Premier division

Keating! scoops Melbourne's Barry

A musical about former Australian prime minister Paul Keating has swept the board at the Melbourne Comedy Festival’s awards night.

The show, by the Drowsy Drivers troupe, not only won the coveted Barry Award, but also the critics’ award and a new accolade for artistic bravery in memory of comic Lynda Gibson, who died in 2004.

Keating!, written and directed by Casey Bennetto (pictured) is descrtibed as "the simple and time-honoured tale of an Australian political superhero and his battles against assorted mugs, dummies, dimwits, gutless spivs and scumbags."

British-based Canadian comic Tony Law won the Piece Of Wood Award, given to the comedians’ favourite comedian.

And piano-playing comic Tim Minchin won a new festival directors’ award for his show Dark Side, which will now transfer to Edinburgh.

Best newcomer was Christina Adams for To Miss With Love, a show about her experiences as a teacher. For her prize, she will travel to the Brighton comedy festival later this year.

Also nominated for the Barry – named after festival patron Barry Humphries -  were Chris Addison, Stewart Lee, Mike Wilmot, Demetri Martin, Denise Scott and Gerard McCulloch.

Published: 17 Apr 2005

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