The Perrier Comedy Awards - for which winners are selected from the pool of talent performing at the annual Edinburgh Fringe, the world's largest arts festival - is one of the UK's most prestigious awards for stand-up. The prize includes a trophy, a cheque for £7,500 and the chance to be included in the Perrier West End season.
This year’s schedule begins on 9 October 2005 at the Lyric in Shaftesbury Avenue, with Perrier nominees Chris Addison - performing his show Atomicity, about man and his desire to control the world around him - and Jeremy Lion, with his show What’s the Time, Mr Lion?.
The following Sunday, 16 October, the second woman ever to win the Perrier Award (the first was Jenny Eclair in 1995), Laura Solon, presents her show, Kopfrapers Syndrome. The sketches see her playing eight radically different characters, introducing the Festival Bookworm, the Rain-Proof Siren, Karen the prize-winning beautician and Borgesia, the Polish storyteller - with a radical take on Aesop’s Fables. Kopfrapers Syndrome was 26-year-old Solon’s Edinburgh debut. She has previously appeared on the first episode of BBC 2’s Sack Race posing as a fundamentalist Christian who found God in a pizza.
Solon will be joined on stage by Jason Manford, who will perform his show, Urban Legend. This year's Perrier West End season concludes on Sunday 23 October 2005 with this year’s Best Newcomer, Tim Minchin, performing Darkside. The Australian blends musicality, stand-up and air-guitar to create a bawdy show about humankind’s greatest challenges – inflatable love, plastic bags, twist-top wine bottles and anger management. He’s joined by Dutch Elm with their show, Conservatoire in Conspiracy.
- by Caroline Ansdell