Scotsman Fringe First awards: 6 winners from week one

We are delighted to announce the first six winners of our 2019 Fringe First awards, presented this year in partnership with the University of Edinburgh

There are few cosier Fringe shows than Daniel Bye's Arthur. Picture: Jonathan Ackley
There are few cosier Fringe shows than Daniel Bye's Arthur. Picture: Jonathan Ackley

Established in 1973, the Scotsman’s Fringe Firsts are recognised all over the world and have been the most prestigious theatre awards at the festival for many years now.

The Fringe Firsts recognise outstanding new writing premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe, and are awarded once a week throughout each year’s festival - there is no set number each week.Our judging panel is chaired by the Scotsman’s chief theatre critic, Joyce McMillan, with arts journalists Mark Fisher, Susan Mansfield, Jackie McGlone, Sally Stott, Fiona Shepherd and David Pollock. We are very grateful to them all for all their hard work in seeing, and debating long into the night, dozens of shows that have been nominated for the award by our team of critics.

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This year, for the first time, the University of Edinburgh is partnering with the Scotsman to support the awards. We are very grateful for their support, which has helped us to continue sending reviewers to hundreds of eligible shows.

There are few cosier Fringe shows than Daniel Bye's Arthur. Picture: Jonathan Ackley

This week’s winners will receive their awards this morning at the Pleasance Courtyard, at a ceremony featuring special guest host Clive Anderson, who is here this year performing a new comedy show Me Macbeth and I, as well as returning as host of Whose Line Is It Anyway.For those of you who enjoy watching awards ceremonies, highlights from the event will be on the Scotsman’s website later today.

We will announce more Fringe First winners next Friday. This week’s Fringe First winners are as follows:

Mustard, Summerhall, Until 25 August

Mustard: Eva O’Connor’s one-woman show at Summerhall is the story of a girl named E who falls for - and then takes revenge on - a racing cyclist who hurts her.

Javaad Alipoor's show offers a different perspective on a global crisis. Picture: Peter Dibdin

Raven, Assembly Roxy, Until 26 August

A beautiful and spectacular piece of physical theatre at Assembly Roxy, Still Hungry’s show is a powerful exploration of the challenges of motherhood.

Ludgate and Wright shine in Enough: Picture Lara Cappelli

Arthur, Your Home, Until 25 August

Performed on request in people’s living rooms, Daniel Bye’s new show is named after his baby son, who co-stars with him in a gentle but compelling hour about genetics and family history.

How Not To Drown, Traverse Theatre, Until 25 August

How Not To Drown is a prescient story about a child refugee. Picture: Mihaela Bodlovic

Co-written by Dritan Kastrati and Nicola McCartney, How Not To Drown is based on Kastrati’s own experiences as a child refugee, from an escape to Kosovo to his shocking experiences in the British care system.

Enough, Traverse Theatre, Until 25 August

Brilliantly performed by Louise Ludgate and Amanda Wright, Stef Smith's new play for the Traverse is about the friendship between two air stewardesses, drawn together in ways too complicated to express, and the imminent destruction of both the plane they're in and perhaps the whole world.

Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran, Until 25 August

Mustard is a one-woman show about E's quest for revenge. Picture: Contributed

Already one of the hottest tickets at the Traverse, Javaad Alipoor’s play begins with a car crash and expands to create a powerful, non-western perspective on a global civilisation spinning out of control.

Raven is performed by Berlin's all-female collective, Still Hungry. Picture:Contributed