The results for the Fosters Comedy Awards 2010 at the Edinburgh Fringe this past weekend caused some controversy - director and producer Nica Burns told STV about the thinking behind the decisions.
Instead of claiming the main award - as many critics thought should be the case - which instead went to hard-working festival trouper Russell Kane, standout young US comedian Bo Burnham was given a special ‘panel prize’ for embodying the spirit of the Fringe.
Speaking to Kate Copstick after Saturday lunchtime’s awards ceremony, Nica said: “It was one of the best years, because as you know the overall standard across the festival was so high, I thought.
“I just saw really good show after really good show after really good show, and as you know Ms Kate Copstick, there are some years where you go ‘Oh dear, come on guys’, but in terms of the number of shows that were at the top end I think it was a really good year, a really vintage year for comedy actually, so it’s been a pleasure to be able to see so much good work.”
Kate suggested that Bo was something else compared to the other comedians performing this month, because he was on a different level.
Nica replied: “Yes, if I can explain. I think the reason he’s been given the panel prize is because we were all stunned with such an extraordinary debut of talent. But you can pick the show to bits, in terms of the actual show you can pick all sorts of bits to it.
“And in some of it Bo is so assured and so interested in everything that he doesn’t attempt to be funny, and anyone who has the sheer bravado to throw in a performance of ‘To be or not to be’ - rather well, I thought - shows actually he’s just exploring a lot of things.
“I think the feeling is that we wanted to acknowledge his talent is out of the ballpark, which is why he wasn’t a newcomer. But in terms of ‘Is this the best comedy show he’s going to be doing over the next few years?’, no, we don’t think it is.
“And that’s the reason that it just became inevitable, after a very large fight I have to say, that he was a winner, and the prize was a special one.”
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