Saturday 24 August 2013 | By Chris Cooke
ThreeWeeks Editors’ Awards presented
The winners of this year’s ThreeWeeks Editors’ Awards have been announced at an event at theSpace @ Niddry Street. These go to the ten things that the ThreeWeeks editors think added that extra little special something to the Festival just gone. There are no categories and no specialisms, the awards go to the people, the performances and the programmes that the ThreeWeeks team believe made this year’s Edinburgh Festival particularly brilliant.
ThreeWeeks Co-Editor Caro Moses explains: “Once again we worked our way through the hundreds and hundreds of reviews our team have written this Festival, as well as considering nominations direct from the review team, and checking our archives for critiques from Fringes past, to decide our ten Editors’ Award winners. We believe all of these performers have contributed something special to this year’s Festival, and in most cases to a number of Festivals over recent years. We also hope that, with an eclectic mix of people, genres and projects, our winners again represent all of what it is that makes the Edinburgh Fringe such an exciting event”.
And the winners are…
This comedian has long been a favourite with ThreeWeeks’ reviewers. At Festival 2007 we named him as one of the higher-lights of that year’s ‘Comedy Zone’ and in 2009 we gave his solo show a four star review. But it was in 2011 that the start of a special five star relationship began; in that year, ‘Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven’ was awarded a tw rating of 5/5. The following year, he achieved another 5/5 for ‘Incredible Scenes!’. We waited, on tenterhooks, to see how he did this year… and yes, yet again, it was full marks for ‘Where Is My Mind’. For his enduringly popular appeal to our writers, and his consistently great shows, John Robins is our first winner of 2013.
Pleasance Courtyard at 9.30pm until 25 Aug.
The Les Clöchards
Another act who have endeared themselves to two years worth of ThreeWeeks staff (and that’s frankly quite a lot of staff) is a music group, praised for their eccentric approach and their innovative take on well known songs and pop classics. Last year’s reviewer waxed lyrical, calling them “hugely charismatic and side-splittingly hilarious” (as well as “certainly insane”), while this year, our 5/5 review made special mention of their high energy, their musical skill, and the anecdotes that they tell between songs. There’s no doubt that they have the capacity to become a regular 5/5 fixture at the Fringe… and (dare we say it…?) possibly even Fringe legends one of these days. Our next award goes to The Les Clöchards.
Assembly Checkpoint at 9.10pm until 25 Aug.
If there’s one thing that makes us happy at ThreeWeeks, especially since the arrival of our youngest reviewer six years ago, it’s those folks who find time to do a show for children as well as one for the grown ups. Often, however, one of those shows is much better than the other. So it’s utterly delightful to come across someone delivering very good goodies at both. We described her 4/5 children’s show as “an absolutely delightful way to spend an afternoon”, while the reviewer who awarded her grown up show a 5/5 score praised her wit, magical voice, and her brilliantly picked selection of guests. Add to this the fact that in the past few years McGregor has earned a sizeable fistful of glowing four and five star reviews from our team, and you’ve got a plethora of great reasons why our next winner is Ali McGregor.
‘Jazzamatazz’ at The Famous Spiegeltent at 4.00pm until 25 Aug and ‘Late-Nite Variety-Nite Night’ at Assembly Checkpoint at 10.40pm until 25 Aug.
2Faced Dance Company
Our next winner are a company who have been attending the Edinburgh Fringe off and on for many years, and during that time have earned critical acclaim for their specific brand of contemporary break and hip-hop fusion choreography, always earning at least a 4/5 review from our team: this year’s reviewer described how ‘Out Of His Skin’ combines “the fragility of contemporary ballet, with rough hip hop and breakdance steps, and breathtaking acrobatic stunts”. When we spoke to group leader Tamsin Fitzgerald this summer, she described how much this group enjoy their forays to the Fringe, saying that it’s an event which propels them forward. Tamsin’s brilliant shows, and her brilliant attitude towards the Festival, are what have made us choose 2Faced Dance Company to be the recipients of our next Editors’ Award.
‘Out of His Skin’ at Zoo Southside at 3.15pm until 26 Aug.
