The awards season is well and truly upon us with the first round of Herald Angels having taken place in the stylish surroundings of the old Royal Bank of Scotland Headquarters on Bank Street.
The recipients are selected each week by The Herald’s team of critics and the Angels recognise excellence whether it is on stage and behind the scenes, and as demonstrated by artists, writers, administrators, actors and musicians. An Archangel is also awarded to someone who has made a sustained contribution to festivals in Edinburgh over the years, and a Little Devil is presented to someone who has demonstrated the commitment to ensure that the show goes on, despite setbacks and challenges.
The first Archangel of the Fringe went to Jack Klaff, a veteran of politically outspoken theatre. Klaff has returned to Assembly this year with a live memoir that takes no prisoners and recognises that battles have been lost as well as won.
Another veteran, Richard Michael, won a Bank of Scotland Herald Angel in the year that the Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra he directs marked its 30th anniversary. Michael has recently become better known through his regular presence on BBC Radio Scotland’s Jazz House, where it is his mission to demystify the music. He wowed the crowd with a brief showing of his talents when he performed a two minute guide to jazz after the ceremony.
Three shows from the Traverse programme were recognised at the awards ceremony, but only one actually takes place in the theatre. Apples is director John Retallack’s adaptation of Richard Milward’s controversial novel of Middlesbrough teen life, co-produced by Northern Stage and Retallack’s own Company of Angels.
Roadkill takes its audience on a journey to an Edinburgh flat for a harrowing tale of the reality of sex-trafficking. Featuring a trio of excellent performances and directed by Cora Bissett, the production is also superbly effective in the way it marshalls a whole range of theatrical skills and techniques.
Andy Manley’s show for Catherine Wheels, White, is presented by the Traverse at the home of the Scottish Book Trust on the High Street. Here, too, a range of talent, including intricate design work by Shona Reppe, has been combined to make a lovely thoughtful piece of theatre for pre-school children.
New tenants, Remarkable Arts, have taken up residence at Hill Street Theatre and there Canada’s 2B Theatre presents a beautifully conceived and staged one-man show, Invisible Atom. Written and performed by Anthony Black, it is live storytelling that embraces most of the concerns of the modern world in a tale of a life spun out of control.
The technical demands of including Sub Rosa in its inaugural programme wins Remarkable Arts this week’s Little Devil. Each night the decor of the Fringe venue – posters, flyers and glowing five-star reviews – must be removed before the site-specific show can begin. Undressing on a nightly basis is not uncommon on the Fringe, but rarely does it involve the whole house. The awards take place every week for the duration of the Edinburgh Festival Season. For the full story, visit the Herald Scotland website.
For a list of all awards winners at the 2010 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, visit our 2010 Award Winners Page.