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News: Edinburgh Fringe Success


After 50,459 performances of 3,314 shows in 313 venues across Edinburgh, the curtain falls and the house lights go up on the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Photo: Stephen Oliver for
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society has announced that by Monday afternoon, with hundreds of performances still to take place, an estimated 2,298,090 tickets had been issued for shows across Scotland’s capital. The number of tickets issued reflects a 5.24% increase in comparison to tickets issued by the same point last year. 

Kath M Mainland CBE, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said:  “As this year’s Fringe draws to a close we can reflect on what a spectacular success it has been. Once again artists and audiences have travelled from across the globe to be a part of this unique cultural event. And with an estimated 2,298,090 tickets issued and many thousands of people attending the 800 free shows in the programme, I’ve no doubt every single person who watched a Fringe show, or experienced this wonderful festival city, will take away unforgettable memories. 

“With incredible talent from 49 countries from all over the world taking part this year, the Fringe has once again demonstrated itself to be both truly international and profoundly Scottish.  The 2015 season has firmly cemented Edinburgh’s reputation as the world’s leading festival city. “

Fringe Society Chair, Sir Tim O’Shea added: “On behalf of everyone who visited and enjoyed this year’s Fringe, I would like to thank all the creative souls, both onstage and backstage, who brought their work here. Their courage, creativity and sheer hard work is unrivalled anywhere in the world, and without them, the Fringe simply wouldn’t be possible.”

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europeand External Affairs added:  “This has been another incredible year for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The festival continues to evolve and work with the city to expand and offer more and more to audiences from across the world. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe demonstrates the innovative spirit that makes Scottish culture so vibrant.”

One new initiative this year was a scheme launched by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, in collaboration with the City of Edinburgh Council and Virgin Money aimed at providing complimentary tickets to Fringe shows for children and young people who are being cared for by City of Edinburgh Council. The project called Access Fringe – Looked After Children made £173,172.00 worth of tickets from 233 shows in 38 venues available to children and young people whose circumstances would not normally allow them to participate in cultural activity. Access Fringe – Looked After Children is a part of the Fringe Society’s commitment to making the Fringe accessible to all and is one of a series of initiatives over the years to come to tackle the physical, economic, social and geographic barriers that prevent people from participating.

Other highlights in 2015 included the participation of a total of fourteen new venues across the city. These included the return of the famous St. Stephen’s Church in Stockbridge under the banner of Momentum Venues, Underbelly launching their Circus Hub on the Meadows in the city’s southside and SpaceUK debuting a new three floor venue called SpaceTriplex in The Prince Philip Building on Hill Place.

The Fringe Society unveiled two new commercial partnerships in 2015; with Airbnb and the Caledonian Sleeper. Both these relationships offered new opportunities for Fringe participants and audiences.

The Royal Mail celebrated this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe by issuing a special postmark, applied to stamped UK mail from 07-31 August. Royal Mail’s postmarks are reserved for special occasions and are used to recognise significant events, historical anniversaries or support of charity. It was the first time in the Royal Mail’s 500 year history that a festival has been featured on a postmark.

Award-winning comedian and theatre-maker Bryony Kimmings delivered the 2015 Fringe Central Welcome Address to participants, organised by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society. The welcome address, designed to welcome and inspire participants, was attended by a record number of people. Bryony Kimmings, an Associate Artist at Soho Theatre and a Fringe participant herself, encouraged participants to take advantage of over 85 free events hosted throughout August, to help develop performance skills, expand networks and advance careers. 

A wide range of awards were on offer throughout the festival organised by a range of organisations. Euan’s Guide, the disabled access review website launched their Fringe awards, acknowledging a show and a venue for their outstanding efforts to include disabled audiences at this year’s Fringe.
And the awards went to… 
Allen Wright Award
Winner – Griselda Murray Brown
Special Commendation – Holly Williams
Special Commendation – George Sully

Amused Moose Comedy Awards
Winner: Richard Gadd - Waiting for Gaddot (Banshee Labyrinth)
People’s Champion: Jess Robinson - The Rise of Mighty Voice (Pleasance)

The Asian Arts Awards
Winner - Best Production: The Cherry Orchard: Beyond the Truth – Theater Margot (Korea) (C Venues)
Winner - Best Directing: Ms. Shubhra Bhardwaj – 
Ticket to Bollywood – Ferriswheel Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. (New Town Theatre)

Brighton Fringe Award for Excellence in association with Sweet Venues
Winner: Police Cops – This Theatre – Zoo Venues

