Records are customarily broken at the Edinburgh Fringe these days when it comes to numbers of shows.
So it’s perhaps no surprise to hear that a “record-breaking” 530 shows are eligible for the Edinburgh Comedy Awards this year, the Edinburgh Fringe’s biggest comedy prizes (and the one that, I think, we no longer need to remind you was once called the Perriers, seven years after the controversial water brand stopped backing the award, and at least two sponsors further on).
Commenting on the prospect of judging more shows than ever before, and on the outlook for this year’s Fringe at large, the Comedy Award’s boss lady Nica Burns told The Guardian: “Ten years ago we all thought the comedy bubble was going to burst. Well it bloody well isn’t. Comedy keeps growing because British audiences want to laugh. Everything is up [at the Fringe this year], ticket sales are really strong, there are more performers than ever, more shows than ever. There are no minus figures going in to what was always an uncertain, and certainly nine months ago, potentially scary year. It is looking like a record-breaking Fringe in a year which had been predicted to be doom, gloom and disaster”.
Now in its 32nd year, the main Edinburgh Comedy Award will be presented, as usual, on the last Saturday of the Fringe, 25 Aug, alongside the customary Newcomer Award and the “panel prize”. Last year’s overall winner, Adam Riches – interviewed by ThreeWeeks here – will return to the Fringe for just four nights this year, 22-25 Aug at the Pleasance Dome, while last year’s Newcomer winner Humphrey Ker will return with his 2011 show for a week from 7-14 Aug (and you can read the ‘Smashing History Of Edinburgh he penned for ThreeWeeks last summer here).