Karen Koren: We’ve had great year, and roll on the next

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THE Gilded Balloon won no fewer than five awards this year, for Kiss Me Honey, Honey!, Choose Your Own Documentary, Sean Hughes – Penguins, Daniel Cainer and The Inventor & The Escort.

We also had nominations for best solo performance – Jaye Griffiths – and Aisling Bea for the Foster’s comedy award best newcomer.

As ever, we held our own competition, So You Think You’re Funny, and it was a tie this year, in first place Demi
Larner from Australia and Edd Hedges from Saffron Waldon in Essex, both only 19, and they split the prize
money, which they were delighted
with.

Highlights in my month at the Gilded Balloon have been getting to know the wonderful Wellington Ukulele Orchestra, the talented Jonty Stephens and Iain Ashpitel, who play Eric and Little Ern, all of whom will go on to great things.

I am particularly proud of Andy Gray and Grant Stott, pictured above, for their exceptional hard work all month and the Fringe First they achieved with Kiss Me Honey, Honey!, directed by Sam Kane and written by Philip Meeks.

I am very much looking forward to the tour we are going to be doing between now and panto-time.

Gilded Balloon has been a very happy ship this year, yet not quite as commercial as some of the other venues. However, my staff have worked exceptionally hard and this is were I want to thank them for all they have helped us achieve.

Everything will revert to normal in the city now, at least as far as the Fringe is concerned. The International Festival has still got a few days to go and bringing this Festival season to a close, on Sunday, will be the magnificent fireworks concert in the Gardens.

The Capital will prepare for the dark nights and the quieter streets... I am so proud of my home city at what it achieves during the month of August.

Roll on next year.