Tir Nan Og, detailing a Scottish exile’s quest for eternal youth, today won the Dress Circle New Musical prize the first-ever musical theatre awards to be presented at the Edinburgh Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival. In total, 83 musicals were considered for the inaugural Musical Theatre Matters Awards, which were presented today in the Scottish capital (See News, 21 Aug 2007).

Tir Nan Og, which has music and lyrics by Dave Anderson, finishes its Edinburgh run at Assembly @ George Street on Monday, 27 August. As part of its award, it has now been offered a complimentary place at Perfect Pitch, the London showcase event - held from 16 to 28 October 2007 and sponsored by Whatsonstage.com (See News, 6 Mar 2007) - which features a dozen new works ready for full production or development.

The other big winner in today’s Musical Theatre Matters Awards was Failed Sates (Pleasance Dome), in which an innocent man finds himself trapped in a nightmare world governed by anti-terror laws. It won two awards: Best Lyricist (Desmond O’Connor) and Best Book Writer (Andrew Taylor).

The award for Best Composer went to Hugh Masakela for Truth in Translation (Assembly @ Assembly Hall), based on stories of interpreters from South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee. The Australian-originated interactive pop comedy Eurobeat: Almost Eurovision (Pleasance Courtyard) scooped Best Musical Production.

There were also commendations for: Erica Schmidt, Andrew Sherman and Susan L Schwartz for the music and lyric of Debbie Does Dallas; James Lark for the book of Tony Blair – The Musical; and Youth Music Theatre: UK for the creative team and ensemble of Force 9 ½.

Commenting on the new awards, Fringe director Jon Morgan said today: “At Edinburgh Festival Fringe, we are keen to embrace all performance genres, and we are witnessing a real reinvigoration of musical theatre, with a host of new and inventive musicals at the Fringe this year. We consider the Musical Theatre Matters Awards to be an important step, helping to encourage new talent and profiling an increasingly exciting genre of performance."

MTM:UK is a national network for producers, programmers, agents, directors, musical directors, designers and other creatives wishing to develop new musicals, new opportunities and new musical writers in Britain.

The 2007 Edinburgh Fringe, the world's largest arts festival and now in its 61st year, opened on 5 August and concludes this Bank Holiday Monday, 27 August (See News, 3 Aug 2007). During the Fringe, an estimated 18,626 performers have been presenting 31,000 performances of a record-breaking 2,050 shows in 250 venues. It is the first Fringe under new artistic director Jon Morgan (See News, 26 Mar 2007).


The full list of nominations in the 2007 Musical Theatre Matters Awards is as follows, with winners denoted in bold:

BEST BOOK WRITER

  • CONFESSIONS OF JULIAN PO - Andrew Barrett and Ira Antelis
  • EUROBEAT – ALMOST EUROVISION - Craig Christie and Andrew Patterson
  • FAILED STATES – Andrew Taylor
  • TONY BLAIR – THE MUSICAL – James Lark
  • TRUTH IN TRANSLATION – Michael Lessac

    BEST COMPOSER

  • EUROBEAT – ALMOST EUROVISION - Craig Christie and Andrew Patterson
  • FAITH BROWN AND HER BOYS IN THE BUFF – Chris Burgess, Cathy Shostak, BB Thorn, Sarah Travis
  • SAILING TO TOMORROW – Peter D Robinson
  • TIR NAN OG – Dave Anderson
  • TRUTH IN TRANSLATION - Hugh Masekela

    BEST LYRICIST

  • A HISTORY OF SCOTLAND – John Kielty and Katriona Wilson
  • FAILED STATES - Desmond O'Connor
  • FAITH BROWN AND HER BOYS IN THE BUFF – Chris Burgess
  • FAMISHED – Alex Genn-Bash and Jake Morley

    BEST MUSICAL PRODUCTION

  • DEBBIE DOES DALLAS - Sexy Boys and Girls
  • EUROBEAT – ALMOST EUROVISION - Glynn Nicholas Group with No Mates Productions
  • FAITH BROWN AND HER BOYS IN THE BUFF – Stars and Angels and Chris Burgess
  • TRUTH IN TRANSLATION - The Colonnades Theatre Lab/Market Theatre and Michael Lessac

    THE DRESS CIRCLE BEST NEW MUSICAL

  • EUROBEAT - ALMOST EUROVISION - Glynn Nicholas Group with No Mates Productions
  • FAITH BROWN AND HER BOYS IN THE BUFF - Stars and Angels and Chris Burgess
  • FAMISHED - Dastardly Productions
  • TIR NAN OG - Oran Mor
  • TRUTH IN TRANSLATION - The Colonnades Theatre Lab/Market Theatre and Michael Lessac

    - by Terri Paddock