ThreeWeeks Editors’ Awards presented
By Caro Moses | Published on Sunday 28 August 2016
As the Fringe reaches its grand finale, earlier today we presented this year’s ThreeWeeks Editors’ Awards, celebrating the ten people, productions and shows that, in our opinion, made this year’s Edinburgh Festival particularly special.
Each winner was presented with their Editors’ Award plaque at theSpace @ Symposium Hall this morning. Here we outline why we felt each of the shows, people or groups that we celebrated were worthy of their Editors’ Award…
#01: zazU (pictured)
We are, like a lot of Fringe regulars, always on the watch for new talent, and in the last few years our ears have been pricking up at any news of our first winners. Creating their own eccentric parallel universe in which to set their long-form character comedy shows, they first impressed us in 2014, garnering a four star review from our charmed critic. The following year, they provoked another four star review, and of course our undying respect, by having the cheesy temerity to name their show ‘A Fête Worse Than Death’. Back this year with another amusingly entitled show – ‘Raisins To Stay Alive’ – they won the heart of our review team, and this time, full marks. Our first award winners are zazU.
02: John Robertson
I’m not sure how much introduction our next winner needs, really, because these days he qualifies as a Fringe veteran, a stalwart of the Edinburgh scene, and for those reasons alone he would gain our indulgence and respect. But he doesn’t just hang around: for many years now, he’s been making fans, achieving high acclaim and gathering good numbers of starry critiques from our writers. In a year when ThreeWeeks have given him two five out of five reviews, it’s his collected body of work – his many brilliant stand up shows and his always-excellent returning ‘choose your own adventure’ style format ‘The Dark Room’ – that we want to honour. Our second winner is John Robertson.
03: ACJ Productions for ‘Tomorrow, Maybe’
The Fringe always boasts a pretty good line up of musical theatre, but a great many are revivals of old chestnuts, or, um, classics, if you prefer. So, we are always interested in new musicals, and try to make sure we send reviewers to as many as possible. This year, we were so very dedicated to this task that we accidentally sent two different reviewers to see one particular new musical, which was mildly problematic. However, what this mistake did do, was to make us realise that the show in question must be pretty special: both reviewers – two very different writers, with differing tastes and different backgrounds – agreed that this was an extraordinary piece; modern, engaging and accessible, with outstanding music and fabulous delivery. Our next award goes to ACJ Productions for ‘Tomorrow, Maybe’.
04: Gideon Irving
Our next winner is also new, in a sense, because this is the first time he has done a solo show in Edinburgh, after performing here for the first time last year. He has made a huge impact, though, on the ThreeWeeks team, many of whom rushed along to see him perform after they heard a first-hand account of the show from that one member of the outfit that we sent along to do the review. He offers just the kind of stuff we love: a show that defies categorisation, that combines an intimate performance with great skill, sophistication, humour and meaning. We are so impressed by his work, and the brilliant way he’s developed his way of working. Our fourth winner is Gideon Irving.
05: Gaël Le Cornec
The next recipient is someone who has a longer history of performing at the Edinburgh Fringe – we first became aware of her when we saw one of her solo shows back in 2008. Her work is excellent, and she’s a wonderful performer, writing and creating consistently watchable plays, but what has always drawn us to her is the way she picks her themes. We love the fact that she has tackled the stories of female artists whose stories are neglected, as well as current issues of war and migration, and, following yet another admiring four star ThreeWeeks review this year, we knew it was time to recognise her efforts. The next award goes to Gaël Le Cornec.
#06: Wil Greenway
Over the (many) years that we’ve been covering the Edinburgh Fringe, we’ve been pleased to see the rise of the storytelling style of show, and our next winner is a fine exponent of this craft, whose shows have been generating glowing reviews since 2013. The words our writers have used to describe him include: witty, beautifully crafted, wistful, impeccable, hilarious, heartbreaking, hugely entertaining, life-affirming, honest… and weird. We love his eloquence, his humour, his polished, well thought out performances. Our sixth award goes to Wil Greenway.
#07: Bob Slayer
There are myriad reasons for giving a gong to our next winner, an alternative comedian whose work at the Fringe, and elsewhere, inspires admiration from all quarters, and the desire to join in. His Heroes Of Fringe strand is legend, his pioneering Pay What You Want system is a clever way to evolve the free show model, and he’s only gone and got himself a double decker bus and turned it into a fabulous mobile venue. To be honest, we should probably have given him an award already, but his inspirational decision to stage a non-stop reading of the Chilcot Report made us feel as though this is definitely the year to do it. Our next winner is Bob Slayer.
We’ve been watching our next recipients since about 2009, and in that time, we have never witnessed anything other than a great show. What they produce is not just brilliant theatre, not just entertainment, but stuff which, more often than not, explores some really important, relevant subjects: communication, gender, sex, masculinity, contemporary womanhood, to name just a few. They’ve already won awards, and they’ve already won much acclaim, but in recognition of years of achievement and awestruck ThreeWeeks reviewers, our next winners are RashDash.
#09: Electric Voice Theatre for ‘Superwomen Of Science’
It’s rare for a classical music Fringe show to do a full run, and it’s probably even rarer to see one with such a distinctive agenda and themes. When we first read up on our next award-winning show, we were fascinated to hear that it not only featured the work of contemporary female composers, but that those composers had in turn been asked by the show’s creator to take high achieving women – specifically scientists – as their inspiration. The result is a fun, theatrical, educational and important piece, which our reviewer was wowed by. Our penultimate award goes to ‘Superwomen Of Science’.
And finally we have a pair who don’t look like a pair. That is to say, we think of them as something of a comedy double act, yet, one of them is the writer of the piece, whilst the other one appears on stage. Like many of the acts we’ve already mentioned, if you look at the ThreeWeeks archive of reviews, there are no duds – including the one they got when performing under a different name back in 2013, which got a resounding five star write-up. We love what they do, and the way they do it. Our final winners are Goose.