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Assembly Rooms leads nominations for Stage Awards

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William Burdett-Coutts’ under-threat Assembly Rooms operation is leading the field in the nominations for The Stage Awards for Acting Excellence at this summer’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The venue has secured six nominations in the prestigious awards, however its future is currently uncertain after it was revealed that proposals to refurbish the organisation’s council-owned George Street headquarters could put the Fringe company “out of business”.

Earlier this month, it is was announced that the plans had been put on hold while a consultation took place between the City of Edinburgh Council, Burdett-Coutts and other leading figures from the city’s theatre sector.

The Stage Awards, now in their 13th year, are adjudicated by the newspaper’s festival reviewing team and aim to recognise outstanding work by individuals in the Best Actor and Actress categories and companies as a whole in Best Ensemble. In addition, for the second time, The Stage has included a category for Best Solo Show, recognising one-person shows as an Edinburgh staple, which require a different style of acting talent to ensemble shows.

Stage Edinburgh team head Jeremy Austin said: “In what has turned out to be a very strong year for drama, there has been deliberation and debate even at the shortlist stage.

“Particularly encouraging is the mixture of performers in the best solo category, now in its second year, and the inclusion of shows from outside the ‘big guns’ such as The Zoo and C. We are all looking forward to an inspiring and challenging week of judging.”

The winners will be announced at an invitation-only ceremony at the Cafe Hub, Castlehill, Edinburgh, on the evening of Sunday, August 26.

The Stage Awards for Acting Excellence 2007 nominations are:

Best Actor:

* Garry Cooper for Long Time Dead (Traverse)

* James Baxter for Scarborough (Assembly @ George Street)

* Daniel Pirrie for Sting for Nolte (Gilded Balloon)

* Merryn Owen for Worlds End (Pleasance Dome)

Best Actress:

* Nathalie Armin for Damascus (Traverse)

* Holly Atkins for Scarborough (Assembly @ George Street)

* Beth Fitzgerald for Follow Me (Assembly @ George Street)

* Dillie Keane for Frank and Dolly (Gilded Balloon)

* Eugenia Caruso for Truckstop (The Zoo)

* Janet Bamford for Truckstop (The Zoo)

Best Ensemble:

* Druid for The Walworth Farce (Traverse)

* Nimble Fish for The Container (UdderBelly’s Pasture)

* Arches Theatre Company for Pit (Traverse)

* Song of the Goat for Lacrimosa (Assembly Aurora Nova)

* Analogue for Mile End (Pleasance Dome)

* Shalimar for La Femme est Morte or Why I Should Not F**k My Son (Pleasance Dome)

* Angelica for Stonewall (Pleasance Courtyard)

Best Solo Show:

* Linda Marlowe for Believe (Traverse)

* Madi Distefano for Popsicle Departure 1989 (Assembly @ St George’s West)

* Elisabeth Gray for Wish I Had a Sylvia Plath (Underbelly’s Baby Belly)

* Alexander Campbell for Private Peaceful (Assembly @ George Street)

* Iris Bahr for Dai (Enough) (Pleasance Courtyard)

* Joanna Swain for Talking to Spacehoppers (C soco)

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