The calendar year may start in January, the tax year in April, and the school year in September, but the Comedy Year (yes, it’s a thing) always starts in August. Every year, hundreds of comedians descend upon the Scottish capital to debut their newest work at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. They may have had the benefit of a few preview shows, allowing last minute wrinkles to be ironed out, but for the most part Edinburgh is the first time anyone gets to see new material.
And now that it’s all over, and this year’s crop of bright-eyed new stand-ups have headed home, what exactly was it all for? It’s easy to brush Edinburgh off as unimportant when we’re all the way down here in the Midlands, but the impact of this year’s festival will reverberate across the country for the next 12 months. In terms of what you’ll see at Warwick Arts Centre this year, Edinburgh has been very important indeed!
Here at Warwick, we already know how much our audiences love Micky Flanagan, or Jimmy Carr, or Dara O’Briain. We’ll happily programme them time and time again because they’re the masters of their field, with legions of loyal fans, and we like to give you what you want! But how to we go about giving you what you didn’t even KNOW you wanted? It’s here that Edinburgh comes into its own: Edinburgh is the place where that all-important buzz begins, where breakout artists can really make an impression. With so many critics and programmers attending the festival too, alongside normal audience members, it’s not long before the word gets out about the next big thing. And it’s up to us to introduce you to them by booking them.
A good starting point for names to look out for is the Edinburgh Comedy Awards, arguably one of the most prestigious awards on PlanetComedy. Previous nominees and winners have gone on to great things: Sarah Millican, who is so popular that she can now shift tickets years in advance (book now for 2014!), and Russell Kane who finally won the big award in 2010 after being nominated four years on the trot. Other former nominees who are now household names will be visiting Warwick this Autumn – Chris Addison, Al Murray and Milton Jones, to name but a few.
So if you want to see the next big thing in comedy (before they start selling out the Butterworth Hall) you should really be keeping an eye out on the Comedy Award’s most recent winners and nominees. Tim Key is a cracking poet/comedian, (honestly, it works) imaginative and off-kilter, who has appeared on Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe, and as Alan Patridge’s right-hand man Sidekick Simon in his recent series of webisodes. He’s bringing his show Masterslut to Warwick this October, and it’ll be like nothing you’ve seen before.
We’re also delighted to be welcoming two of our favourite acts to Warwick, following well-deserved nominations for the 2012 Comedy Award. Josie Long is whimsical and whip smart, but also extremely passionate and political. Brecht famously believed theatre should change the world – Josie Long clearly hopes her comedy can do the same.
And if you’re looking for something truly original – then you must come and see Pappy’s. The sketch trio have been on the scene for some time, but 2012 seems to be their year, with five star reviews across the board. With props made from cardboard and sticky tape, and a unique ability to morph into different characters with minimal effort, this is genuinely funny sketch comedy, and the only act to have succeeded in making my stomach hurt from belly-laughing!
We’re lucky to have a festival such as the Edinburgh Fringe in the UK, and we’re thrilled to bring you the best of the fest to Warwick Arts Centre for Autumn 2012. Check out our full comedy programme here.