Now in their sixteenth year, the Stage Awards for Acting Excellence were presented yesterday (29 August 2010) at Ediburgh's Dance Base. With prizes awarded in the categories of Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Ensemble, with a specific award for the Best Solo Performance, The Stage's nominations are chosen by the newspaper’s review team who see hundreds of productions across the Fringe.
Speaking after the ceremony, the head of The Stage's Edinburgh team Nick Awde said: “The range and variety of performances were extremely impressive this year and the judging team certainly had their work cut out. Solo shows represent a field that is rapidly maturing as an art form, so it was not surprising that the Solo Performer category was one of the strongest we have seen in recent years."
The award winners were:
Best Solo Performer
Fringe newspaper publishers, ThreeWeeks also awarded their annual ThreeWeeks Editors' Awards over the weekend, with no less than 10 prizes presented, both for excellence in performance, and for other achievements at the editors' discretion.
With particular focus placed on the grass roots aspects of the Fringe, the awards this year have put particular focus on performers participating in the Free Fringe and companies challenging the status quo.
The full list of winners and their citation were:
One of the first comedy double-acts to embrace the free show concept, ThreeWeeks said that Stu & Garry had been "impressing our review team for as many festivals as we can remember... A great show in a great venue with two great comedians".
Part of the Fringe cabaret resurgence, particularly with her Cabaret Whore show, ThreeWeeks awarded Young for her "various projects have included performances at both the Pleasance and Gilded Balloon, yet she chose to keep her flagship show free - very much the spirit of the Fringe."
The Plasticine Men were awarded a prize for helping dispel physical theatre's "remote and inaccessible" reputation with the ThreeWeeks saying their piece was "wonderfully written, perfectly executed and utterly enchanting" and "physical theatre at its best".
Commenting that his "vocal abilities are astonishing and he has a talent for physical comedy to match; he is a human juke-box, beat-box and jack-in-the-box. He is an absolute pleasure to watch, even more so to listen to; he is unmissable", the fourth award was presented to comedian Terry Alderton.
An iPhone app which allows companies to offer free tickets to audiences across the city, Theatre Ninjas was awarded for not only developing a new Fringe business model, but by making that process "into something exciting and positive". The editors' went on to say that "in a Fringe full of phone apps this one stood out."
Jo Bone was awarded a prize for his "hypnotising storytelling" with the editors' adding: "there are some performers at the Fringe that our reviewers love so much they practically form the fan club."
A company who have proven themselves over a number of years at the Edinburgh Fringe, Delete The Banjax were honoured for "proving the Free Fringe model works, and just generally being great".
The ThreeWeeks editors called In Short's production of Pasek & Paul's Edges "a young student company presenting a fabulous production of a great established new musical". Their review team called the production "truly outstanding".
Praised by ThreeWeeks as "dark comedy at its best" for debut performance at last year's Fringe, Susan Harrison was awarded a prize for her "smart and original absurdist comedy" in her show Creatures.
Highlighted as almost the only public funder willing to put money into Edinburgh Fringe projects, the Escalator East To Edinburgh programme supported by Arts Council England East was honoured for not only providing money to performers but also helping producers promote their shows and an incredibly proactive PR campaign.
Finally in Edinburgh Awards news, Russell Kane triumphed at the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards on Saturday as his show, Smokescreens and Castles took the prize for Best Comedy Show.
The Best Newcomer award went to Roisin Conaty for Hero, Warrior, Fireman, Liar, her first solo show and her first full hour on the comedy circuit.
Bookies' favourite and Youtube sensation Bo Burnham, was honoured for his Edinburgh debut Words, Words, Words with the Panel Prize, a bit of a shock as many commentators expected him to walk away with the award for Best Comedy Show.
Speaking after his win, Burnham said: “I wanted so badly to be a part of this Fringe... the fringe was way more than I expected it to be. I was worried about coming here and not knowing anybody. But I wasn’t like an outsider, which was nice.”