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By Francois Finlay
May 22, 2017
By Francois Finlay
May 22, 2017

The 2017 NZ International Comedy Festival has come to a close after 115 shows in Auckland and 68 shows in Wellington. While the festival was jam-packed full of lols, only two performances could ultimately be crowned as the best in show for comedic excellence.

Presented since 1997, the Billy T Award honours the late Billy T James and recognises up-and-coming New Zealand comedians with outstanding talent. Angella Dravid took home the prestigious Yellow Towel and a desirable prize package for her show, Down the Rabbit Hole. The stand-up is known for her offbeat, honest and unpredictable comedy. Down the Rabbit Hole is a first-hand account of the agonies and the ecstasies of love, as told by a woman driven completely insane with a 'butter-wouldn't-melt' smile.

Established comic Rose Matafeo, who won the Billy in 2013, took home The FRED Award for 2017. Named in honour of John Clarke's legendary Kiwi character Fred Dagg, the award was introduced in 2006 and recognises the festival's Best Show by a New Zealand comedian. Rose received the much revered Golden Gumboot for Sassy Best Friend, a show inspired by her favourite film heroes and her terrible taste in movies.

Other awards presented include:
Best International Show: Joel Creasey - Poser
Best Newcomer (Auckland): Melanie Bracewell – Brace Yourself
Best Newcomer (Wellington): White Man Behind a Desk - Live

Published on May 22, 2017 by Francois Finlay


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