Richard Gadd and Dael Orlandersmith have won in the third week of The Stage Edinburgh Awards 2019.
Orlandersmith was recognised for her performance in Until the Flood at the Traverse Theatre, which she also wrote, while Gadd was awarded the prize for his new play Baby Reindeer at Summerhall. Until the Flood, which is directed by Noel Keller, explores the aftermath of the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown, a young black man, by a white police officer in Missouri.
The Stage’s reviews editor Natasha Tripney praised the way in which Orlandersmith performs eight different characters in the show.
“She doesn’t offer a chameleonic inhabitation of each character – she doesn’t do much to modify her voice or posture – and yet she somehow supplies a sense of each of these people and, in doing so, builds a community on stage,” Tripney said.
Until the Flood is produced by the Arcola Theatre in London.
Baby Reindeer, directed by Jon Brittain and produced by Francesca Moody, is an autobiographical show about Gadd’s experience of being stalked.
Joint lead critic at The Stage Tim Bano described his performance as “majestic”.
He added: “As a piece of theatre, directed by the acclaimed Jon Brittain, it’s supreme – and has a rare quality of feeling dangerous, as if the real-world implications of the show haven’t quite been left outside the door.”
The Stage Edinburgh Awards 2019, which are given out weekly during the fringe, celebrate outstanding performances at the festival.