Industry newspaper The Stage has announced the 2003 nominees for its annual Acting Excellence Awards at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The winners of the awards three categories – Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Ensemble – will be announced this Sunday 24 August 2003 in Edinburgh. The nominations, published in today’s edition of The Stage, are as follows.

Best Actor - Fraser Ayres for The People Next Door at the Traverse, Nick Salamone for Red Hat and Tales at the Assembly Rooms, George Dillon for The Gospel of Matthew at C Venue, Richard Dormer for Hurricane at the Assembly Rooms, Alan Steele for Confessions of a Justified Sinner at Netherbow and Guy Masterson for Under Milk Wood at St George’s West Church.

Best Actress - Ruth Negga for Duck at the Traverse, Amanda Lawrence for Playing the Victim at the Traverse, Cait Davis for Those Eyes, That Mouth at Abercrombie Place, Genevieve Swallow for Dulcas’s Women at the Pleasance and Katy Slater for Toast at C Venue.

Best Ensemble - Guy Masterson and Nokia Orange Assembly for 12 Angry Men at the Assembly Rooms, Paines Plough for The Straits (pictured) at the Traverse, Fresh Track Productions for The Return at C Venue, La Fenetre for The Birds of Sarajevo at Rocket@Demarco Roxy Art House, 78th Street Theatre Lab for Boy Steals Train at the Assembly Rooms, Talia Theatre for 7 Assilon Place at C Venue; and The Riot Group for Pugilist Specialist at the Pleasance Courtyard.

Also announced today in Edinburgh are the stand-up nominees for the 2003 Perrier Comedy Award. They are: Flight of the Conchords for High on Folk, Adam Hills for Cut Loose, Reginald D Hunter for White Woman, Demetri Martin for If I and Howard Read and Little Howard for The Big Howard and Little Howard Show. In addition, the four comics shortlisted for Perrier’s Best Newcomer Award are: Alex Horne, Miles Jupp, Gary Le Strange and Michael McIntyre. The Perrier Award winners will be announced this Saturday 23 August 2003.

The Edinburgh Fringe, the world's largest arts festival and now in its 57th year, concludes on Monday 25 August 2003.

- by Terri Paddock