News: Pleasance acts win big in the final week of the Fringe

The winners of Dave’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer and Best Comedy Show have been announced, with Pleasance acts taking home the top prizes. Catherine Cohen received the Best Newcomer Award with The Twist…? She’s Gorgeous as Jordan Brookes took home Best Comedy Show for I’ve Got Nothing.

This year the Pleasance received thirteen of the seventeen nominations. Nominees included Janine Harouni, Nigel Ng, Michael Odewale, Sophie Duker, Catherine Cohen, Helen Bauer and Huge Davies for Best Newcomer and, for Best Comedy Show, Darren Harriott, Goodbear, Ivo Graham, Jordan Brookes, London Hughes and Spencer Jones.

Last year, history was made at the Comedy Awards when Pleasance’s Rose Matafeo took one home, the first person of colour in the 38-year history of the award to do so. This year’s shortlist featured the first Black British women to be nominated in the history of the Awards, London Hughes and Sophie Duker, both of whom Pleasance is honoured to host. They are also proud to be one of the seven venues supporting Fringe of Colour who won this year’s Panel Prize.

Director of Pleasance, Anthony Alderson commented: “With 757 eligible comedy shows this year I am flattered that Pleasance once again houses both Comedy Award winners. Both Catherine and Jordan are such talented comedians touching on contemporary issues and modern life in a way that has audiences desperate for more. This week we’ve also seen Pleasance shows win a Fringe First award and a Total Theatre award. I couldn’t be prouder of the amazing talents that join the Pleasance family each summer. Congratulations to all the winners!”

The Best Newcomer went to American sensation Catherine Cohen with her uniquely modern cabaret The Twist..? She’s Gorgeous. Cohen’s show is about life, love and loving yourself. With original songs, accompanied by Henry Koperski on keys, and hyper-self-aware stand-up, she presents a lacerating take on modern culture as a millennial bravely addicted to attention.

Jordan Brookes was awarded Best Comedy Show for I’ve Got Nothing which sees the inimitable comic step away from high concept and bring it right back to basics. Brookes is a man scrabbling to create a connection with those around him; his hour plucks and pulls at stand-up tropes and the relationship between audience and performer. With whip-smart improv, he dances along the line between carefree silliness and bleak hopelessness as he explores the human condition in a word that feels like its ending.

This is not the only Pleasance news in the past 24 hours. E8 from The North Wall in association with Pleasance was awarded a prestigious Scotsman Fringe First Award – this timely new play gives voice to those who have fallen through the cracks in mainstream education. Inspired by writer Marika McKennell’s own experiences, E8 shines an invaluable light on the individuals behind social neglect, exploring the politics of the care system in compelling and absorbing detail.

Also named as a winner is the innovative Tricky Second Album from In Bed With My Brother which was awarded a Total Theatre Award for its performance anarchy which eviscerates the capitalist ethos which undermines the lofty aspirations of art. Inspired by KLF’s divisive burning of one million pounds, Tricky Second Album is a multimedia punk riot that throws the rulebook in the face of the audience and sets fire to performance etiquette.

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