The first six winners of this year's prestigious Fringe First Awards, celebrating high quality new drama at the Edinburgh Festival, are announced today (Friday 11 August 2006).

Scooping the first award is Black Watch, the unauthorised biography of the legendary Scottish Troop by the National Theatre of Scotland at Traverse 4. (I Am) Nobody’s Lunch - a mix of verbatim and cabaret theatre taking a satirical look at the Bush administration, which is being performed at the Assembly Rooms, also nabbed an Award.

Also winning this week are 2004 Perrier Award winner Will Adamsdale’s The Receipt in which a man flips out and searches a city for the owner of a receipt – is he a hero or an idiot?; Particularly in the Heartland about life in small-town Kansas by The TEAM; Food about a man’s rise to becoming a celebrity super-chef; and an interpretation of The Adventures of Tom Thumb.

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 is that the work must be new - having had no more than six performances in the UK, prior to the Fringe.

The Edinburgh Fringe, the world's largest arts festival and now in its 60th year, opened on 6 August and continues to 28 August 2006 (See News, 8 Jun 2006). The Fringe’s parent event, the Edinburgh International Festival opens this Sunday, 13 August 2006. (See Today's other news).

- by Caroline Ansdell