Scotsman Fringe First Awards: First winners of 2014 announced

The Fringe First awards recognise outstanding new writing premiered at the festival – here are our first six winners of 2014…

[Sabrina Mahfouz’s Chef]

Today we are delighted to announce the first six winners of our 2014 Fringe First awards.

The Scotsman Fringe Firsts are the longest-running theatre prizes at the festival, respected across the world.

Last year we celebrated the awards’ 40th anniversary, but their purpose is the same as it was when our late arts editor Allen Wright founded them four decades ago: to recognise (and support) outstanding new writing premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe. We highly recommend you see these six shows.

Many congratulations to our winners, and a huge thank you to our judging panel: Joyce McMillan, Mark Fisher, Fiona Shepherd, Jackie McGlone, Susan Mansfield and Sally Stott.


Sabrina Mahfouz’s lyrical, poetic play at Underbelly reveals, gradually and movingly, how a talented chef (Jade Anouka) ended up running a prison kitchen.

Scotsman review
Fringe listing

The Collector

The target of Henry Naylor’s play for the Gilded Balloon is the US’s conduct in Iraq, a theme explored through the story of a young, pro-western prison translator, and his tragic destruction.

Scotsman review
Fringe listing



Mark Thomas’s latest show for the Traverse is a powerful story about the betrayal and lost friendship that occurred when a campaign against the arms trade was infiltrated by a mole.

Scotsman review
Fringe listing


One of just a few shows this year to tackle the Scottish independence referendum head-on, John McCann’s play focuses on Fiona, a heavily pregnant SNP politician (played by Gabriel Quigley on magnificent form) struggling with her first major speech as a foreign minister. It’s not subtle, but it contains a wild streak of cumulative poetry about the nature of modern nationhood.

Scotsman review
Fringe listing

Men in the Cities

Chris Goode’s fierce, poetic and troubled monologue at the Traverse uses the murder of Lee Rigby as a starting point for a series of troubling stories about fractured male lives.

Scotsman review
Fringe listing



Chris Thorpe’s powerful show, directed by TEAM’s Rachel Chavkin for Northern Stage at King’s Hall, explores “confirmation bias” – the human tendency to interpret evidence in a way that confirms our existing beliefs.

Scotsman review
Fringe listing

A new decade and new venue for our Awards

camille osullivan
[Ten years at the Fringe: our guest Camille O’Sullivan]

The Scotsman Fringe Awards are back – in a new place and at a new time (but tickets are still free)

Mark the date in your diary now. Thursday 21 August at 5:15pm. That’s when the festival’s biggest and most prestigious awards ceremony returns – and tickets are still free to The Scotsman readers.

The Scotsman Fringe Awards are now in their 11th year, and we are beginning our second decade in a beautiful new venue – the Spiegeltent at St Andrew Square, a brand new venture for the Stand Comedy Club and the Assembly Rooms, bringing the Fringe to the heart of Edinburgh’s new town.

Today we are delighted to announce that Camille O’Sullivan will perform at the show. Camille was one of the first ever guests at the awards and we are delighted that she has agreed to return during her own tenth year at the Fringe. Don’t miss Camille’s own celebratory show at the Assembly Rooms, 9:45pm, until 24 August.

At this year’s Scotsman Fringe Awards you’ll get to meet the winners of some of the biggest prizes at the festival.
These include:

• The Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award, which takes one winning show to New York early in 2015.
• The Brighton Fringe Award for Excellence – the winner of which will get the chance to perform at the festival next year.
• The Holden Street Theatres Award – which will take one winning show to next year’s Adelaide Fringe.
• The Arches Brick Award – the winners of which will be invited to perform at the cutting-edge Glasgow venue next year.
• The Scotsman’s own Fringe Firsts, the longest-running theatre awards at the festival, which celebrated their 40th anniversary last year. On the night we’ll be revealing our final week of 2014 winners – one of whom we will be inviting to perform an extract of their show.

We will be announcing more special guests for the show in the coming weeks. Watch this space. And in the meantime, make sure you get a ticket before they’re all gone.

Your invitation to the Scotsman Fringe First Awards

The Scotsman and The Assembly Rooms are giving you the chance to attend The Scotsman Fringe Awards. Simply take the coupon in today’s copy of The Scotsman Festival Supplement to The Assembly Rooms George St to claim tickets.

BY PHONE: You can call the Assembly Rooms Box Office on 0844 6933008 quoting “Scotsman Fringe Awards 2014”

IN PERSON: Complete the coupon and take it along to the Assembly Rooms Box Office, George Street, Edinburgh, between 11am and 5pm.

Originally published in The Scotsman

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