Australian Comedian Denise Scott Wins 2014 Barry Award

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s most prestigious annual award, the Barry Award, has been awarded to Denise Scott.

The Barry Award, launched in 1998 and named after the Festival’s founding patron Barry Humphries, recognizes performers enhancing the art of comedy and acknowledges their vision as the Comedy Festival’s most outstanding Festival show. Her fourth nomination for the top Festival Award, with more than 15 Melbourne Comedy Festivals under her belt, first performing as part of the Comedy Festival 26 years ago, Denise, the true matriarch of Australian comedy proved to be at her very best in 2014 with ‘Mother Bare’ – a sharp, self-deprecating exploration of family and motherhood.

Also in contention for the 2014 Barry Award were six other nominees: Celia Pacquola – Let Me Know How it All Works Out, John Kearns – Sight Gags For Perverts, Kyle Kinane, The Boy With Tape On His Face – More Tape, Tim Key – Single White Slut and Trygve Wakenshaw – Kraken.

Denise Scott joins the esteemed list of Barry Award winners including Rich Hall (2013), Dr Brown (2012), Russell Kane (2011), Sammy J and Heath McIvor (2010), The Pajama Men (2009) Kristen Schaal and Nina Conti (tied winners of 2008), Daniel Kitson (2007), Demetri Martin (2006), Keating! The Opera (2005), Maria Bamford (2004), Mike Wilmot (2003), Ross Noble (2002), Brian Munich & Friends (2001) and The Mighty Boosh (2000).

To be eligible for this prestigious award, a show must have had at least 10 performances as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in the particular year. The panel of 13 judges ranges from industry professionals to media, with Festival Director Susan Provan chairing the panel, but not casting a vote for the Barry Award.

Susan Provan, Melbourne International Comedy Festival Director Said “I’m so proud of the list of winners announced this evening and particularly thrilled that Denise Scott is taking home the Barry Award. Scottie is an inspiration. We have loved her work for years and she just keeps getting better”.

Awards also presented at the 28th Melbourne International Comedy Festival Awards at the Hifi include:
• Best Newcomer Award: Awarded to the best first-timer at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
2014 Winner: Stella Young for Tales from the Crip
Full list of nominees: Stella Young – Tales from the Crip, Amos Gill – You’ve Changed and Tien Tran – If You Don’t Know, Now You Know

• The Piece of Wood: The beloved (and much bitten) comics’ choice award selected by past winners and presented to a peer literally for “doing good stuff ‘n’ that”.
2014 Winner: Sarah Kendall for Touchdown

• The Golden Gibbo: In memory of the late, great Lynda Gibson and awarded to a local, independent show that pursues the artist’s idea more strongly than it pursues any commercial lure.
2014 Winner: Fancy Boy for Variety Show
Full list of nominees: Andy Matthews – String Theory, Fancy Boy – Variety Show, Pajama Party, Rama Nicholas – After Ever After, Stella Young – Tales from the Crip, Trygve Wakenshaw – Kraken

• Directors’ Choice Award: Awarded by the Comedy Festival Director, in consultation with other visiting Festival Directors, to a fabulous show that somehow missed out on any other prize.
2014 Winner: Ronny Chieng for Chieng Reaction
A Special Directors’ Commendation: The Ong-als for Babbling Comedy

• The Airbnb People’s Choice Award: Voted by way of ticket sales – the most popular show in the Festival
2014 Winner: Wil Anderson for Wiluminati

• The Funny Tonne Award: Awarded to the most die-hard comedy fan who has reviewed the most shows during the 2014 Festival
2014 Winner: Chris Menezies with 158 shows

Other 2014 Melbourne Comedy Festival winners awarded earlier this month include Wodonga’s Gregor Tarrant – Class Clowns, Melbourne’s Matt Stewart – RAW Comedy and Brisbane’s Stephanie Tisdell – Deadly Funny.

The 2014 Melbourne International Comedy Festival officially closes on Sunday 20 April. The jam-packed Roadshow tour begins in Devonport and Innisfail on Wednesday 23 April and goes through to June visiting more than 70 town and cities across Australia.

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