Short Film Festival for his role in the film.
David Elms was nominated for Best Actor at the Los Angeles Short Film Festival and Simon Elsbury was nominated for Best Cinematographer.
Poster designed by Imogen Lloyd
Graphics by Tom Lobo-Brennan
The 3rd annual LONDON SKETCHFEST
Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd May – The Cinema Museum – Elephant & Castle
Discovering Britain’s funniest alternative comedy London SketchFest returns for its third consecutive year, following two sell-out years with critical acclaim as the UK’s most exciting new national comedy festival.
Celebrating live, scripted comedy the festival shines a spotlight on the best and most exciting comedy acts, handpicked each year. Established in 2013 as an alternative to mainstream stand-up comedy festivals, SketchFest has gained a reputation for discovering unknown comedy talents – with a showcase of 12 unsigned acts performing in front of a panel of industry judges that includes Alex Hardy (the comedy editor for The Times), Kate Copstick (revered Scotsman comedy critic) amongst others. Many of its winners have since gone on to sign development deals for TV.
Alongside it’s Best New Act Competition the festival also boasts a Feature Series with established talent who can be found across TV and radio. It also has a film competition Sketch Screen highlighting the best new video comedy talent run in conjunction with COFILMIC comedy film festival. And for 2015 it’s introducing two new parts to its programme – the Solo Series featuring exciting character and single-performer acts and Sketch Scribe where aspiring sketch writers will get a chance to have their work performed by comedy troupes and win a mentor session with a leading comedy professional.
For 2015 the London Sketch Comedy Festival will be leaving its roots in East London and moving to the newly regenerated Elephant & Castle where it will take over The Cinema Museum for three days alongside a second stage at The Artworks, a newly launched container space.
Produced by The Laughing Guild, a not-for-profit organization setup to support and develop British comedy talent, the 2015 festival will be presenting some of the most exciting comedy acts on the circuit from the worlds of sketch, character and improv. Highlights include The Noise Next Door (BBC Taster), Late Night Gimp Fight (new Impractical Jokers), Hennessy & Friends (featuring Miranda Hennessy from Give Out Girls & Plebs), So On & So Forth (Radio 4), critically-acclaimed newcomers Massive Dad and winners from last year’s festival Gein’s Family Giftshop, In Cahoots and This Glorious Monster. With more acts still being confirmed it’s set to be the most exciting festival yet!
“…the best up-and-coming troupes gather for Sketchfest” THE INDEPENDENT (RADAR) 2014
“Sketchfest is a great way to see established and up-coming sketch acts alongside each other in the same night, or if your stamina is up to it, across the full festival” THE LONDONIST
“Presenting an impressive roster of well known sketch artists alongside some of the best up and coming comedians on the circuit, London Sketchfest is a long overdue platform for sketchtalent”THE LONDON WORD
‘London SketchFest threw up some pretty special talent – comedians who will be having a big impact very soon, if there’s any justice’ LONDON IS FUNNY
‘Weird, wide-ranging and whimsical, SketchFest reinvigorates a sketch scene increasingly overshadowed by all-conquering stand-up megastars. That can only be a good thing’ THE TELEGRAPH
‘SketchFest wins a battle for comic hearts and minds’ THE STAGE
‘Perfect for the YouTube generation’ EVENING STANDARD
Festival tickets = £65 Day Tickets = £25 Show Tickets = £14
All tickets are purchased on the website, using the festival’s e-commerce system.
Second City, the improv organisation that started the careers of performers such as Bill Murray, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Mike Myers, Amy Poehler and John Belushi will be setting up shop in London’s own Angel Comedy in the heart of Islington in May to teach improv classes in the day and perform in the evening. This is the first time in their history. So who are the improv experts running the training classes?
Kevin is a writer, musician, improviser and has been a professional actor for 30 years. During this time, he has performed in over 60 television commercials and has had countless appearances on popular series television. Kevin hosted the nationally syndicated children’s game show Kidstreet for five years (350 episodes) and he enjoyed success as the host of Animal Planets’ Pet Project, which received 4 Gemini nominations, including Best Host in a Lifestyle & Information Program. He can also be heard as many of the voices in the Thomas the Tank Engine 1st feature movie.
