Tomorrow morning our final six Fringe First winners of 2018 will receive their prizes at the Scotsman Fringe Awards, the biggest awards ceremony at the Edinburgh festivals – if you want to come you can reserve free tickets by taking the form below to the Pleasance box office.
We can now reveal the full line-up for the awards show:
As previously announced, Jason Donovan, will be our special guest presenter. Jason is currently performing his Amazing Midlife Crisis at Assembly George Square, 3pm each day, until 26 August.
Last Tapes, creators of the Fringe First award-winning Valerie (see below) will open and close the awards with music from the show.
The whole cast of My Left Right Foot: the Musical – a Fringe First winner last week – will perform one of the show’s many hilarious songs.
There will also be a short performance by Polly Frame, star of On The Exhale at the Traverse, another of our Fringe First winners.
In between these performances, we’ll be announcing the winners of the following awards:
• The Carol Tambor Award, which takes one show each year to New York
• The Holden Street Theatres Award, which takes one show each year to the Adelaide Fringe
• The Brighton Fringe Award
• The Mental Health Fringe Award
• The Filipa Braganca award (for an outstanding solo female performer).
• Our final 2018 Scotsman Fringe Firsts, which are awarded in recognition of the most oustanding new writing on the Fringe.
There will be full coverage of the awards, and the winners, in the main section of the paper on Saturday. This week’s Fringe First winners are as follows:
Is who we are simply a product of our DNA, asks Robin Kelly, in this poignant and often breathtaking show about family history and mental illness, showing at Summerhall. Key episodes are played out by Kelly and his band through towering musical numbers – thrash metal, Debbie Harry-style rap and everything in between – before he is left alone to tell a story of what one man has lived with and perhaps, with the help of his fellow performers, overcome.
POWER PLAY: FUNERAL FLOWERS
Power Play Theatre are currently presenting four shows at Pleasance Pop-Up: Power Play HQ, all of which tell stories of women who have suffered abuse at the hands of men in one way or another. Emma Dennis-Edwards’s play Funeral Flowers is particularly powerful, introducing us to Angelique, a likeable but broken young woman who dreams of being a florist. The other three – Next Time, Somebody and The Empty Chair, all reviewed on these pages last week – are also worth catching.
This monologue at Summerhall, by acclaimed Antwerp-based theatre-maker Valentijn Dhaenens, introduces us to a young politician in the Blair-Clinton mould, tired of vacuous slogans about “change” but unable to move beyond them – a man who is a microcosm of all that has gone wrong with centre-left western politics, summed up in a single riveting hour by one of the most powerful performances on the Fringe.
Compiled from 200 hours of interviews, Helen Monks and Matt Woodhead’s verbatim play at Summerhall describes the infamous witch hunt created by a letter claiming that a shady cabal of governors and headteachers were trying to radicalise a generation of British-Muslim schoolchildren.
IT’S TRUE, IT’S TRUE, IT’S TRUE
In the wake of #MeToo, this year’s Fringe has been full of women’s stories about unacceptable male behaviour – few more powerful than Breach Theatre’s remarkable show about 17th century painter Artemisia Gentileschi, who, aged 17, accused a friend of her father of rape.
THE ARCHIVE OF EDUCATED HEARTS
In a shed outside the Pleasance Grand, writer and performer Casey Jay Andrews has created a memorable, intimate home for her show about of families living with breast cancer. Her Archive is a record of love and kindness and survival gathered in from remarkable individuals.