Previous winners Guy Masterson and NTS in running for Stage Edinburgh Awards

Pleasance Theatre leads the nominations for this year’s Stage Awards for Acting Excellence at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with six nods.

In a year that has seen an impressive range in theatre of all genres across the Fringe’s venues, The Pleasance has enjoyed a particularly strong festival, with three nominations in the Best Actor category, as well as two for Best Ensemble and one for Best Actress. Assembly Theatre, the Traverse and Zoo Venues all received four nominations.

Only two productions received multiple nominations – The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart (for Best Ensemble and Best Actress) and Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (for Best Actor and Best Actress). The National Theatre of Scotland received nominations for two separate productions – The Wheel and The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart.

A number of previous winners also feature in the nominations. Billy Mack, Guy Masterson and companies Theatre Ad Infinitum and National Theatre of Scotland have all won Stage Awards before.

Now in their 17th year, the Stage Awards are the only honours for professional theatre presented by a national UK publication at the Fringe. They include categories for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Ensemble and Best Solo Performer. Nominations are chosen by the newspaper’s review team who see hundreds of productions before making their choice.

Stage critic and chair of the judging panel Gerald Berkowitz said: “This is one of the strongest and most diverse fields we’ve nominated in years. Everything from conventional plays to rock opera, from poetry reading to mime, is represented, and they all prove effective vehicles for excellent acting.”

Fellow judge and critic Thom Dibdin added: “The ensemble category was particularly strong this year. That list could have been twice as long, with worthy candidates, were we not forced to bring it down to a manageable size.”

The winners will be announced at an invitation-only ceremony at Dance Base, 14-16 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, on the evening of Sunday, August 28, presented by Nick Awde , the Stage Edinburgh team head.

Brian Attwood, the editor of The Stage, added: “Once again, The Stage Awards have been richly served by the wide array of talent participating on the Edinburgh fringe. It’s our hope that, as ever, the industry publication can serve them too, by providing the premier platform for highlighting theatrical talent at the festival.”

The nominations in full are:

Best Actor

Billy Mack for The Overcoat (Pleasance)

Art Malik for Rose (Pleasance)

Simon Merrells for Oedipus (Pleasance)

Michael Peng for Bashir Lazhar (Assembly)

Nikolaus Szentmiklosi for Danny And The Deep Blue Sea (Remarkable Arts at St. George’s West)

Best Actress

Lucinda Curtis for Dust (Universal Arts at New Town Theatre)

Shian Denovan for Snap. Catch. Slam. (Pleasance)

Alessija Lause for Danny And The Deep Blue Sea (Remarkable Arts at St. George’s West)

Catherine Walsh for The Wheel (Traverse)

Madeleine Worrall for The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart (Traverse at Ghillie Dhu)

Best Ensemble

Banana Bag & Bodice for Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage (Assembly)

Made From Scratch for Body of Water (Pleasance)

Citizens Theatre for The Monster in the Hall (Traverse)

Wardrobe Ensemble for Riot (Zoo)

National Theatre of Scotland for The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart (Traverse at Ghillie Dhu)

Theatre Ad Infinitum for Translunar Paradise (Pleasance)

Best Solo Performer

Jake Addley for One Fine Day (Zoo)

Joe Doherty for Bones (Zoo)

Nicola Gunn for At the Sans Hotel (Assembly)

Gerard Logan for The Rape of Lucrece (Zoo)

Sabrina Mahfouz for Dry Ice (Underbelly)

Guy Masterson for Shylock (Assembly)

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The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, London. Photo: Noel Foster