The results of this year's Stage Awards for Acting Excellence at the Edinburgh Fringe have been announced, with homegrown talent taking the prizes in the top two categories.
Scottish performers Billy Mack and Cora Bissett took the Best Actor and Actress awards, Mack for The Sound of My Voice, a Glasgow Citizens production at Assembly, and Bissett for Midsummer (A Play With Songs) at the Traverse - one of the venue's seven nominations (See News, 21 Aug 2009).
Chair of the awards William McEvoy said this year's nominations had proved that "storytelling is back with a vengeance", adding that he felt 2009 has been an "extraordinary year with numerous outstanding shows and performances". Nearly 350 productions were considered for the awards, which are judged each year by The Stage newspaper's senior reviewing team.
Other winners this year were Belfast-based Green Shoot Productions, who won Best Ensemble for Chronicles of Long Kesh at Assembly, and George Mann, who won Best Solo Performer for his physical retelling of Homer's Odyssey in Theatre ad Infinitum's production at the Pleasance Dome.
THE STAGE AWARDS FOR ACTING EXCELLENCE WINNERS
BEST ACTORBilly Mack for The Sound of My Voice (Assembly)
Joe Armstrong for Orphans (Traverse)
Simon Ginty for Precious Little Talent (Bedlam)
Neil Grainger for Crush (Gilded Balloon Teviot)
Matthew Pidgeon for Midsummer (A Play With Songs) (Traverse)
BEST ACTRESSCora Bissett for Midsummer (A Play With Songs) (Traverse)
Claire Dargo for Crush (Underbelly)
Anna Francolini for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Assembly)
Emma Hiddleston for Precious Little Talent (Bedlam)
Anita Reeves for Little Gem (Traverse)
Gail Watson for Barflies (Traverse)
BEST ENSEMBLEGreen Shoot Productions for Chronicles of Long Kesh (Assembly)
Camden People’s Theatre for Icarus 2.0 (Pleasance Courtyard)
DogOrange for Ward No 6 (C)
Grid Iron for Barflies (Traverse)
Ontroerend Goed and Richard Jordan Productions Ltd for Internal (Traverse)
Stellar Quines and Assembly for The Girls of Slender Means (Assembly)
BEST SOLO PERFORMER
George Mann for Odyssey (Pleasance)Joe Bone for Bane (Pleasance)
Laurie Brown for Up (The Vault)
David Calvitto for The Event (Assembly)
Lucy Ellinson for Land Without Words (Just the Tonic @The Caves)
Nicola Haydn for Janis (Gilded Balloon)
Caroline Horton for Almost 10 (Pleasance)
For full coverage of Edinburgh 2009 - including reviews, interviews blogs, news, features & video – go to Whatsonstage.com/Edinburgh2009