Final week Fringe Firsts

The Stage / Giverny Masso

Six Fringe Firsts were presented at a ceremony in Edinburgh’s Pleasance Beyond on August 25, along with five other separate awards, including a new mental health accolade.

The Wardrobe Ensemble’s exploration of the state education system since New Labour’s 1997 election win, which also won The Stage Edinburgh Award, was the first winner to be announced.

Others included Stand By, which is part of Army@TheFringe in association with Summerhall, and Fag/Stag, which is written and performed by Australian artists Jeffrey Jay Fowler and Chris Isaacs.

Two shows from the new Canada Hub at King’s Hall in association with Summerhall; Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story and Theatre Conspiracy’s Foreign Radical, were also awarded Fringe Firsts, along with (More) Moira Monologues at the Scottish Storytelling Centre.

The ceremony was hosted by Scotsman arts correspondent Joyce McMillan and featured performances from Wereldband, A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad), Woke and Camille O’Sullivan.

Alongside the Fringe Firsts, the Brighton Fringe award, the Holden Street Theatres award, and the Carol Tambor award were presented. Winners for two new awards, the Filipa Braganca award and the Mental Health Fringe award, were also announced.

Selina Thompson, who also won a Total Theatre award and The Stage Edinburgh Award, won the inaugural Filipa Braganca award for her work Salt. The Filipa Braganca award was created in honour of actor Filipa Braganca who died last year.

The winner of the Mental Health Fringe award, which recognises a show exploring mental health, was announced as the show Mental by Kane Power, which is about a son’s exploration into his mother’s mental health.

Unpolished Theatre will be taking its show Flesh and Bone to Adelaide, Australia, after winning the Holden Street Theatres award, and Kneehigh’s The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk will premiere in New York after winning the Carol Tambor award.

Two productions – comedy hip-hop show Hot Gay Time Machine and comedy puppetry show The Prophetic Visions of Bethany Lewis – will both transfer to Brighton Fringe after winning the Brighton Fringe award.