Kevin began his career studying improvisational comedy with the Second City in Toronto. He rose through the ranks, eventually performing on the main stage at the Old Firehall. He is now Artistic Director of the Second City Training Centre and teaches improv to today’s new hopefuls. In the spring of 2014 Kevin had the pleasure of narrating a Children’s Story with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for 9 sold out performances at Roy Thomson Hall. When Kevin isn’t improvising he can be found behind his drum kit keeping time for Glendale One. Their CD, Live at Asylum Artists is creating a buzz on the Indie scene. You can check them out on iTunes!
Lisa Merchant has been improvising and acting for 28 years. She is a multiple nominee and winner of numerous Canadian Comedy Awards. Lisa was one of the cast of the Gemini nominated Joe Blow Show. She created and produced Toronto’s longest running comedy festival, March of Dames. Some television credits include: Murdoch Mysteries, Train 48, Listen Missy, Go Girl!, to name a few.
Lisa performs monthly in Monkey Toast, the live improvised talk show, now in its 12th year. Lisa is an understudy for the highly acclaimed Women Fully Clothed. She is a 20+ year Senior Faculty member at The Second City Training Centre and corporate facilitator with The Second City Communications division. Additionally she is extremely proud to have delivered improvisation workshops to Canada’s Olympic Team hopefuls for the London 2012 Summer Games as well as Sochi 2014 Winter Games.
Jason DeRosse is the Canadian Comedy Award Winner 2013 for both Best Male Improviser and Best Improv Troupe (Mantown) . He is a recent alumni of the Second City Toronto where he wrote and performed in four amazingly-well received revues and five Second City Touring Company Shows.
Jason’s also an alumni of the Canadian Comedy Award winning troupe The Sketchersons and performed for over four years in their weekly show Sunday Night Live .
Currently on stage in Toronto you can find Jason with the improv juggernaut Mantown, the hilarious sketchprov troupe PB&J and the trio Maybe (Toronto Star has called them possibly the “…next generation of great Canadian Sketch Comedy”).
Jason DeRosse’s television highlights include: Meet The Family (currently on CityTV), Hotbox, Scare Tactics and Sketcherson TV.
His latest writing endeavours for television and film are with Toonbox Entertainment where he was nominated for his writing on The Beet Party and given a “Special Thanks” for the movie The Nut Job starring the voices of Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser and Katherine Heigl.
Apply for improv classes with Second City:
‘SWAG’ is a short silent comedy film written by and starring David Elms, directed by Matt Holt and produced by Sara Shulman.
Director’s Award at the North Carolina Film Festival
“Outstanding Quality Entertainment” – Patrick Manss, Program Director
Award of Merit at the San Francisco Film Awards
LA Indie Film Festival
Tickets: 9:30pm on 7th March 2015 – LA Premiere
Let Live Theatre
916 N. Formosa Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Going South on Formosa from Santa Monica Blvd. it is the Blue Building at the end of the block. There is a 60 car parking lot that is on either side of the building feel free to park here. Additional street parking is available as well as parking in the Gateway Mall, home of Target.
Los Angeles Short Film Festival
Sunday, March 15th
The Promenade Playhouse
1404 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401
6:30pm – 8:00pm
Eastern North Carolina Film Festival
David Elms for Best Actor – Los Angeles Short Film Festival
Mark Davison for Best Supporting Actor – Los Angeles Short Film Festival
Simon Elsbury for Best Cinematographer – Los Angeles Short Film Festival
Thank you to all the cast and crew for their hard work, time and effort, everyone that funded the film, attended the fundraising gigs and screening and supported the film!
Tash Demetriou, Pierre Novellie, Phil Wang, Patrick Turpin
Market Stall Owner
Adam Hess, Stevie Martin, Phoebe Walsh, Liz Smith, Rhys James, Lolly Adefope, Will Green, Tessa Coates
Lizzie Daykin, Adam Lawrence, Hamish Colville, Charles Lyons
Joe Bannister, Ben Ashenden, Alex Owen
Director of Phootgraphy
Additional Camera Assistants
Richard Perry, Oli Ford
Hair & Make Up
Art Department & Poster Design
Rob Morris, David Herd
Tom Lobo Brennan
With thanks to:
Adam Kay, Alex Pudney, Beth Aynsley, Emma Pawle, Gabi Herrett, Gilly Black, Henry Piechoczek, Janet French, Jasper Fry, Jennifer Priestley, John Galvin, Josh Lawton, Laura Sorenson, Neville Galvin, Ollie Black, Richard Elms, Richard Hanrahan, Rohan Acharya, Ryan Taylor & The Pleasance Theatre, Nicholas Flugge
A Dave Has Mates / Humour Me Production
Comedy Blogedy is incredibly excited to announce that, working in partnership with Angel Comedy, Second City are making their UK debut in May providing training courses and performing improv for two weeks in London!
