With 84 shows taking place over the 16 day run, the Tiger Dublin Fringe festival has been a creative melting pot for both new and seasoned artists and companies. The Tiger Dublin Fringe Awards for 2014 have been announced and with a number of exciting new categories it made for a very exciting night.
The atmosphere was one of triumph in The Liquor Room on Wellington Quay where representatives from every walk of the festival came together to celebrate another year of Fringe. Each category was hotly contested and the results were well received.
The nominees for the Best Production Award were; Tardigrade, How to Disappear Completely, Bernarda’s House and How to Keep an Alien. The winner was Sonya Kelly’s How to Keep an Alien and the award was picked up on her behalf by Rough Magic Theatre.
The Best Design Award nominees were; the design teams for The Rest is Action Tardigrade and At Sea with nominations for Adam Gibney for Eating Seals and Seagulls’ Eggs, Eimear Murphy for her prop work on Bernarda’s House and Trevor Schwelnaus for Ajax and Little Illiad. The accolade went to Tardigrade who continued to sweep the board.
This year the Best Performers Award was awarded to two performers and for the first year Tiger Dublin Fringe removed the gender distinction from the prize. The nominees for the award were; Amy Conroy and Clare Barrett for their rôles in Bernarda’s House, Sonya Kelly for her rôle in How to Keep an Alien, Phelim Drew for his rôle in George Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London, Eva O’Connor for her rôle in My Name is Saorise, Lauren Larkin for her rôle in Advocacy, Smilin Kanker for his rôle in An Insignificant Man and a joint nomination for Emmet Kirwan &Ian Lloyd Anderson for their work on Dublin OldSchool. The winners of this award were Emmet Kirwan &Ian Lloyd Anderson and Lauren Larkin.
A new award this year was the award for Best Ensemble. This award rewarded the efforts of the ensemble as a whole and the nominations in this category were Advocacy, Rhubard Crumble, The Well Rested Terrorist and Source. The winner in this category was Advocacy.
Another new award this year is the Judges Choice Award given “to recognise a project, contributor, experience of Fringe event that defies the categorisation and is just too good to pass by unheralded.” The nominations in this category were; Stefan Fae: Cabaret Mattachine, Zombies; why death is dying or are you working hard enough, DEEP Aerobics, Chaos and Songs From a Car Park. The winner in this category was the immersive and durational Zombies; why death is dying or are you working hard enough.
The much revered and sought after Bewley’s Café Theatre ‘Little Gem’ Award made a return this year. The nominations for this category were; How to Build Your First Robot, Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell adapted by Phelim Drew, The Tale of the Ancient Lights, Charolais and Dublin Oldschool. The award for this category was given to Noni Stapleton for Charolais, a witty and entertaining comedy presented in Tiger Dublin Fringe as part of Show in a Bag.
A very worthy addition to the Tiger Dublin Fringe awards this year was the First Fortnight Award, given to productions that challenge the stigma surrounding mental health issues. The nominations in this category were; My Name Is Saoirse, Source, Dublin Oldschool, The National Therapy Project and Advocacy. The winner in this category was My Name is Saoirse.
The Fishamble New Writing Award is “presented to the best play by a new or emerging Irish (or Irish-based) playwright premiered during Tiger Dublin Fringe, this award includes the prize of a scholarship place on one of Fishamble’s acclaimed playwriting courses, dramaturgical support and a stipend towards the playwright’s next play, generously sponsored by Fishamble: The New Play Company.” This year’s nominees were; Pilgrim by Philip Doherty, Reckoners by Ross Dungan, Between Trees and Water by Fiona McGeown and Thomas Conway and My Name is Saoirse by Eva O’Connor. The winner of this prestigious award went to Fiona McGeown and Thomas Conway for Between Trees and Water.
Finally The Next Stage Wild Card Award is presented to “an artist who has been part of the festival, enabling them to participate in the Next Stage – an artist development programme run by Dublin Theatre Festival in partnership with Theatre Forum. There are no nominations for this award and the accolade was given to Robbie Blake for his work on the Tiger Dublin Fringe’s opening spectacle; HARP: A River Cantata.
This year the Tiger Dublin Fringe Awards opened up its doors to a wide variety of performers, producers, directors, artists and theatre companies. The hard work and effort of all involved was reflected in the awards ceremony that waved the festival off. Kris Nelson spoke avidly about the importance of the Fringe community and the support structure that exists within it. This year can only be marked as a success and a great first year for new Artistic Director Kris Nelson.
The Public Reviews would like to give a special mention to My Name is Saoirse and How to Keep an Alien for being the only two shows to receive 5 star reviews during the Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival 2014.
Photo courtesy of Tiger Dublin Fringe.