Ed Wins Two Edinburgh Fringe Musical AwardsDate: 25 August 2009
At the Edinburgh Fringe tonight, the winners were announced in the third annual Musical Theatre Matters: UK Awards, the only prize-giving specifically dedicated to the musical genre at the world’s largest arts festival. The awards are sponsored this year by Whatsonstage.com.
Stuart Price and Michael Bruce’s Ed: The Musical, a love story about a man in a coma at C soco, came out top, converting two of its four nominations into wins for Best Book and Most Promising New Musical.
The other big winners were: Cynthia Hopkins’ Accidental Nostalgia at the Traverse (Best Musical Production), Over the Threshold (Best Music for Christopher Hamilton) at George Square and Barbershopera II – In the Mane of the Father at the Pleasance (Best Lyrics for Rob Castell and Tom Sadler).
For the final discretionary awards, the judges departed from the preliminary suggestions put forward by the awards’ team of assessors, and instead presented three prizes to The Great British Soap Opera (George Square), The Rebel Cell (Underbelly) and the previously unshortlisted Been So Long (Traverse).
Venue-wise, the eight awards are divided between five Fringe venues: C Soco, George Square and the Traverse (two apiece), Pleasance (one) and Underbelly (one). From this year’s Fringe programme, a total of 62 musicals were deemed eligible for one or more awards this year. During the first two weeks of the festival, each show was visited twice by a team of assessors. Over the past week, the panel of judges – including Whatsonstage.com editorial director Terri Paddock - paid each show a final visit before making their decisions.
The winners were announced, and awards presented, tonight at 7pm at a gala concert, held in aid of the Musicians Benevolent Fund at the Musical Theatre at George Square in Edinburgh. The concert was presented by Mervyn Stutter and featured performance extracts from the majority of shortlisted productions.
PHOTOS FROM THE AWARDS GALA @ GEORGE SQUARE
The Awards, run by the professional theatre network organisation Musical Theatre Matters, were established in 2007 to champion the next generation of musical theatre producers, writers and shows. While musical theatre is not excluded from many other Edinburgh awards, the artform did not seem to be achieving the plaudits deserved by the creatives. In the first two years, 11 shows were selected for commendations and awards, and many of those pieces have moved on – six have had presentations in London, one is heading to the New York Summer Play Festival, and three have had UK tours.
THE MTM: UK AWARDS SHORTLISTS
Best Book for a New Musical
Best Lyrics for a New Musical
Best Music for a New Musical
Most Promising New Musical