The third and final weekly round of this year's Fringe First Awards were announced by The Scotsman newspaper today (28 August 2009) in Edinburgh, with five more shows being singled out for distinction, bringing the total number of winners to 18.

Today's winners include site-specific specialists Grid Iron's new production Barflies, a piece about alcohol and creativity based on the writings of Charles Bukowski and performed in Edinburgh's Barony Bar. It brings the Edinburgh-based company's total number of Fringe Firsts to five, having previously been recognised for Gargantua (1998), Decky does a Bronco (2001), Those Eyes, That Mouth (2003) and The Devil's Larder (2005).

Other winners announced today include the Mark Ravenhill/Bette Bourne collaboration A Life in Three Acts at the Traverse, adding to the venue's haul of five Fringe Firsts in previous rounds. The show tells Bourne's life story "exactly as it was told to him", featuring Bourne and Ravenhill in conversation on stage. The story moves from a post-war childhood, to the Gay Liberation Front, life in a drag commune and on to the creation of the ground-breaking Bloolips company and beyond.

The final three awards in round three go to: The 14th Tale, Inua Ellams' monologue retelling of his childhood in Nigeria at the Pleasance Courtyard; David Leddy's 'White Tea' at Assembly Rooms, the latest offering from one of Scotland's leading theatre-makers which invites audience members to don kimonos and drink tea as they follow the tale of a Japanese woman's journey to find her mother; and Party, a new comedy by Tom Basden from theatre company Invisible Dot, who've already picked up a Fringe First this year for The Hotel (See News, 21 Aug 2009).

The winners will all receive their prizes at the annual Fringe First awards concert held at the Assembly Rooms this morning, where the winners of the Arches Brick Award, Holden Street Theatres Award, Carol Tambor Award and Jack Tinker Spirit of the Fringe Award will also be announced. And members of the Musical Theatre Matters panel will introduce a performance by Ed: The Musical, which earlier this week picked up two awards at the third annual Musical Theatre Matters: UK Awards (See News, 25 Aug 2009).

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. 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.


For full coverage of Edinburgh 2009, including reviews, interviews, news, gossip, blogs, features and videos,
log on to Whatsonstage.com/Edinburgh2009!