The Broadway Baby Bobby Award
Winners: Captain Morgan 1: The Sands of Time and Captain Morgan 2: The Sea of Souls – Ben Behrens / Tap Tap Theatre (Pleasance)
Richard III – Brite Theatre – Just Festival
Luke McQueen: Double Act – Luke McQueen / The Invisible Dot Ltd. (Pleasance)

Carol Tambor Best of EdinburghAward
Winner: Key Change – Open Clasp Theatre Company in association with Live Theatre (Summerhall)

Dave’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe
Darren Walsh (Pleasance)

Edinburgh Comedy Poster Awards
Panel Prize: Tom Parry – Yellow Tshirt (Just the Tonic)
Audience Award: Michael Stranney & Olaf Falafel – Expect the Unexporcupine (Cowgatehead)

Euan’s Guide Accessible Fringe Awards
Winner: The Solid Life of Sugar Water (Pleasance)
Runner Up: Wendy Hoose by Johnny McKnight (Assembly Rooms)
Accessible Venue Award: Dance Base

The Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards
Best Comedy Show – Sam Simmons – Spaghetti for Breakfast (Underbelly)
Best Newcomer – Sofie Hagen – Bubblewrap (Liquid Room Annexe)
Panel Prize – Karen Koren

Fringe Review Outstanding Theatre Awards
The Frantic Canticles of Little Brother Fish (Bedlam Theatre)
Pip Utton…Playing Maggie (Assembly Rooms)

2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award
Lungs (Summerhall)

The Herald Angel Award
Winners - Week 1
Correction (Zoo Venues)
Fake it till you Make it (Traverse Theatre)
Little Devil Award: The artists and facilitators of Underbelly Circus Hub

Winners - Week 2
Penny Arcade: Longing Lasts Longer (Underbelly)
Aceh Meukondore (C Venues)

Winners – Week 3
Herald Archangel Award: Maureen Beattie for The Jennifer Tremblay Trilogy  (Assembly Festival)
Herald Angel Award: Cathal McConnell
Little Devil Award:
Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour (Traverse Theatre)

Holden Street Theatres Award
A Gambler’s Guide to Dying (Traverse Theatre)
Labels (Pleasance)

The Malcom Hardee Awards
Comic Originality – Michael Brunstrom
Cunning Stunt Award – Matt Roper
Act Most likely to make a million quid – Laurence Owen
The Scottish Arts Club Award for Best Scottish Play
Swallow – Stef Smith (Traverse Theatre)

The Scotsman Fringe First Awards
Winners - Week 1
A Gambler’s Guide to Dying(Traverse Theatre)
Going Viral  (Summerhall)
The Christians(Traverse Theatre)
Swallow  (Traverse Theatre)
The Deliverance (Assembly Festival)
Underneath (Dance Base)
The History of the World Through Banalities (Summerhall)

Winners - Week 2
Light Boxes(Summerhall)
Raz (Assembly Festival)
Citizen Puppet (Pleasance)
Labels (Pleasance)
Tar Baby  (Gilded Balloon)
Trans Scripts (Pleasance)

Winners - Week 3
A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride (Traverse Theatre)
Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour (Traverse Theatre)
Penny Arcade: Longing Lasts Longer (Underbelly)
What I Learned From Johnny Bevan (Summerhall)
A Reason to Talk (Summerhall)
Primary Times Children’s Choice Award
The Voice Thief (Summerhall)

So You Think You’re Funny?
Luca Cupani: Still Falling (Heroes @ Bob's Blundabus)

The Stage Awards for Acting Excellence 
Winners - Week 1
Molly Vevers – 
Ross and Rachel(Assembly Festival)
Aoife Duffin – 
A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing(Traverse Theatre)

Winners - Week 2
Andy Gray – Willie & Sabastian (Gilded Balloon)
Sean Michael Verey – Tonight with Donny Stixx(Pleasance)
Pip Utton…Playing Maggie (Assembly Rooms)

Winners - Week 3
Ensemble from Police Cops – This Theatre (Zoo Venues)
Maureen Beattie – The Jennifer Tremblay Trilogy  (Assembly Festival)
Ensemble from UKIP! The Musical  (theSpaceUK)
Lizzie Clarke – Molly  (Pleasance)
Ensemble from Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour (Traverse Theatre)

Total Theatre Awards

Emerging Company/Artist: The Beanfield (theSpaceUK)
Physical/Visual Theatre:
Oog  (Dance Base)
Innovation/Experimentation & Playing with Form:
Can I Start Again Please(Summerhall)
Portraits In Motion (Summerhall)
Total Theatre & The Place Award for Dance:
Vertical Influences (Assembly Festival)
Total Theatre & Jacksons Lane Award for Circus:
B-Orders(Underbelly) and
Smoke and Mirrors (Assembly Festival)

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