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Improbable & Clod Win at Total Theatre Awards

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At the 2009 Total Theatre Awards ceremony held in Edinburgh today (28 August 2009), Improbable Theatre were presented with a special award for their “significant contribution to theatre-making”.

According to the judges, the award is “in recognition of the achievements of this internationally acclaimed company over many years and the way in which they have brought Total Theatre to many different audiences. Improbable’s work spans diverse areas of live performance from opera and musical theatre to outdoor performance and indoor theatre.

“Their use of open space and the introduction of Devoted and Disgruntled: What are we doing about theatre over the past four years has empowered artists and theatre-makers to address challenges facing the sector. They have collectively shown a determined effort to reflect on and change the world of theatre making and the world in which theatre is made.”

Founded in 1996 by joint artistic directors Lee Simpson, Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch and producer Nick Sweeting, Improbable’s shows to date include Lifegame, Sticky, The Hanging Man, Theatre Of Blood, The Wolves in the Walls, Satyagraha, Panic and, perhaps most famously, Shockheaded Peter, which they co-produced.

Elsewhere, in the shortlisted categories, the award for Physical/Visual Theatre went to Clod Ensemble’s Under Glass, which was not included in the nominations announced earlier this week (See News, 24 Aug 2009).

The Total Theatre Awards were established in 1997 to recognise those “pushing at the boundaries of traditional theatre” at the festival. Awards supporters include barbicanbite09, the London International Mime Festival and the Central School of Speech and Drama.

The full list of 2009 nominations with winners denoted in bold, as well as special commendations...



  • Antione & the Paper Aeroplane presented by Blak Wulff Productions (UK) - C Chambers
  • Borges & I presented by Idle Motion (UK) - The Zoo
  • Certain Dark Things presented by You Need Me (UK) - Underbelly
  • Lilly Through the Dark presented by The River People (UK) - Bedlam
  • Sweeney Todd – his Life, Times and Execution presented by Finger in the Pie (UK) - Gilded Balloon
  • 6.0 How Heap & Pebble Took on the world and Won presented by Dancing Brick (UK) - Pleasance Dome


  • The Doubtful Guest presented by Hoipolloi, Theatre Royal Plymouth with ETT/Escalator East to Edinburgh, - Traverse Theatre
  • Ernest and the Pale Moon presented by Les Enfants Terribles Theatre Company in association with Pins & Needles (UK) - Pleasance Courtyard
  • Everything Must Go (Or the Voluntary Attempt to Overcome Unnecessary Obstacles) presented by Beady Eye – Kristin Fredricksson - Augustine’s
  • Horse presented by Company F/Z (UK) - Underbelly’s Hullabaloo
  • Icarus 2.0 presented by Camden People’s Theatre - Pleasance Courtyard
  • If That’s All There Is presented by Inspector Sands (UK) - Traverse Theatre


  • Adrian Howells: Foot-Washing for the Sole presented by The Arches at St Stephens (UK)
  • Home Sweet Home presented by Subject-to-Change (UK) - Forest Fringe
  • Internal presented by Ontroerend Goed and Richard Jordan Production (Belgium) - Traverse
  • Love Letters Straight from your Heart presented by Uninvited Guests & Fuel (UK) - McEwan Hall
  • Nic Green’s Trilogy (UK-Made in Scotland) presented by St Stephens Church
  • Power Plant presented by Mark Anderson, Anne Bean, Jony Easterby, Kristen Reynolds and others (UK) - Royal Botanical Gardens
  • The Little Box of Horrors presented by Bootworks & Forest Fringe (UK)
  • Wondermart presented by Rotozaza (UK) - Forest Fringe


  • Under Glass presented by Clod Ensemble & produced by Fuel (UK) – McEwan Hall
  • A Lot of Nerve presented by Martha & Arthur (UK) - Pleasance Dome
  • C!rca presented by Assembly & Circa (Australia) - Assembly Hall
  • Cocorico presented by Patrice Thibaud/Prod Illitees (France) - New Town Theatre
  • Crime of the Century presented by Chickenshed (UK) - Zoo Southside
  • Raw presented by Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Theatre (Ireland) - Dance Base
  • This is Now presented by New Art Club (UK) - Assembly @ George St
  • Zeitgeist presented by Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre (Australia) - C Chambers


  • Accidental Nostalgia presented by Cynthia Hopkins With Jim Findlay and Jeff Sugg (USA) - Traverse Theatre
  • Brocante Sonore: The Mechanicians presented by Zic Zazou (France) - C Chambers
  • Die Roten Punkte – Robot/Lion Tour presented by Rodney Breit, Richard Jordan and Paul Lucas (Germany) - Pleasance Courtyard
  • Midsummer (A Play With Songs) presented by Traverse Theatre Company (UK)
  • My Name is Sue presented by Dafydd James and Ben Lewis (UK) - Pleasance Courtyard
  • Sporadical presented by Little Bulb Theatre (UK) - Forest Fringe

    There were also special commendations for five productions that could not be included due to short runs:

  • 100 Wounded Tears presented by Dot 504 (Czech) (Zoo Southside)
  • This Is a Picture of a Person I Don’t Know presented by Pere Faura (Dance Base)
  • The Red Room presented by David Hughes Dance Productions (Traverse Theatre)
  • Must: The Inside Story presented by Clod Ensemble & Peggy Shaw & produced by Fuel University of Edinburgh, Medical School (UK)
  • From Where I’m Standing presented by Junction 25, a young people’s company resident at Tramway Forest Fringe
    For full coverage of Edinburgh 2009 - including reviews, interviews blogs, news, features & video – go to Whatsonstage.com/Edinburgh2009
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