Six more 2013 Fringe First winners announced
Arts editor Andrew Eaton-Lewis announces our second week of 2013 Fringe First winners, and invites you to our awards show at Assembly Hall next Friday
TODAY we are delighted to announce six more winners of The Scotsman’s Fringe First awards. The Fringe Firsts are the longest running and most prestigious theatre awards at the festival. The newspaper has been giving out the prizes since August 1973, helping to launch countless careers in the process. This year we are celebrating their 40th anniversary.
While the Edinburgh Fringe has changed beyond recognition in the past four decades, the awards have remained much the same – a set of simple plaques, given out once a week during the Fringe, the number of winners varying according to the number of shows that made a strong enough impression on our panel of judges. That panel was once led by the late Allen Wright, Scotsman arts editor and founder of the awards, and is now led by our chief theatre critic, Joyce McMillan.
The principle behind the awards remains simple: to recognise outstanding new writing premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Our judging panel consists of Joyce McMillan, Scotland on Sunday theatre critic Mark Fisher, veteran arts writer Jackie McGlone, Scotsman arts writer and critic Susan Mansfield, plus critics Fiona Shepherd and Sally Stott, the latter joining the panel this year. Their choices are based on recommendations from our team of critics, currently working their way around hundreds of eligible shows.
We’ll be announcing our final list of 2013 winners next Friday, 23 August, at this year’s Scotsman Fringe Awards. We hope you’ll join us for this free show – for a full line-up, see below. We hope you’ll also join us for our final two Fringe First script readings at the Pleasance, every Sunday at 11.30am. Still to come: Stalinland by David Greig (18 Aug) and The Bogus Woman by Kay Adshead (25 Aug)
As we noted in our ﬁve-star review, if Martin Amis had written Bridget Jones’s Diary it might look a bit like this disarmingly ﬁlthy debut by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. You can see it at Underbelly, and read an interview on this site tomorrow.
These Halcyon Days
Deirdre Kinahan’s honest, funny and strikingly well-observed two-hander is set in a care home for the elderly, and gives a voice to people it seems many of us would rather see shut up and shut away. You can see it at Assembly Hall.
With the help of a brilliant live jazz soundtrack, Fine Chisel’s new show explores complex ideas about long-range communication, via whale singing, a heartbroken research scientist in Alaska, his PhD student ex-girlfriend, and his uncle, a priest wrestling with loss of faith. You can see it at Zoo.
Dark Vanilla Jungle
Gemma Whelan delivers a brilliant performance as a desperately vulnerable teenage girl, alone in London, in this new solo drama by Philip Ridley. You can see it at the Pleasance – although the abuse Whelan’s character endures can be difﬁcult to watch.
Hannah Price and Emma Callander’s programme of short, politically engaged breakfast plays won a Fringe First last year. It’s back at the Traverse this year with a new line-up of writers, including Tim Price. Catch it on Monday.
Part of a showcase of Brazilian theatre at the EICC, Armazém Cia de Teatro’s show is about a 40-year-old woman whose teenage head injury is causing ﬂuid to build up in her brain – with hallucinatory consequences. The theme sounds grim, but it’s an unexpectedly gorgeous, uplifting show.
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Our Fringe awards show is BACK!
ONCE again, The Scotsman is hosting the biggest, most exciting awards show of the festival – this year it’s at Assembly Hall on The Mound, 23 August, at 10am.
Today we are thrilled to reveal the full line-up of performers at the show.
TV and stage star Blythe Duff will perform an extract from Ciara, David Harrower’s five-star, Fringe First-winning new play at the Traverse.
Japit Kaur from Yael Farber’s Fringe First-winning show Nirbhaya will perform music from the show.
South African vocal trio The Soil, whose joyous show at Assembly gets a four-star review on page eight of today’s magazine, will be our opening act.
As previously announced, Downton Abbey star Elizabeth McGovern will be joining us as special guest presenter, as well as closing the show with a set by her excellent country folk band Sadie and the Hotheads – who are playing at the New Town Theatre, 17-25 August, at 11:45pm every night.
Come join us on Friday, 23 August for a morning of live performances and tearful speeches, as we reveal the final winners not only of The Scotsman’s Fringe First awards, but also of the Carol Tambor Award (which takes one Fringe show per year to New York), the Holden Street Theatres Award (the winner of which is restaged at the Adelaide Fringe), the Brighton Fringe Award (which supports one winning company to take its show to Brighton’s Fringe Festival next year) and The Arches Brick Award (the winners of which have their work restaged at the famous Glasgow theatre and music venue).
• To claim your FREE tickets, fill in the form on page 11 of today’s Scotsman Festival guide and take it to any of Assembly’s box offices. First come, first served, so act fast!