Celia Pacquola, Kanan Gill and more lead Comedy Festival’s 2024 award nominees

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Celia Pacquola, Kanan Gill and more lead Comedy Festival’s 2024 award nominees

Comedy Festival best shows
Words by Staff Writer

Today, on the steps of the Melbourne Town Hall the 2024 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award nominees for Most Outstanding Show and Best Newcomer were announced.

The biggest Festival yet – with more than 800 performers over 650 shows and more than 7,800 individual performances across 185 stages in 133 venues – a group of fearless, but tired judges have spent the last 21 days seeing as many shows as possible.

As the Festival enters its final five days, these nominees represent the most applauded and talked about shows of the month. A bumper list of 10 nominees have been announced for the 2024 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award for Most Outstanding Show.

Comedy Festival’s Most Outstanding Show nominees

  • Celia Pacquola, I’m As Surprised As You Are
  • John Kearns (UK), The Varnishing Days
  • Julia Masli (Estonia), ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
  • Kanan Gill (India), What Is This?
  • Lou Wall, The Bisexual’s Lament
  • Oliver Coleman, Goof
  • Ray O’Leary (NZ), Your Laughter Is Just Making Me Stronger
  • Rose Matafeo (NZ), On And On And On
  • Sarah Keyworth (UK), My Eyes Are Up Here
  • Takashi Wakasugi (Japan), Japanese Aussie

Explore Melbourne’s latest arts and stage news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Best Newcomer nominations

Best Newcomer nominations for a solo performer or group of performers doing their first Festival show – are:

  • Bridget Hassed, Girl Girl Girl
  • Dylan Murphy & Molly Daniels, Are Dead
  • Laurence Driscoll, The Prodigay Son
  • Maddy Weeks, Never Gonna Die
  • Noah Szto, Success In Everything
  • Samuel Gebreselassie, I’m a Refugee… Get Me Out of Here!

Golden Gibbo nominees

The Golden Gibbo – in memory of the late, great Lynda Gibson – is aimed at finding a local, independent show that pursues the artists’ idea more than it pursues commercial gain. The 2024 nominees are:

  • Matt Bell, Dead To Me: A Comedy Ghost Tour
  • Dougie Baldwin, Detention
  • Granny Bingo, Brave New World
  • Alex Reynolds, Scrum
  • Mel McGlensey, Is Motorboat
  • Helena Ruse & Pippa Mills, In Conversation With Christ

Winners will be announced on Saturday with additional awards bestowed including; Directors’ Choice, awarded by the Festival Director in consultation with festival programming colleagues to a show they think deserves to be celebrated; the People’s Choice Award for the most popular show of the Festival as determined by the ticket buying public; The Pinder Prize, honouring Festival co-founder John Pinder, and supporting a performer to travel to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; and the Piece of Wood comics’ choice award, selected by past winners and presented to a peer literally for “doin’ good stuff ‘n’ that”.

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival runs until 21 April. For more information and to buy tickets, visit comedyfestival.com.au