The winners have been announced for the 2nd Wee Review Fringe Awards.
The reason behind the awards is not just to reward the Best This and Best That and Most Something-or-other, but to highlight shows that are surprising, ridiculous, unusual, inexplicable, unbelievable, provocative, bizarre or daring in some way.
There is no money in it. No trophies. Not even a laurels image you can stick on your flyers (unless you want to make your own). Just some very minor glory and a virtual pat on the back from the Wee Review team.
So the winners, with citations from the nominating writers, are:
Fringe Zeitgeist Award
The Fringe Zeitgeist Award will be given to the show that best captures the social and political issues of the day.
Desperation Bingo – “One of the rawest and best fringe shows… [highlighting] the negligence and cruelty of the government toward claimants of disability benefit” [Emma Lawson]
The Sky Is Safe – “Thoughtful, sensitive and entirely on the money as the refugee crisis is up there with climate change as one of the world’s biggest problems” [Claire Wood]
Colin Hoult as Anna Mann in How We Stop the Fascists – “Dealt with a lot of different political stuff without being hectoring and always remembered to be funny.” [Kevin Wight]
Fringe Groundbreaker Award
The Fringe Groundbreaker Award will be given to the show that advances perception of what is possible in a performance.
Hope Hunt and the Ascension into Lazarus – “Oona Doherty is an extraordinary performer, and this show blurs the boundaries between dance, physical theatre and sound poetry in a very unique way.” [Robert Dow]
Hannah Gadsby: Nanette – “Comedy but not as you know it. One of the most profound hours I spent at the Fringe. Gadsby has a lot to teach us all with her clever observations, and she never fails to make the audience laugh (and cry!)” [Kerry Teakle]
Brendon Burns & Craig Quartermaine in Race Off – “Only show of its kind, and is constantly changing and evolving as their relationship developse.” [Kevin Wight]
Fringe Experience Award
The Fringe Experience Award will be given to the show that provides the most memorable and extraordinary experience at the Fringe, be it good, bad or plain strange.
Lewis Schaffer: Unopened Letters From My Mother – “Exposing and uncomfortable hour of Schaffer reading aloud letters from his dead mother for the first time.” [Matthew Keeley]
Seagulls – “When the scrim comes down and there’s the bloody lake in the summer house in the whatever front bit of the church that should contain the altar. That got my ‘best moment in theatre’ this Fringe.” [Claire Wood]
President Obonjo: The Rise of a Comedy Dictator – “Free Fringe hero who made himself a very visible and audible presence around Edinburgh this year.” [Robert Peacock]