ED2016 Comedy ED2016 News ED2016 Spoken Word ED2016 Week1 Edition

Speedy News #02: Awards, books and podcasts

By | Published on Monday 8 August 2016

Malcolm Harvey

It’s the latest speedy news round up from ThreeWeeks…

A chunk of the comedy fraternity amassed for Sunday lunch yesterday with the traditional Fringe kick-off gathering organised by the Edinburgh Comedy Awards and paid for, presumably, by its nice new sponsor Lastminute.com. And if you are wondering who, exactly, is judging all that this year, well, it’s the BBC’s Sam Michell, Channel 4’s Laura Riseam, ITV’s Saskia Schuster, The Scotsman’s Claire Smith, The Times’s Dominic Maxwell, i’s Alice Jones, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Susan Provan and comedy fans Niki Di Palma, Jim Johnson and Sam Haslam.

Talking of awards, character comedian Will Franken has announced his intention to launch his own award this year, the Defining The Norm Awards. In a nod to the Fringe’s ‘defying the norm’ slogan this year, as well as contributing to the customary debate about the over commercialisation of the comedy Fringe – and the role the big awards have in that process – Franken says his will be the one truly honest awards programme, “celebrating the safety, sameness and sycophancy so integral to the world’s largest and most expensive comedy festival”. Hmm, I wonder who he’ll pick to win.

Talking of Will Franken and awards, we gave him one of our ThreeWeeks Editors’ Awards a couple of years back, which are very much anti-bland we reckon. And they, by the way, will return at the end of this year’s Festival once again. We have no categories, no precise remits, no particular agenda, other than celebrating shows and performers who we think are bloody brilliant. Watch this space for more info.

Did we mention that this is our 21st year covering the Edinburgh Festival? To celebrate we are staging five live podcast recordings at theSpace @ Symposium Hall next week, in which we will interview five former ThreeWeeks cover stars: Mark Thomas, Susan Calman, Brendon Burns, Lucy Porter and (current cover star) Mark Watson. You can come along, listen in and ask your own questions. Book yourself some free tickets at thisweektalks.com

Don’t forget that alongside all the madness of the Fringe and the International Festival that is already occurring in this here festival city (and let’s not forget the Tattoo and Art Festival), the Edinburgh International Book Festival kicks off next weekend. Says director Nick Barley of his programme this year: “You could say that the theme of this year’s festival is ‘Project No Fear’. It’s about encouraging and celebrating the sort of courageous, positive, creative thinking that we desperately need in order to make the world a better place for everyone, rather than just for a privileged few”.

Don’t forget Caro’s Three To See tips for the Book Festival: Leila Al-Shami and Robin Yassin-Kassab, Aarathi Prasad and the ‘The Write To Read – Discussing Dyslexia’ event. Oh, and Malcolm Harvey (pictured) and Michael Keating discussing the renewed debate over the possibility of Scottish Independence. Even though that’s four tipped events.

Talking of the Threes To See – don’t forget we will be tipping three shows to see everyday of the Festival in the TW Daily email from tomorrow. A daily helping of reviews will also be appearing from tomorrow as well. So get signed up.