July 29, 2008

TV Legend Jim is on Hand for Fringe Shows That Hit the Bullseye

By Liam Rudden Arts and

Bowen and Niamh Perry will present News drama awards

HE is famous for showing devastated contestants a heartbreaking glimpse of what they could have won.

But for once, game show legend Jim Bowen can be confident that he will be able to present the grand prize. The 71-year-old comic has signed up to present a trophy as part of the second Evening News Drama Awards.

After the phenomenal success of last year's inaugural event - which was won by local musical theatre company Tempo with their production of Spend, Spend, Spend - this year's event will be even bigger and better, with a second award up for grabs.

The awards for amateur companies will recognise both dramatic and musical theatre talent appearing on stages of the Fringe with one award for best play or drama and one for best musical production.

Joining the former Bullseye host at the awards ceremony in the Library Bar of the Gilded Balloon Teviot on August 21 will be Niamh Perry, star of the BBC talent search I'd Do Anything.

Bowen, who is appearing in Look At What You Could Have Won at the Underbelly throughout August, will present the trophy for Best Drama award.

He said today: "For me, giving out this particular award is, dare I say, super, smashing and great. Thanks to the Evening News, these new shows are getting the recognition they deserve. Good luck to the winners, may the tabs rise again and again on all your future productions."

He added: "The Edinburgh Festival Fringe has got to be unique. At one end of this great big performance scale is an ageing bus-pass comedian like me and, at the other, some very bright local performers, writers and directors all bursting with creative juices."

Ms Perry, who is starring in the world premiere of Only The Brave at the George Square Theatre throughout the Fringe, will present the award for Best Musical.

She said: "I'm delighted and honoured to be asked to present the award for the Best Musical at this year's ENDAs. I've always been a huge fan of musicals and I'm so pleased they are enjoying such success across the country.

"I'm also very excited about making my Festival debut this year in Only The Brave at the Fringe's first ever venue dedicated solely to musical theatre."

Judging the productions eligible for each of the awards will be two panels of experts. The drama award will be judged by Scottish Community Drama Association adjudicator Ron Cattell and Fiona Rogan, the organisation's national arts development manager, along with Evening News theatre critic Thom Dibdin.

The award for Best Musical will be judged by James Haworth, general manager of the Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh actor and Brunton Theatre pantomime star Arron Usher and Eleanor Brown, producer of Musselburgh Amateur Musical Association.

Shows will be marked on performance, costume, staging, direction, music and price of tickets - so a five-star review doesn't guarantee a win.

Evening News Editor John McLellan said: "Once again we're delighted to be able to give well-deserved recognition to the considerable contribution made by many excellent local companies to the Fringe."


TO be eligible for the awards, companies must be amateur, Edinburgh-based and have a proven track record of entertaining in the Capital. Entries must be fully staged productions (not concert or revue performances, staged readings or monologues) running for a minimum of five nights between August 3 and 20. Anyone wishing to enter should e-mail details of the production to [email protected], putting the word AWARDS in the subject line.

To announcement of the 2008 Awards follows the launch last week of a new Evening News initiative to allow all local amateur companies taking part in this year's Festival an on-line presence by performing a short extract from their Fringe show at the Edinburgh Playhouse this Thursday. Extracts will be filmed and uploaded on the Evening News website - www.edinburghnews.com.

Extracts should be no more than one minute long and where possible should be performed in costume. Filming will begin at 10am and continue throughout the day. Companies wishing to take part should e-mail [email protected] to register their interest.

Originally published by Liam Rudden Arts and Entertainment Editor.

(c) 2008 Evening News; Edinburgh (UK). Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.