The next award winner is someone whose one-man powerhouse performances have been delighting our team for a number of years. This Fringe, he performed two shows, and received glowing reviews for both of them. Our reviewer who had the pleasure to see ‘Newton’ wrote afterwards that “one cannot resist being immediately and inherently captivated by his allure and the carefully constructed chaos that characterises his storytelling, furthermore enhanced by his remarkable ability to engage with every single member of the audience”, while the writer who attended ‘Out To Lunch’ described the show as “something really special” and praised the riveting and mesmerising performance of our next ThreeWeeks Editors’ Award Winner – Jack Klaff.
‘Out To Lunch’ at Summerhall at 1.45pm until 25 Aug and ‘Newton’ at Summerhall at 5.00pm until 25 Aug.
ROSL Arts Festival music programme
Back when ThreeWeeks first began, back in the dark depths of Festival history, the Royal Over-Seas League at 100 Princes Street became C Venue for the duration of the Fringe. These days, C has moved on but ROSL still plays an active part in the Festival, each year programming a series of classical music events that are as accessible for those who are new to the genre as they are to classical aficionados. Their short but sweet concerts – with names such as ‘Mozart At Teatime’, ‘Chopin After Lunch’ and ‘Beethoven For Breakfast’ – routinely receive four and five star reviews from our writers, who enjoy the talent on display and the acoustics of the rooms these events are presented in. Our next award goes to Royal Over-Seas League’s Festival music programme.
This year’s programme is now over. More information on future programmes at www.rosl.org.uk.
Our next winner is one of those people we at ThreeWeeks tend to label a ‘Fringe Institution’. This title usually goes to people who not only come back year-on-year, but who we feel also have an important place in the Fringe, because of their influence, or because they are doing something really worthwhile. Our next winner is a comedian who is also a political activist, and you will no doubt have come across her via one of her many appearances on television and radio; this is a performer who won’t just entertain you, she will make you really think. Described by one of our reviewers as “comedy that cuts through the crap”, her veteran Fringe show ‘The News At Kate’ has been receiving praise from our critics since 2009, and she has also won plaudits for a number of other shows too. Our next deserving winner is Kate Smurthwaite.
‘The News at Kate 2013: World Inaction’ at The Canons’ Gait at 3.40pm until 25 Aug and ‘The News at Kate 2013: My Professional Opinion’ at Ciao Roma at 8.20pm until 24 Aug.
Next, a cabaret practitioner who first drew our attention in 2009, when one of our writers gave him a 4/5 review and described his combination of music and stories, informed by his Jewish heritage, as “charming, intimate and funny”. Since then, we’ve seen him go from strength to strength; every year he arrives at the Fringe with offerings praised for their artistic brilliance and charm, this year earning a 5/5 rating from our reviewer, who described this winner’s show as “poignant and bitter-sweet without being schmaltzy” and the star himself as “an unsurpassed storyteller”. Our next award winner is Daniel Cainer.
Gilded Balloon Teviot at 12.45pm until 26 Aug.
Our next award winner is a comedian who has been a regular on PBH’s Free Fringe for quite some time, and has generally received nothing but positive comments from our writing teams. Over the course of the last few years we’ve called him “accomplished and charming”, “vivacious, witty and intelligent”, “funny and informative” and a “bloody nice bloke”. His show this year explores aspiration and following your ambitions; and, in a bid to practice what he preaches, his last Fringe performance of the year will take place at Edinburgh’s EICC, in the largest performance space at the Festival. If you haven’t got your tickets for this Sunday’s performance yet, get them now. Our next winner is Yianni Agisilaou.
The Dram House at 4.45pm until 24 Aug and at Venue150 @ EICC on 25 Aug at 6.00pm.
We are always intrigued to hear what will be coming next from our last award winner. Her shows always deal with fascinating subject matter and are brilliantly performed; we weren’t surprised, then, this year, to see her tackling another interesting topic, an important one, and doing it superbly. Realising that young girls are constantly being presented by pop and popular culture with overtly sexualised role-models, in collaboration with her nine year old niece, she set out to create, and become, an alternative kind of pop-star. Her show this year’s tells the story of that journey. “Every now and then a piece of art speaks the truth”, said our reviewer, “so deep and so raw that it tears you apart”. Our last winner is Bryony Kimmings.
‘Credible Likeable Superstar Rolemodel’ at Pleasance Dome at 5.45pm until 25 Aug.