Industry newspaper The Stage has announced the 2006 nominees for its annual Acting Excellence Awards at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The winners of the awards three categories – Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Ensemble and a new category for Best Solo Show – will be announced this Sunday 27 August 2006 in Edinburgh. The nominations, which are published in today’s edition of The Stage, are as follows.

BEST ACTOR - Brian Ferguson for Black Watch (Traverse); Morgan Thomas for Wasted (Pleasance Dome); Phil Nicol for Talk Radio (Udderbelly); Paul Sparks for Finer Noble Gases (Bongo Club); Shon Dale-Jones for Floating (Pleasance).

BEST ACTRESS - Susan Vidler for Petrol Jesus Nightmare #5 (Traverse); Orla Fitzgerald for Pumpgirl (Traverse); Claudia Christian for Killing Time (C Venue); and Caroline O’Connor for End of the Rainbow (Assembly).

BEST ENSEMBLE - National Theatre of Scotland for Black Watch (Traverse); Six Figures Theatre for Girl Blog from Iraq: Baghdad Burning (Pleasance); Nabokov for Terre Haute (Assembly); Relentless for Bitches and Money (Underbelly); Big Wow for Insomnobabble (Underbelly); and ale of Fire for Sing a Storm of Blackbirds (Venue 45).

BEST SOLO SHOW - Tim Healy in Twinkle Little Star (Gilded Balloon Teviot), David Benson in Why Pay More? (Pleasance); Daniel Kitson in C-90 (Traverse); Lizzie Roper in Peccadillo Circus (Gilded Balloon Teviot); and Josephine Taylor in My Name Is Rachel Corrie (Pleasance).

The Stage Awards celebrate their 12th anniversary this year. The Edinburgh Fringe, the world's largest arts festival and now in its 60th year, concludes on Monday 28 August 2006.

- by Terri Paddock