“Second City is the best job anybody in the American Theatre can get. It’s incomparable. If you come through Second City training, I think you can do anything.” BILL MURRAY
“Second City was the happiest time of my life” TINA FEY
“That was really where I learned everything about comedy, performance, even about life.” STEVE CARELL
“I went from high school to Second City, and I felt like I got accepted to Harvard” MIKE MYERS
Second City is the organisation that started the careers of performers such as Bill Murray, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Mike Myers, Amy Poehler and John Belushi and will be setting up shop in London’s own Angel Comedy in the heart of Islington.
Second City has spawned multiple comedy empires, almost everyone in the business of American Comedy has come through one of their courses over the past 50 years and is widely recognised as the most influential training centre for comedians, actors and directors alike.
For a limited run of two weeks at the beginning of May, UK performers will get the chance to take part in workshops aimed at teaching and honing the techniques and skills that have inspired so many prominent stars. The courses will be officially accredited from the Second City Training Centre taught by working professionals, all of which are former Second City performers themselves. As well as the classes, audiences will get the chance to see world-class improvisers perform nightly on the Angel Comedy Stage as part of the newly inaugural ‘Festival of Improvisation’.
“At its heart, The Second City is about collaborative creation – using the tools of improvisation to build something greater than the sum of its parts. The skills we develop make people better communicators, more versatile actors, better auditionees, and (we hope) funnier. We’re so excited to work with Angel Comedy and Comedy Blogedy to bring this program to London; home of so many of our comedy heroes.” KLAUS SCHULLER – Executive Director and Producer, Second City
“In my 30 years as an actor/writer/musician I have always relied on my Improv roots to be as creative and spontaneous as the situation needs. Whether I’m jamming with my band or delivering corporate training to top executives, the fundamental tools of Improv made good things happen.” KEVIN FRANK – Artistic Director, Second City
Angel Comedy is the newest and most exciting comedy club in London, it runs nightly and is now one of the most popular comedy clubs in London, and the UK. Most nights include last minute guests and announcements, you never know who might turn up, whether the newest comedy talent or your favourite TV stalwarts trying out new material. Angel Comedy was founded and is hosted by comedian Barry Ferns, (writer for E4, BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 4, 2014 Spirit of the Fringe Award Winner and Chortle Award Nominated MC) from their home at The Camden Head in Angel, Islington, N1.
“We’re incredibly proud to be introducing Second City to the London comedy scene. Nurturing and training new comedy talent is at the core of what Angel Comedy does, and it’s what Second City has been doing for over 50 years, along the way producing the biggest comedy performers in the world today. We are hugely excited to see how their history, knowledge and insight manifests in the new generation of UK comedy performers. Hugely excited #understatement” BARRY FERNS, Founder & MC at Angel Comedy
Partnering with Comedy Blogedy “the UK’s leading comedy blog” (Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards) seems a natural fit to bring the world-class training ground to the UK. The site which features interviews with established comedians, but also concentrates on seeking out the newest in emerging talent is known for it’s support of comics in their developing stages. Run by Sara Shulman who has often been asked to lend her opinion on various National Comedy competitions (Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Awards – Scout, Chortle Comedy Awards, Musical Comedy Awards, Up The Creek One’s to Watch, London Sketchfest) the partnership here seeks to allow UK acts access for the first time to the teachings of this world renowned institution.
“We’re really excited to be working with Second City. We’re all incredibly passionate about the importance of supporting and promoting talent, which is an important feature of Comedy Blogedy, and the training Second City can provide has huge potential to add even more creativity, innovation and humour to comedy in the UK.” SARA SHULMAN, Editor & Founder of Comedy Blogedy
In addition to the courses, there will be a week-long Festival of Improvisation that will run form the 10th – 16th at Angel Comedy, showcasing the UK’s best improvisers alongside the Second City alumni – expect the unscripted – and come and see what Bill Murray/ Tina Fey/ Mike Myers have been making all the fuss about.
The week long Festival of Improvisation will also run form the 10th- 16th showcasing the UK’s best improvisers alongside alumni from the states.
“The entire tradition of American satire can be summed up in three words: The Second City” NEW YORK TIMES
Courses run : 4th – 8th, 11th – 15th May
Festival of Improvisation: 10th-16th May
APPLICATIONS & MORE INFORMATION:
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