The second round of winners in this year's prestigious Fringe First Awards, celebrating high-quality new drama at the Edinburgh Festival, have been announced by The Scotsman newspaper today (20 August 2009).

Amongst them is The Rap Guide to Evolution (Gilded Balloon), the latest offering from Whatsonstage.com blogger and Canadian rapper Baba Brinkman, whose other show at this yea’rs festival, The Rebel Cell, was earlier this week shortlisted for two Musical Theatre Matters Awards.

There are also two more Fringe Firsts this week for productions at the Traverse Theatre, adding to last week’s three Traverse wins. The first goes to The World Is Too Much: Theatre for Breakfast, the script-in-hand readings of specially commissioned 30-minute plays by six playwrights - Simon Stephens, David Greig, Enda Walsh, Rona Munro, Chris Hannan and Zinnie Harris.

The second Traverse prize goes to Daniel Kitson’s latest one-man show, The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church. It’s the fourth Fringe First for the Perrier Prize-winning comedian-turned-theatrical storyteller and follows those for 66a Church Road (2008), C-90 (2006) and Stories for the Wobbly Hearted (2005).

The final two Fringe Firsts in round two are both for Assembly productions: The Hotel, an installation piece by Mark Watson; and Morecambe, Tim Whitnall’s tribute to the late comedian Eric Morecambe, performed by Bob Golding and directed by Guy Masterson.

The Fringe First Awards 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, with the final round winners being announced next Friday 28 August 2009. 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.


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