NO LAUGHING MATTER
Comedian Paul Sinha bemoans the fact the Pleasance dominates the shortlists for the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards this year (nine out of 14 on main and newcomers' awards shortlist).
While he grouses over the "symbiotic relationship" between venue and nominees, he admits it is a "great list" this year. In his blog, however, he fulminates over the "nonsense" one-liner of the year contest organised by the TV channel Dave.
"Personally I can think of nothing which misrepresents what most of us are trying to do up here than reducing complex, nuanced shows to a single soundbite taken out of context and often misquoted.
"In my opinion this whole farce utterly cheapens the concept of Fringe comedy and it is even more depressing just how much media attention is lavished on it. It is this sort of drivel that makes me with each passing year more proud to be associated with the Stand Comedy Club, an institution with far loftier ambitions regarding Fringe comedy."
HUMAN RIGHTS SUCCESSES
AMNESTY International yesterday announced two winners of its Freedom of Expression Award at the Fringe: Sold, directed by Catherine Alexander at the Pleasance Courtyard and The Wheel, directed by Vicky Featherstone at the Traverse Theatre.
The award, given to an outstanding Fringe production carrying a human rights message, saw a record 92 productions nominated. The Wheel was described as "a complex and epic story of how children can be corrupted by the ravages of war" through the centuries, masterfully directed. Sold combined "a strong overview of the whole issue of slavery in human society with a series of powerful cameos" of trafficking today. Also shortlisted were - Mark Thomas: Extreme Rambling (Walking the Wall), and Release.
FIERY AWARD WINNERS
THE New York production From The Fire, won best production, best music, and best new musical from the Musical Theatre Matters awards, capping a Fringe dream by a company that spent $100,000 (about £61,000) to come here with a moving story of a tragic garment sweatshop fire and the early United States labour movement. Scary Gorgeous won best book, and Wasted Love best lyrics, while Alexandra Spencer-Jones won best emerging artist for her co-writing and direction of Constance and Sinestra.
The Total Theatre Awards saw the New Town Theatre pick up two awards, for productions Sailing On and Turandot. Swamp Juice and You Once Said Yes also won prizes.
Posted by Tim Cornwell