Scotland’s Richard Gadd has been announced as the winner of this year’s Edinburgh Comedy Award.The 26-year-old Fife comic picked up £10,000 for his show ‘Monkey See Monkey Do’ which explores his experience of being the victim of sexual assault.
Gadd was the first Scot to be nominated for the prestigious Edinburgh Festival award in 23 years and is the first Scottish winner since Arnold Brown in 1987.
Upon collecting his award he gave an emotional speech saying: ‘The darkness that came over me… this goes in some way to getting that back. ‘I’ve been to Edinburgh for several years and never quite pushed through – but I’ve never been surrounded by the love I’ve been surrounded by this festival Thank you to my parents… I’m a complicated person if I wasn’t born into such a liberal family I would have felt so much shame.’
Gadd explores the struggles with his masculinity and sexuality he went through after being a victim of sexual assault sex years ago. He manages to do this while putting a comedic spin to it. If you can manage to discuss such serious topics and make it funny we think he definitely deserves this award.
Watch his interview about the show at the festival below.
In an interview he stated: ‘I’ve been thinking about writing this show for years, but I always postponed it because there’s something about writing things down that makes it very real. I never believed I was going to do this. This is the most truthful thing I’ve ever done.’ ‘I was very down on my life, very ashamed. I punished myself so much and my self-esteem was so low.’I was always worried what people would think and that they would judge – but nobody gave a shit. I mean, they cared, but they didn’t think less of me for it.’
The 26 year old runs about 6 miles on a treadmill during his shows because “For two years, the only way I could put the monkey on my back to sleep was to run and run and run. I was running 10 miles a day, six days a week. I wanted to show that everything in it is very real.”
Al Porter’s show At Large was also nominated for the award. Read more here.
Glasgow based Scott Gibson also won best newcomer to claim a double win for Scotland. His show Life After Death discusses a near death experience where he suffered from a brain hemorrhage at the age of 24.
He said: ‘I have no idea what to say. A massive thank you to all at the Gilded Balloon… those guys have been incredible. They’ve helped me with everything. ‘Sometimes in Scotland we think we’re not part of the Fringe, bizarrely. Hopefully this will show we can be here and tell our stories. It’s a privilege to be part of it.’
Here’s a snippet of the show below.