Okay there are a few competitions around for aspiring comics and I’m sure each and everyone is well worth their while, but for me the format that Hils Jago, promoter and the founder of Amused Moose, has decided on is the fairest as it takes into account the views of both the pro’s and the public. For breakthrough acts, a series of heats and qualifiers are run around the country being judged partly by the audience and partly by industry experts until the crème de la crème, the top seven consisting of Richard Todd, Matthew Giffen, sketch troupe Foil, Arms & Hog, Dane Baptiste, Toby Brown, Clint Edwards and Funmbi emerged to competed for the shiny Moose trophy and a cash prize on stage at the Bongo Club, an extremely slick event hosted by the excellent Rob Beckett.
The standard as you would expect was extremely high and the voting so close that actually two winners emerged, those being Richard Todd who won the industry vote and Funmbi who came top of the audience poll.
But was that it? No. The second award Amused Moose Laughter Awards is for more experienced comics. The criteria for this competition are they must not have a DVD deal and are performing a full hour show in Edinburgh.
A comedy industry panel view the 100’s of shows on line initially, then in Edingugh, finally selecting the top ten to fight it out in a semi-final. The three who emerge from a similar audience and industry vote play it out for a £5000 prize and talks with 2entertain who support the event for a possible DVD deal as well.
The 3 acts who made the final after all the exhausting process were Laurence Clark, Alistair Barrie and Marcel Lucont, the French alter ego of Alexis Dubus.
Again the voting was close but Marcel Lucont emerged as a popular winner.
In Fringe terms this was not only a marathon show, approaching 3 hours, but if there is a better value for money afternoon to be spent then I haven’t found it. 10 comics, a compere and the Moose crew keeping it all on track. Splendid production all round, so no wonder it is a massive sell out each year.
Reviewed by Geoff