Scotsman Fringe First awards: Seven winners from week two

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The Scotsman Fringe Firsts recognise outstanding new theatre writing premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – here are our second group of 2018 winners

The Scotsman’s Fringe Firsts have been the most prestigious theatre prizes at the Edinburgh Festival since they were founded in 1973. Awarded once a week throughout the Fringe, they recognise the best new writing premiered at the festival.

My Left Right Foot: The Musical. Picture: Contributed

My Left Right Foot: The Musical. Picture: Contributed

Congratulations to all this week’s winners, and a big thank you to our judging panel – Joyce McMillan, Mark Fisher, Susan Mansfield, Jackie McGlone, Sally Stott, David Pollock and Fiona Shepherd.

Our final Fringe First winners of 2018 will be announced at the Scotsman Fringe Awards next week – see below.

MARK THOMAS – CHECK UP: OUR NHS AT 70

For the past year, Mark Thomas has been researching the state of the NHS on its 70th birthday. The result, playing at the Traverse throughout the month, is a profoundly moving show by one of the nation’s great storytellers, on angry amd unstoppable form.

Dressed. Picture: Contributed

Dressed. Picture: Contributed

DUPED

Fife-based playwright John McCann’s show DUPed at Sweet Grassmarket is a social, political and recent-historical primer on Northern Ireland, from the rise of the Rev Ian Paisley as a powerful public speaker and divisive populist leader to the violence of the Troubles and the DUP’s ongoing resistance to birth control and gay marriage rights McCann is a clear and evocative storyteller, and the journey he takes us on is captivating – the finale is particularly powerful.

• READ MORE: Scotsman Fringe First awards: Seven winners from week one

DRESSED

On the Exhale. Picture: Sid Scott

On the Exhale. Picture: Sid Scott

How do you mend your life again after a horrible, destructive assault? Lydia Higginson, Josie Dale-Jones, Nobahar Mahdavi and Olivia Norris explore this question together in a show full of vivid life and colour at Underbelly.

UNDERGROUND RAILROAD GAME

In this bold and sometimes breathtaking production at the Traverse, Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R Sheppard explore the imagery and legacy of the age of slavery, as a love affair between two teachers – one white, one black – unleashes centuries of racial tension.

MY LEFT RIGHT FOOT – THE MUSICAL

Written and directed by Robert Softley Gale, and co-produced by Birds of Paradise and National Theatre of Scotland, this riotously funny show at Assembly Roxy is, at its heart, about disabled people’s right to be heard.

ON THE EXHALE

It’s rare to find a piece of writing that takes us so deeply into the interaction between humans and firearms as Chicago writer Martin Zimmerman’s superb monologue, now receiving its European premiere at the Traverse.

SQUARE GO

At Summerhall, a thrilling production of a new show by Scottish writers Kieran Hurley and Gary McNair brings a blast of rowdy playground comedy to questions about masculinity.