Everything you need to know about The Scotsman Fringe Awards

THE Scotsman Fringe Awards return this Friday. Here's what's in store at our free annual show '“ and how to get a ticket

Performances at this years Scotsman Fringe Awards will come from acts like a Super Happy Story. Picture: contributed

Today we are delighted to announce the line-up for this year’s Scotsman Fringe Awards, the biggest awards ceremony at the Edinburgh Fringe.

The awards take place at 10am on Friday, 25 August at the Pleasance Beyond.

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There are a limited number of free tickets available to Scotsman readers. To claim yours, just cut out the form below and take it to the box office at the Pleasance Courtyard.

Camille O'Sullivan will also perform. Picture: Neil Hanna

The Scotsman has been hosting this annual ceremony since 2004, when the foundation of a new festival award by Carol Tambor (see below), prompted us to expand our own Fringe First presentations into a much bigger event, a platform for some of the most prestigious awards at the festival.

Over the years we have hosted the Arches Brick Award, the Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award and the Musical Theatre Matters Award, among others, as they established themselves with Fringe audiences. This year we are pleased to host two brand new awards alongside our long-time partners the Brighton Fringe Award, the Carol Tambor Award and the Holden Street Theatres Award.

Every year’s awards show also features live performances by some of our favourite acts at the Fringe.

Here’s what you can look forward to on Friday…

Wereldband Slapstick. Picture: Jaap Reedijk


Camille O’sullivan

No stranger to the Scotsman Fringe Awards, the Irish singer is on particularly strong form this year, with a storming show at Underbelly’s Circus Hub at 7:45pm each night, paying tribute to two recently lost music legends, David Bowie and Leonard Cohen, alongside favourite O’Sullivan reference points such as Nick Cave and PJ Harvey. We are thrilled to have her perform at the awards.

This Dutch troupe, making their Fringe debut, impressed us early on in the month with Slapstick, an inspired mix of physical comedy, silent movie homages, and virtuoso musicianship, which you can see at Assembly George Square Theatre every night at 6pm. We recommend it highly – children in particular seem to love it – so we were very pleased to invite Wereldband along to share a taste of the show with us on Friday.

Apphia Cambpell in WOKE. Picture: Mihaela Bodlovic

Apphia Campbell

A Scotsman Fringe First winner earlier this week, Apphia Campbell’s show Woke tackles a subject, the ongoing struggle for black people’s civil rights, which is one of the key themes at the Fringe this year. She missed out on receiving her Fringe First because she was out of the country this weekend, so we were extra keen to invite her back to our final awards to perform a short extract from her show, which you can see at the Gilded Balloon at 2pm, from 20-28 August. Apphia is a mesmesmerising performer and we are thrilled to have her with us on Friday.

A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad)

Of all the shows about mental health at this year’s Fringe, this is surely the most uplifting, thanks to some wonderfully witty songs by Matthew Floyd Jones of Frisky and Mannish fame. A Super Happy Story has been a big hit this month, packing out the Pleasance Above at 2:20pm each day, and we’re super happy to have the cast perform an extract from the show at our awards.

Camille O'Sullivan will also perform. Picture: Neil Hanna


The Carol Tambor Award

Since 2004 Carol Tambor has chosen one show from the Fringe each year to take to New York for a four week Off-Broadway run, covering all expenses including visa, accommodation and transport costs. The shortlist is decided in consulation with the Scotsman’s team 
of critics; notable previous winners include Eight by Ella Hickson, Midsummer by David Greig and Key Change by Catrina McHugh.

The Holden Street Theatres Award

In a year in which the Adelaide Fringe has a significant presence in Edinburgh, one of the festival’s key players is also celebrating a tenth birthday. Martha Lott, founder of Holden Street Theatres, has been presenting this much sought after prize for a decade now, but has taken 14 shows from Edinburgh to Adelaide during that time (sometimes awarding the prize to two shows in one year). Last year’s winners were Angel by Henry Naylor and Scorch, which is now back in Edinburgh for a further run.

Wereldband Slapstick. Picture: Jaap Reedijk

The Brighton Fringe Award

If it’s not quite on the same scale as the Edinburgh Fringe, the Brighton Fringe is one of the UK’s – and the world’s – key arts festivals, and the chance to perform there has launched countless careers. This award, like the Holden Street and Carol Tambor awards, offers one Edinburgh Fringe company each year the chance to showcase their work in a whole new setting.

The Mental Health Fringe Award

Mental health has become an increasingly prominent theme at the Fringe in recent years, in the wake of trailblazing shows such as 2014’s Every Brilliant Thing, 2015’s Fake It ‘Til You Make It, and last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Award winner, Richard Gadd’s Monkey See Monkey Do. This new prize, presented by leading charity the Mental Health Foundation, will be awarded to the Fringe show that most successfully explores the theme of mental health. The winner will be invited to perform at next year’s Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival.

The Filipa Braganca Award

Another new award, this will celebrate the achievement of an emerging female solo performer, in memory of an extraordinary woman who died last year. See feature, right.

The Scotsman Fringe Firsts

The Scotsman has been presenting its famous Fringe First prizes since 1973, in recognition of outstanding new writing premiered at the Fringe. They are awarded every Friday during August, with the final winners announced as part of our Fringe Awards.

Apphia Cambpell in WOKE. Picture: Mihaela Bodlovic