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Warwick Student Sets up First Ever Musical Comedy Awards

Ed Chappel, a former student on the MA in Creative and Media Enterprises course, recently set up the UK’s first ever Musical Comedy Awards, which will take place on Saturday 11 April, after securing £15,000 venture capital money.

The MA course in Creative and Media Enterprises is designed to enable students to turn creative ideas into a successful business and develop the necessary skills and knowledge to work within the creative sector. Ed came up with his idea for ‘Avin A Larf Ltd., an independent platform for musical comedians, whilst studying the Cultural Entrepreneurship module. Students must apply their understanding of entrepreneurship by developing a business plan and pitching their idea for a new creative business to a panel of business advisors and investors.

Ed said: "Avin a Larf will give established and emerging musical comedians a platform for showcasing their material online. It’s similar to the audience-centric principles of an improvisation show where performers draw on the inspiration from their audience to create hilarious material. Website users will be able to make requests for comedy songs they would like to see and hear, choosing from a number of categories such as mood, genre, character and place. Comedians will then battle it out to deliver the funniest version of the user’s request and upload original songs to the site. Popular entries from the website will be automatically nominated for the Musical Comedy Awards 2009."

Stephen Greenall, MD of DeCapo Enterprises Ltd, an investment arm of the West Midlands based Advantage Creative Fund, was so impressed by Ed’s pitch that he invited Ed to negotiate a deal. Steven said: "The key to making a sound investment decision is not just the business idea, but the person who will be driving the company forward. Ed demonstrated many of the skills of a young entrepreneur who just needed someone to have faith in him and his company. We were delighted to give him that opportunity."

With sponsorship from Swedish beer, Tuborg, Ed has launched his website, www.musicalcomedy.co.uk. Competitors can upload their entries or you can vote for your favourite online. The awards will take place on Saturday 11 April at the Pleasance Theatre in London.

Ed said: "I’m really excited. The popularity of the Flight of the Concords shows that there is a real appetite for this kind of comedy. When I started the course I knew had lots of creative ideas but didn’t know enough about the nuts and bolts of how to make a living out of your creativity. The course has been a survival kit about how to get out there and make things happen, to turn interesting ideas into real action. I can’t believe that I’m running my own business in musical comedy; a field that I’m so passionate about. Armed with the knowledge I’ve learnt and the support from the Advantage Creative Fund, I’m determined to make a success out of it."

To find out more email Ed at eddiechaps@hotmail.co.uk. If you would like to join Avin A Larf’s mailing list please go to www.musicalcomedy.co.uk or join the Tuborg Musical Comedy Awards group on Facebook.

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