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First round of Herald Angels announced at Edinburgh Fringe

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Irish group Fishamble: the New Play Company and New York-based The TEAM both picked up their second awards in as many days on Saturday, when they added Herald Angels to their Fringe Firsts.

The Angels are awarded across the art forms by the Herald Newspaper to “recognise excellence in whatever field we find it”. The awards also included Brazilian company Zecora Ura and three Scottish companies – the National Theatre of Scotland, Junction 25 and Mat Ricardo.

Herald arts editor Keith Bruce told The Stage that this 17th year of the awards, and tenth under the Bank of Scotland sponsorship, was particularly strong.

He said: “We had a much longer list from what has been a fascinating first fringe week. A couple of strong contenders that have longer runs were carried forward so that colleagues can supply a second opinion for next week’s awards.”

Zecora Ura’s award recognised the new Summerhall venue for the first time. Taking over Edinburgh University’s redundant veterinary college, the award comes as a purchaser has been announced for the college which, it is reported, will become a year-round venue run by the Richard Demarco foundation.

The award is for Hotel Medea – a six-hour production inspired by Euripides’ Medea that starts at midnight. Using the audience as cast members it takes them on a journey through personal and civic politics as well as a number of costume changes.

The NTS is recognised for its production of David Greig’s The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, another participatory performance. Junction 25, the Glasgow Tramway-based young company, is recognised for I Hope My Heart Goes First, at St George’s West. Cabaret star Mat Ricardo’s Three Balls And A New Suit is at the Voodoo Rooms.

The Herald also awards a weekly Archangel and a coveted Little Devil during the fringe. This week’s Archangel marks the return to the fringe of poet and playwright Heathcote Williams, renewing his partnership with performer Roy Hutchins for Zanzibar Cats at Gilded Balloon.

Commenting on the Archangel, Bruce said: “Williams’s association with the fringe dates back to the foundation years of the Traverse as one of the radical voices of the 1960s – a track record more than worthy of Archangel status.”

The Little Devil, given in recognition of commitment to the notion that the show must go on, goes to Lorne Campbell, former writer and director on Tonight Sandy Greirson Will Lecture, Dance, and Box at Assembly, who suffered a cycling accident in the Princes Street.

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