Top comedy acts from this year’s Edinburgh Fringe are heading to the West End’s Garrick Theatre next month for a series of Sunday showcases of winners and finalists in the second annual if.comedy Awards (See News, 28 Aug 2007).

Previously the Perriers (See News, 14 Jun 2006), the if.comedy Awards, now sponsored by Scotland-based mortgage company Intelligent Finance, are bestowed to stand-ups each August at the Edinburgh Fringe, the world\'s largest arts festival. There are three categories in the awards: the main if.comedy Award (with a prize of £8,000), Best Newcomer (£4,000) and Panel Prize (£4,000).

The West End season kicks off on Sunday 7 October 2007 with if.comedy Award winner Brendon Burns (pictured) and nominee Andrew Lawrence, performing their respective shows So I suppose this is offensive now! and Social Leprosy for Beginners and Improvers.

Notably, Burns is a stand-up veteran who won this year’s award 11 years after he first performed at the Fringe. Since his Edinburgh debut, he has been banned from the BBC for snogging a goat, written a trilogy that got him committed to a mental institution, and walked off the set of I’m a Celebrity … Get Me out of Here Now live on air.

If.comedy award nominee Andrew Maxwell performs his show Waxin’ alongside fellow nominees Pappy’s Fan Club with their brand of ‘post-sketch’ comedy on 14 October 2007. On 21 October, Best Newcomer winner Tom Basden and main prize nominee Ivan Brackenbury perform their shows, Won’t Say Anything and Hospital Radio Roadshow.

Finally, Panel Prize winner Arthur Smith, care of “the Institute of Zoo Logic”, puts his stamp on the Garrick from 8 to 27 October 2007, with his installation Arturart. The retrospective of “paintings, embroideries, moments, trouves and old t-shirts, with contributions from fellow comedians Harry Hill, Simon Munnery and Shappi Khorsandi” will be on display in a “secret part” of the theatre during the day. Entry is free.

- by Terri Paddock