Sarah Keyworth, Noah Szto, Dougie Baldwin take out Comedy Festival’s top honours

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Sarah Keyworth, Noah Szto, Dougie Baldwin take out Comedy Festival’s top honours

Words by Staff Writer

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival announced the 2024 award winners at a special ceremony hosted by 2022 winner Rhys Nicholson.

The awards celebrated the best of the best and showcase the incredible range of performers shining brightly at this year’s Festival, from stand-up and music to clowning and theatre.

Taking out the top award – the 2024 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award for Most Outstanding Show was British comic Sarah Keyworth for their show My Eyes Are Up Here.

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The nominees included: 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; and Takashi Wakasugi (Japan), Japanese Aussie.

The Best Newcomer Award, for the best solo performer or group of performers doing their first Festival show, went to Noah Szto for his show Success In Everything.

Nominees included: Bridget Hassed – Girl Girl Girl; Dylan Murphy & Molly Daniels – Are Dead; Laurence Driscoll – The Prodigay Son; Maddy Weeks – Never Gonna Die; and Samuel Gebreselassie – I’m a Refugee… Get Me Out of Here!

The People’s Choice Award for the most popular show of the Festival, as determined by the ticket-buying public, went to Aaron Chen for his show Funny Garden.

Directors’ Choice Award, awarded by the Festival Director in consultation with festival programming colleagues to a show they think deserves celebration went to Ben Russell.

The Pinder Prize, honouring Festival co-founder John Pinder and awarded in collaboration with Assembly Edinburgh will support Bronwyn Kuss to travel to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with her show Pillows XXXX.

The Golden Gibbo – in memory of the late, great Lynda Gibson – aims to celebrate a local, independent show that pursues the artists’ idea more than it pursues commercial gain. This year it was awarded to Dougie Baldwin – Detention.

Nominees included: Matt Bell, Dead To Me: A Comedy Ghost Tour; Granny Bingo, Brave New World; Alex Reynolds, Scrum; Mel McGlensey, Is Motorboat; and Helena Ruse & Pippa Mills, In Conversation With Christ.

The Piece of Wood comics’ choice award, selected by past winners and presented to a peer literally for “doin’ good stuff ‘n’ that” was awarded to Claire Hooper.

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