Fringe 2011 awards roundup
- Niki Boyle
- 30 August 2011
This article is from 2011.
Multi-award winners include Mission Drift, Leo, Simon Callow and Silent
As the dust settles from this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, we see which figures are poised to stand tall on the cultural landscape with a clutch of awards under their belts
The Scotsman Fringe First Awards
One for productions appearing at the Fringe for the first time, this award is one that tends to crop up in CVs a lot (as well as in subsequent years' Fringe brochures). There's no limit on how many shows can receive the honour, and they pick a batch for each week of the Fringe.
In the first week, Phil Nichol monologue Somewhere Beneath It All, A Small Fire Burns Still was highlighted, alongside the Zinnie Harris-penned, Vicky Featherstone-directed The Wheel. TEAM's first musical Mission Drift, amnesia drama 2401 Objects and skillful puppet show The Table were also picked up on. Finishing off the first week's selection was Fishamble's dance piece Silent – a show The List found equally worthy of praise, awarding it as we did 5 stars.
Week two drew attention to a couple of the Fringe's big names: the Marc Almond-starring Ten Plagues and Simon Callow in Tuesdays at Tesco were both honoured, as were less well-known but no less worthy shows Your Last Breath (Norway-set multimedia drama), Release (prison-breaking physical theatre production) and comedy of embarrassment Oh F**k Moment. Chris Larner's true life Dignitas tale An Instinct For Kindness, site-specific production Allotment and Rash Dash musical Scary Gorgeous made up the second week's winners.
The final selection (week four is set aside for people to actually go and see these fine shows) included one-on-one drama You Once Said Yes, father-son masculinity struggle Mad About the Boy and inventive physical theatre show Leo (more on that below). 15th Oak Productions' Minute After Midday dealt with the aftermath of the Omagh bombing, while Fuel collaborated with the rebellious Belarus Free Theatre on Minsk 2011.
Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award
The aforementioned Fringe First winner Leo also won the coveted Carol Tambor award. Any production awarded four or five stars by The Scotsman is eligible, as long as they've never been to New York before – the prize being an all-expenses paid trip to NY to perform the show for American audiences. Aside from being a nice trip abroad, the prize gives performers – in this case, German theatre group Circle of Eleven – a valuable opportunity to advance their careers on foreign soil.
The Bank of Scotland Herald Angel Awards
In existence since 1996, the Herald Angel awards celebrate talent from the International, Jazz and Book Festivals as well as the Fringe, and also acknowledges those behind the scenes worthy of recognition. The awards cover several categories, the highest honour being the Herald Archangel, awarded to performers, companies and institutions that have excelled beyond the already-high standards of the original Herald Angel award.
Silent a dance performance exploring homelessness.
Hotel Medea roundly praised all-night theatre show.
The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart imaginative portrayal of mental illness.
I Hope My Heart Goes First experimental performance on a theme of love from Glasgow's Junction 25.
Mission Drift explosive reworking of the American Dream.
Three Balls And A New Suit variety comedy performance from Mat Ricardo.
Turandot visceral adaptation and completion of Puccini's opera.
Beowulf : A Thousand Years of Baggage post-modern adaptation of the classic myth.
Muscle masculinity as shown through theatre and dance.
Louis Durra Trio acclaimed Los Angeles pianist and friends.
These Silences festival of experimental literature.
The Forest Fringe, the Forest Cafe's final Fringe fling from its current location.
Summerhall excellent new venue, housed in the former Royal Dick Veterinary College.
The Simple Things in Life Portmanteau of theatrical performances in the Royal Botanic Gardens.
The Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards
Formerly known as the Perrier Comedy Awards, these are the gongs that mean most to visiting comics looking to hit the big time (although that's not to say there aren't other comedy awards that carry their own jokey allure). This year's winner of Best Show was Adam Riches, while the Best Newcomer was Penny Dreadfuls veteran but solo first-timer Humphrey Ker. Both Riches and Ker were involved in anarchic comedy punch-up The Wrestling, so it makes sense that that show picked up the Panel Prize. It's worth noting that The Wrestling was also awarded a five-star review from ourselves.
Finally, we'd be remiss to mention the Allen Wright Award, which recognises great review and feature-writing that take place during the Fringe – especially as the winner of Best Reviewer was The List's own Kirstin Innes, for her reviews of Whistle and Pinocchio. Other List writers who have won the award include Claire Sawers (2010) and, er, Kirstin Innes (2007).
Check out our list of top-ranking shows, culled from reviews across the Fringe.