sSecond round of Scotsman’s Fringe First theatre awards presented

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Joyce McMillan had her hands full presenting the second round of Scotsman Fringe First Awards.

The Scotsman Theatre critic was helped on stage by the other Victor Meldrew of comedy, Arthur Smith - in town with his own show, paying tribute to the late Leonard Cohen.

First out the gates was Woke - a moving theatrical performance about two courageous black women - 42 years of an age difference between them - joining the fight for civil rights at the time of the Ferguson riots.

How to Act received their plaque next for their on-stage drama exploring contemporary realities on personal, cultural and economic exploitation through an award-winning on-stage director and aspiring actress, Promise.

Picking up his third Fringe First Award, Henry Naylor’s Borders is a double monologue from the perspectives of a second-generation Assad dissident who turns to graffiti to protest the Syrian regime and a press photographer who’s made a living capturing pictures of hostile territories, culminating in an explosive test of their humanity.

Rachel Bagshaw took her chronic pain and translated it for the stage, in The Shape of The Pain. Despite being a distressing topic, Rachel has managed to choreograph her most personal experiences with chronic pain in a way that is both beautiful and terrifying.

Depression doesn’t have to be awkward for the stage, as A Super Happy Story (About Being Super Sad) goes to show. A lot of work went in to brokering the conversation about depression in a fun and non-depressing way and has proved a real hit with a topic that has touched each person standing in the long queues waiting to get in to the venue before every show.

More of an experience than a theatrical performance, £I€$ asks participants to cash in their moral scruples at the door and gamble with human lives and emotions in a casino-esque environment with an extraordinary attention to detail.

The last award of the week went to Adam - a thrilling, true story about a transgender man who starts his journey by asking a search engine if it’s possible to have the spirit of a man while trapped in the body of a woman. The internet responds with a chorus of voices telling him he’s not alone.