Nominees Announced in First Fringe Musical PrizeDate: 21 August 2007
Nominations have been announced for the first-ever musical theatre awards to be presented at the Edinburgh Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival, which is now in its third and final week in the Scottish capital (See News, 7 Jun 2007). In total, 83 musicals have been considered for the inaugural Musical Theatre Matters Awards, with 15 nominated in one or more of the six categories, including Best New Musical.
Three musicals – interactive pop comedy Eurobeat: Almost Eurovision (at the Pleasance Courtyard); Faith Brown and Her Boys in the Buff (Pleasance Courtyard), the impressionist’s comic revue exploring the imperfect male body; and Truth in Translation (Assembly @ Assembly Hall), based on stories of interpreters from South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee – are nominated for four prizes apiece, including Best New Musical.
The Best New Musical winner will be offered a place at Perfect Pitch, the showcase event - held from 16 to 28 October 2007 and sponsored by Whatsonstage.com (See News, 6 Mar 2007) - which features a dozen new works ready for full production or development. Winners across all Musical Theatre Matters categories will be announced this Friday 24 August 2007 as part of the Scotsman’s Fringe First Awards ceremony held at Assembly Hall.
Chris Grady, chair of Musical Theatre Matters (MTM:UK), commented on the need for the new awards: "The future of musical theatre in Britain is not hidden on the CD shelves of the West End producers, nor currently playing on Broadway, nor sitting in catalogues of pop music publishers – the future is in the young writers, young directors, and emerging producers who take the risk by putting on new work, presenting it in a crazy theatre space, and exploring the voices of the future. MTM:UK is dedicated to uncovering that talent."
Grady added: "We've had much debate between us about the nature of the Best New Musical Award. We have used the Fringe First criteria to gather our long list of eligible works. We should celebrate what is Best on the Fringe. However, in our hearts, we are hoping to encourage new writers who may not have had the advantage of serious investment and production enhancement yet - as well as those who will make their way to the West End or Broadway very soon. I hope the nomination list illustrates this dichotomy."
MTM:UK is a national network for producers, programmers, agents, directors, musical directors, designers and other creatives wishing to develop new musicals, new opportunities and new musical writers in Britain.
The Edinburgh Fringe, now in its 61st year, opened this year on 5 August and continues to 27 August (See News, 3 Aug 2007). During the Fringe, an estimated 18,626 performers are presenting 31,000 performances of a record-breaking 2,050 shows in 250 venues. It is also the first Fringe under new artistic director Jon Morgan (See News, 26 Mar 2007).
The full list of nominations in the 2007 Musical Theatre Matters Awards is as follows:
BEST BOOK WRITER
BEST MUSICAL PRODUCTION
THE DRESS CIRCLE BEST NEW MUSICAL
- by Terri Paddock