Scotsman Awards Final Firsts as Fringe ClosesDate: 24 August 2001
In a ceremony held last night at Edinburgh’s Scotsman hotel, actor, writer and director – and a former winner himself - Steven Berkoff presented the third and final round of Fringe First awards as part of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival. In addition to Gregory Burke’s Gagarin Way, which scooped the overall prize for best new drama out of the 1,462 shows presented as part of this year's Fringe, five more productions received awards.
The final winners were: Formalny Teatr and Baltic House Teatr’ School for Fools, adapted by Andrey Moguchy from the novel by Alexander Sokolov; Upside Down, a dance comedy on Frankenstein and the Promethean myth, from Do Teatr, co-created and directed by Evgeny Kozlov and Alexandr Bondarev; the Royal Scottish Academy’s Cracked, written by Skye Lonergan and directed by fellow playwright Zinnie Harris; Mental, Glynis Henderson Productions’ play about cash-strapped psychiatric nurses, written by Lynn Ferguson and Stephen Powell; and Rough Magic’s all-female Irish yarn, Midden, written by Morna Regan.
The Fringe First Awards, presented by The Scotsman newspaper in conjunction with the Fringe Society, are the festival's most prestigious recognition for drama. They were established in 1973 when there was concern that the Fringe was not attracting the right quantity and quality of shows. The awards are announced weekly during the festival. There is no fixed number given and the only requirement for consideration is that the work must be new - having had no fewer than six performances in the UK, prior to the Fringe.
The Edinburgh Fringe winds up this weekend after three frenzied weeks. Ranked in the Guinness Book of Records since the 1970s as the world’s largest arts festival, the 2001 event has been bigger than ever, with some 1,462 shows presented by 666 companies from 50 different countries. The Fringe’s more austere parent event, the original Edinburgh International Festival, continues to 1 September.
- by Terri Paddock