Fringe Firsts: Show time
By Andrew Eaton
Arts editor Andrew Eaton reveals the full line-up for this year’s Scotsman Fringe Awards – including Camille O’ Sullivan and Creole Choir of Cuba – and five more Fringe First winners...
Mark the date in your diary. Next Friday, 28 August, sees the return of The Scotsman Fringe Awards, our FREE awards show at the Assembly Music Hall on George Street, at 11am.
The show will include:
A live performance by one of our favourite Fringe performers, cabaret singer Camille O’Sullivan who is currently packing audiences into Assembly Hall every night at 10pm. Camille is as good as ever this year.
• A live performance by the fantastic Creole Choir of Cuba, whose first Fringe run is currently wowing crowds at the World @ St George’s West, every evening at 6pm.
• This week’s Fringe First-winner, Baba Brinkman, doing an extract from his terrific show The Rap Guide To Evolution.
• An exclusive performance by one of the winners of this year’s Musical Theatre Matters awards. The MTM awards are hosting their own ceremony this year, but we’re continuing to support their work by showcasing one of the winners at our awards show. We’ll be announcing who that is next week.
As well as these FREE live performances, we’ll be revealing the winners of some of the Fringe’s most prestigious prizes at the show next Friday, with the help of our special guest presenter Maureen Beattie, currently starring in The Girls Of Slender Means at Assembly. These awards will be…
The final week of our Scotsman Fringe First awards – given out every week during the festival in recognition of outstanding new stage writing premiered at the Fringe.
The Holden Street Theatres Award, which will take one show from the Fringe to Australia for a run at the Adelaide Fringe.
The Carol Tambor Award, which will take one show from the Fringe to New York.
And finally, new to our awards show this year, The Arches Brick Award, a £1,000 prize for a new theatre company to stage their work at the renowned Glasgow venue next year.
Here are this week’s Fringe First winners. Congratulations to all of them.
Mark Watson’s legendary 24-hour shows have made him a Fringe treasure. This year, though, his contribution to the world’s biggest arts festival is even more interesting. A sort of comedy art installation-cum-theatre show, it sees audiences directed around a multilevel townhouse near the Assembly Rooms, with a different “show” in every room. Surreal and meticulously timed, it is unlike any other show you’ll see this August.
THE RAP GUIDE TO EVOLUTION
Last year, Canadian rapper Baba Brinkman won a slew of rave reviews for The Rebel Cell, a hip-hop meditation on freedom written and performed with UK rapper Dizraeli. That show is back at the Underbelly this year; meanwhile, Brinkman has wowed us again with this brilliantly conceived show at the Gilded Balloon. Baba Brinkman will be performing an extract at next week’s Scotsman Fringe Awards. See above.
From Janis (about Janis Joplin) to Frank (about Frank Sinatra), there’s no shortage this year of Fringe shows about the lives of famous showbiz names. But you’re unlikely to find a better one than Tim Whitnall’s tribute to British comedy institution Eric Morecambe (pictured), directed by Fringe veteran Guy Masterson and featuring a bravura lead performance by Bob Golding. You can see it at Assembly Hall until 31 August.
THE INTERMINABLE SUICIDE OF GREGORY CHURCH
There is only so long, perhaps, that we can continue to give Daniel Kitson a Fringe First award every year. But in the end there was no arguing with the quality of this show, an inspired and (mostly) fictional extended anecdote about a man who decides to kill himself, but can’t do it until he’s written a few letters – a process that ends up taking decades and changes his entire worldview. It’s at the Traverse, although you’ll need to queue for returns.
THE WORLD IS TOO MUCH
What happens when you take six leading British playwrights, offer each of them a 30-minute breakfast slot at the Traverse, and ask them to produce a rapid, spontaneous, script-in-hand response to the way we live now? The result is The World Is Too Much, six short, powerful dramas by Simon Stephens, David Greig, Enda Walsh, Rona Munro, Chris Hannan and Zinnie Harris. You can read Joyce McMillan’s review of the second round of plays in today’s Festival magazine, on page 8.