Edinburgh Comedy award shortlist includes Ahir Shah and Rose Matafeo

Felicity Ward, Alex Edelman, Glenn Moore, Larry Dean and Kieran Hodgson also among standups in the running for £10,000 main prize – but the list has some striking omissions

The shortlist has been announced for the 2018 Edinburgh Comedy award, and it’s the most traditional lineup the prize has seen for years. In what will be seen as a shortlist for standup purists, the Jewish American act Alex Edelman features with his show about gatecrashing a Nazi meeting, the terrific New Zealander Rose Matafeo gets her first (and overdue) nomination and, with the only show that’s not straight standup, Yorkshireman Kieran Hodgson is nominated for ’75, a storytelling show about the pre-history of Brexit.

Also included – and competing for a prize won last year by Hannah Gadsby’s Netflix phenomenon Nanette – are Ahir Shah (following up on his 2017 nod) with a set about visiting his deported Indian grandmother in the wake of the Windrush scandal, and the veteran Aussie comic Felicity Ward. Gags-man Glenn Moore makes a maiden appearance on the shortlist, and local hero Larry Dean, from Glasgow, is nominated for his breakup show Bampot after a Best Newcomer mention back in 2015.

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Edinburgh’s double comedy winners mix humour with darker takes on life

Shows about relationship breakdown and homophobia pick up a prize – or two – for John Robins and Hannah Gadsby

The longest ever shortlist. The first ever joint winners. And clearly, the most indecisive judging panel ever.

It was indeed, as the publicity would have it, an “unprecedented” year for the Edinburgh comedy awards. But, if there’s a worry that the currency of these awards is being devalued, there can be no real complaints about this year’s champs: probably the two most audacious stand-up shows on the fringe, and certainly among the funniest.

Related: Are they having a laugh? Edinburgh comedy judges give prize twice

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Edinburgh comedy awards: the nominees in full

Female comics dominate the nine-strong shortlist for the ‘Oscars of live comedy’, as shows about a breakup, a goodbye and class consciousness make the cut

Plan your trip: the Edinburgh 2017 shows we recommend

The Edinburgh comedy award shortlist has been announced, and it features more female comics than ever before. The nine-strong shortlist – the longest in the history of the prize – includes four women, one of whom (Elf Lyons) dresses as a parrot, and another of whom has promised never to perform standup again. The latter, Hannah Gadsby, won the prestigious Barry award at the Melbourne comedy festival and has been hotly tipped for its Edinburgh equivalent, with her hard-hitting show about gender violence and the limits of comedy. The winner will be announced on 26 August by the League of Gentlemen, who won the award in 1997.

Related: The 10 best jokes from the Edinburgh fringe

Related: Ken Cheng’s pound coin gag voted Edinburgh fringe’s funniest joke

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The superhero and the standup: Spider-Man Tom Holland and his dad Dominic

The star of Marvel’s blockbuster is the subject of his father’s comedy show at the Edinburgh fringe. They discuss the art of getting laughs, sending Spidey back to school and finding the old man a part in a webslinging sequel

There is no shortage of up-and-coming comedians with famous parents at this year’s Edinburgh fringe: Elliot Steel (son of Mark), Will Hislop (son of Ian) and Ruby Wax’s daughters, Maddy and Marina Bye, are all performing. At the Voodoo Rooms venue in the New Town, the situation is a little different. Standup Dominic Holland, who recently turned 50, is in Edinburgh with a free fringe show, 24 years after winning the best newcomer award at the festival. The subject of his new set? How his success has been surpassed by that of his 21-year-old son, Tom, star of Marvel’s latest blockbuster, Spider-Man: Homecoming.

“I genuinely don’t need to be here,” Dominic states in his show, Eclipsed, with reference to his son’s lucrative webslinging contract. He describes his own gig as “indoor busking” – it’s free to get in but he holds a bucket for punters’ donations on their way out. Tom is currently filming sci-fi thriller Chaos Walking, co-starring Daisy Ridley and based on Patrick Ness’s book trilogy, but has flown in from Canada to see the show with his family. It’s a surprise for his dad and, when I meet the two of them afterwards, they whip out a phone to play the video of Dominic’s ecstatic reaction when Tom turned up that morning.

Mum must have countless Spider-Man costumes that all of us boys have worn through the years

Related: Edinburgh festival 2017: the shows we recommend

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