Comedian Hannah Gadsby has won the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Barry Award for her critically acclaimed stand-up show Nanette.
The gong is the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s highest honour, recognising the year’s most outstanding show, and the Tasmanian-born performer beat five other nominees to the prize.
In her acceptance speech Hannah said without the festival she might never have gotten into comedy, website Chortle reported.
“Thank you to the festival very much because I doubt I would do stand-up comedy without this festival and the situations they set up,” she said.
“I wouldn’t have fought it out in a pub. This festival has done a lot to encourage different voices so thank you for the support.”
Hannah accepted the award in honour of recently-departed New Zealand satirist John Clarke rather than the award’s namesake, Dame Edna creator Barry Humphries. She called out Barry for transphobic comments he made about Caitlyn Jenner last year.
“I don’t agree with a lot of the things Barry Humphries has said recently. It’s not something I will walk past,” she said.
“With full respect, I would like to accept this award just for me.”
In the powerful show Nanette, Hannah talks about her childhood, family, and her experiences with patriarchy, homophobia and bigotry.
She’ll take Nanette to the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August but told audiences at the Brisbane Comedy Festival earlier this year that the show would be her last before she retires from comedy.