Rose Matafeo has won best Fringe show at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards yesterday, becoming the first non-white stand-up winner of the award and only the fifth woman in its 38-year history
The 26-year-old New Zealander, who is of Scottish and Samoan descent, will receive £10,000.
Her high-energy show, Horndog, was described by one critic as “like being caught up in slightly high-pitched, adorable, eager-to-please tornado”.
It deals with growing up as a geeky, film-obsessed teenager who has no luck with boys, but when she does start dating becomes obsessed.
The show led to her meeting one of her teen heroes, Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand. She contacted him by Twitter to ask if he minded being the payoff to a gag, and they met during the Edinburgh run. “I became my 14-year-old self again,” Matafeo said, “and the award is the icing on the cake.”
Matafeo beat six other finalists, including Ahir Shah and Alex Edelman, both of whom have tackled such themes as deportation and Nazism.
The award was presented to Matafeo by one of her comedy heroes, Steve Coogan, who won himself (when it was named the Perrier) in 1992. Coogan said he was delighted to be back in the Scottish capital, but despite winning many awards since 1992 he will always remember a scathing review that described him as “a bad comedian”.
Alongside the main prize, Irish comic Ciarán Dowd, who has previously performed at the Fringe as part of sketch comedy group Beasts, picked up best newcomer. The special award, meanwhile, went to the Home Safe Collective, an initiative started by comic Angela Barnes to make sure female comics can afford taxis after late gigs.
Nica Burns, the producer of the awards, said: “It shows the global appeal and importance of the Edinburgh Fringe that we have winners from New Zealand and Ireland - all comics want to perform here, the capital of comedy.”