Roadkill, Cora Bissett’s immersive, site-specific play about sex trafficking, has picked up its sixth major award of this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with the show’s star among the winners at this year’s Stage Awards for Acting Excellence.
Mercy Ojelade received the Best Actress Award at The Stage Awards for Acting Excellence â€“ adding to a haul for the show which already includes Fringe First, Herald Angel, Amnesty Freedom of Expression, Total Theatre and Holden Street awards. The Stage Award is the first acting award the production has received.
Roadkill was one of two Scottish productions to be recognised this year. The other was Singin’ I’m No a Billy He’s a Tim â€“ about a Rangers and a Celtic supporter sharing a prison cell. Scott Kyle was named Best Actor.
The Best Ensemble Award, meanwhile, went to the company behind the Georgian-language show Do We Look Like Refugees?!, Alecky Blythe’s verbatim play looking at the effect of Russia’s 2008 occupation of northern Georgia.
In the Best Solo Performer category, the prize went to Caroline Horton, who had previously been nominated for the award in 2009. This year, she won for her show You’re Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy â€“ about a romance in the run-up to the Second World War.
Now in their 16th year, the Stage Awards are the only honours for professional theatre presented by a national UK publication at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Nominations are chosen by the newspaper’s review team who see hundreds of productions before making their choice.
The Stage’s Edinburgh team head Nick Awde said: “The range and variety of performances were extremely impressive this year and the judging team certainly had their work cut out. Solo shows represent a field that is rapidly maturing as an art form, so it was not surprising that the Solo Performer category was one of the strongest we have seen in recent years.
“A combination of physicality and strong text was a notable feature uniting the Actor, Actress and Ensemble categories, and we need to also mention the large number of exciting, new companies who did not get through to the Ensemble category but whom we look forward to seeing again in future years.”
The winners were announced this evening at an invitation-only ceremony at Dance Base in Grassmarket, Edinburgh.
Brian Attwood, the editor of The Stage, added: “The scope of this year’s winners and nominees â€“ with hard hitting political and social dramas covering both international and uniquely Scottish issues, plus romantic and comic works â€“ underlines more than ever the singular contribution to the arts made by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. We are grateful for the opportunity to honour the achievements of these talented performers.”
The list of winners in full is:
Scott Kyle for Singin’ I’m No a Billy, He’s a Tim, NLP Theatre (Assembly @ George Street)
Mercy Ojelade for Roadkill, Ankur Productions/Pachamama Productions (Traverse)
Do We Look Like Refugees?! for Beyond Borders Productions Ltd (Assembly @ George Street)
Best Solo Performer
Caroline Horton for You’re Not Like the Other Girls Chrissy, Caroline Horton (Pleasance Courtyard)