While the winners of Dave’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards are decided one fateful morning by nine judges in a room plus the chair, if a casting vote is needed. The preparations for that exciting announcement are going on year round.
Heading up the awards, and therefore responsible for the team of judges, scouts (often former judges) and administrators associated with them, is the awards director and producer Nica Burns who took over running the awards in 1984.
Nica Burns OBE is a multi-award winning producer of over 100 productions. She was Artistic Director at the Donmar Warehouse from 1983 to 1989 and Production Director of Stoll Moss and Really Useful Theatres from 1993 to 2005. She founded Nimax Theatres in 2005 with her business partner Max Weitzenhoffer and is Chief Executive and co-owner of the Palace, Lyric, Apollo, Garrick, Vaudeville and Duchess theatres. Nica was made a Fellow of University College London in 2007 and the following year she was elected President of the Society of London Theatre for three years and Vice President 2011–2013. She won Private Business Woman of the Year at the 2013 UK Private Business Awards and received an OBE from Queen Elizabeth II for services to theatre in the 2013 New Year’s honours list. Nica has had a long involvement in the comedy industry: since 1984 she has been Director of the annual Dave’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards, formerly the Perrier Awards. Working with her development partners Derwent London Ltd and Crossrail, she is currently building a new theatre on Charing Cross Road.
Recent productions: In 2012 Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Apollo, 2013 - Laurence Olivier Award for Best Revival). In 2013: Sweet Bird of Youth (co-production Old Vic) Best Newcomer Evening Standard Awards, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (co-production with Chichester Festival Theatre at the Duchess) and The Duck House (Vaudeville). In 2014: Bakersfield Mist (Duchess). In 2015: Just Jim Dale (Vaudeville) and The Importance of Being Earnest with David Suchet (Vaudeville). In 2016: Hand to God with Janie Dee and Neil Pearson (Vaudeville),Nell Gwynn with Gemma Arterton (transfer from the Globe to the Apollo) which won Best New Comedy at the 2016 Laurence Olivier Awards, Terry Johnson’s Dead Funny with Katherine Parkinson (Vaudeville) and James Graham’s This House (Garrick). In 2017, the Menier Chocolate Factory transfer of Love in Idleness with Eve Best and Anthony Head (Apollo),The Mentor with F. Murray Abraham (Vaudeville) and the Sheffield Theatre production of the new musical by Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie currently playing its second year at the Apollo and shortly to embark on a UK and international tour. In 2018, Don Quixote (co-production with the RSC at the Garrick) starring David Threlfall and Rufus Hound and in 2019 Emilia and The Worst Witch at the Vaudeville.
Supporting Nica in her work on Dave’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards are:
Emma Brünjes – Producer
Laurence Miller – Producer
Liv Marshall – Administrator