For almost 10 years now the esteemed Amused Moose comedy organization have been running an annual competition that is open to all aspiring breakthrough comics to try and emulate the likes of Sarah Millican and Jack Whitehall and win the moose trophy in the final held during the Edinburgh Fringe each year.
Already a number of heats have been held ‘down south’ and Sunday saw Hils Jago bring the process to the Scottish capital putting another bunch of hopefuls through their paces.
I joined proceedings mid afternoon when the entrants had been trimmed to fourteen, each of which then had to do 5 minutes to impress a panel of ‘industry judges’ to progress to the final itself that evening.
The afternoon show compered by local up and coming comedian Ben Verth, was a very close run thing and in my opinion everyone did themselves justice and then some, but being a competition some had to miss out. Unfortunately Linda Meehan, Katia Kvinge, Obie, Sandy Bouttell, Richard Murray, Ally Houston and David Elms were the unlucky ones, but I will be more than happy to see most again, and feel one or two were very unfortunate to miss out.
The successful finalists, Keiron Nicholson, Aideen McQueen, Larah Bross, Eleanor Morton, Jellybean Martinez, Lorcan McGrane and Gareth Waugh now had a ten minute set to deliver and were aided by the compering talents of Scottish comedy and writing superstar Janey Godley. This time the contestants had to not only impress a bigger industry panel but this time the audience vote was taken into account as well, so even more of a challenge. Each of these worthy contestants raised their game considerably from the semi-final, each 10 minute set was certainly well worth seeing, and everyone drew laughs a plenty. There were again some that excelled here and although I didn’t see the accumulated scores I’m guessing that there would have been not very much between them. However as before there had to be a winner and emerging top of the heap was Edinburgh’s Gareth Waugh with Eleanor Morton and Larah Bross being named as runners up.
Gareth goes forward now to a semi-final contest in London in May where I’m sure he will represent his country with pride.
Don’t forget that the actual final will be held during August, check out the Fringe brochure when published for details. All I can say if the quality on display then is as good as we saw today then it has to be one of the best value for money shows on offer anywhere.
Reviewed by Geoff