The Musical Comedy Awards (MCAs) is an annual competition to support, promote and celebrate the best emerging musical comedians in the UK. Now in its eighth year, the MCAs have grown in stature to become an annual fixture in the comedy calendar and the place to see the UK’s finest up and coming musical comedians alongside some of the best established acts of the genre on the circuit.
Over the years the MCAs has provided a launch pad to superstar acts like Frisky & Manish (2009 finalists), Abandoman (2010 winners) and Jay Foreman (Best Newcomer 2009) and created a thriving independent platform to celebrate the art-form that is musical comedy.
Alongside the nation’s top up and coming artists, many of the best established artists of the genre have performed as part of the MCAs. These include artists such as David O’Doherty, Bo Burnham, Mitch Benn, The Axis of Awesome, Pippa Evans, Cassette Boy, Tom Basden, Isy Suttie, Brett Domino Trio, Ginger & Black, Earl Okin, Wilson Dixon, Jo Neary, Rubberbandits, Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer, Sarah-Louise Young and many more.
The MCAs were set up in 2008 by founder Ed Chappel in order to discover, support and celebrate the UK’s best emerging musical comedians. Ed now lives in Austria with his wife and young family but continues to play an active role in the organisation of the competition and works closely with close friend and co-organiser Tamara Cowan, who runs the live shows in London and ensures that the competition grows each year from strength to strength with her creativity, vision and drive. Helping Tamara and Ed to make the MCA shows run smoothly from the technical perspective is MCA tech manager Dave Nattriss, who alongside providing technical support to acts on the UK comedy circuit also runs the dedicated portal for musical comedy ‘Musical Comedy Guide‘ and is also a successful freelance web-developer. Here is some background information about previous MCA competitions.
- The winners of the inaugural MCAs were Adams & Rea, with Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer in second and Howard Read in third place. The awesome Frisky & Mannish and Duncan Oakley were also in the final. The Best Newcomer was Jay Foreman.
- The winners of the second MCAs were Abandoman, who also won the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year in the same year. Runners up were Horse and Louis with Jay Foreman in third place. The other finalists were Amateur Transplants and Rob Carter. The Best Newcomer was Sooz Kempner.
- The winner of the third MCAs were Jollyboat. Runners up were The Three Englishmen with Tom McDonnell in third place. The other finalists were Carly Smallman and Mae Martin. The Best Newcomer was Daisy D’Agostini.
- In our fourth annual competition, the winner was Rob Carter, with Rachel Parris our runner up and Tom Adams in third place. Other finalists were Bob & Jim, Clare Lomas and James Rowland, and the Best Newcomer was Fair & Square.
- For our fifth competition, Hill & Weedon were crowned the winners, with Jonny & The Baptists as runners up, and Tina Turner Tea Lady coming third. Other finalists were Lucy Cox, I am, I am and Steve Seller, and the Best Newcomer was Jenny Bede.
- In our sixth year, David Elms won the main competition, with Cribb & Morgan runners up, and third place going to Laurence Owen. Also in the final were Bob & Jim and Rogue 5. Steve Bennett was awarded Best Newcomer.
- In our seventh year we had a judges and audience awards, both were taken by Rebecca Humphries. In the judges’ vote, DW came second and in joint third place were Peter Bazely and Baron Fingolfin. Other great acts in the final were Luke Courtier and Gatis Kandis. Best Newcomer was Faye Treacy.
2016 In our eighth year Four Femmes on the Thames won the main award and Jon Long won the Audience Favourite. In the judges’ vote, Micky P Kerr came second and Jon Long came third. Other great acts in the final were Ukes not Dead, Hannah Brackenbury and Making Faces. Best Newcomer was Harriet Braine.
2017 In our ninth year Will Hislop won the main award and Tom Taylor won the Audience Favourite. In the judges’ vote, Tom Taylor also came second and Matt Hutson came third. Other great acts in the final were Friz Frizzle, Rasputin’s Lunchbox, Katie Pritchard, ShitStorM, Hurt & Anderson and Jamie D’Souza. Best Newcomers were Two Plus Ones. The final took place at the beautiful Lyric theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue.
2018 In our tenth year Stiff & Kitsch won the main award and Dave Bibby won the Audience Favourite. In the judges’ vote Cassie Atkinson and Archie Henderson came joint second and Luke Courtier and Joe Jacobs came joint third. Other fab acts in the final were Ava Rage (Lorna Shaw), Matt Hutson, Friz Frizzle and Bennet Kavanagh.