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Nichol, Pleasance & Traverse Scoop Edinburgh Fringe Firsts

The first winners of this year's prestigious Fringe First Awards, celebrating high-quality new drama at the Edinburgh Festival, have been announced by The Scotsman newspaper today (12 August 2011).

Among the winners is Somewhere Beneath It All, A Small Fire Burns Still, the latest offering from the Comedians Theatre Company, at the Gilded Balloon. Dave Florez’s new monologue, centring on a man struggling to ask out a waitress he fancies, was specially written for stand-up Phil Nichol, whose previous prizes at the festival include both an Edinburgh Comedy Award and a Stage Award for Acting Excellence.

There are two Fringe First this week awarded to the Pleasance: The Table, another depraved puppet show from Blind Summit following their Fringe hit with Low Life, at the Dome; and Analogue’s 2401 Objects, about the world's most famous amnesiac patient, at the Courtyard.

And there are three Fringe Firsts for 2011 programme at the Traverse Theatre: Mission Drift, the Las Vegas-set parable about American capitalism from the New York-based TEAM Ensemble (adding to their three Fringe Firsts for previous productions); The Wheel, Zinnie Harris’ new play, directed by Vicky Featherstone for National Theatre of Scotland; and Futureproof, Irish playwright Lynda Radley’s metaphorical piece about a travelling freak show in hard times.

The final Fringe First in week one goes to the dance piece Silent, about a man who has lost everything including his mind, at Dance Base.

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 next round winners being announced next Friday. 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 2011, including reviews, interviews, news, gossip, blogs, features and videos,
log on to Whatsonstage.com/Edinburgh!

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