Five Northern-created shows vie for new £3,500 Edinburgh Fringe Award

New theatre shows developed by companies based across the North of England are in the running for a unique new Edinburgh Fringe Award – funded and judged by the region’s arts venues. The winning show will receive £3,500 cash and support to tour the work widely.

The shortlisted entries for the Venues North Edinburgh Fringe Award 2019 are:

Slime, by Herd Theatre
Beach Body Ready by The Roaring Girls
Unfortunate: the untold story of Ursula the Sea Witch by Fat Rascal Theatre
First Time by Nathaniel Hall presented by Dibby Theatre
Standard Elite by Hidden Track

22 venues across the region – all part of the Venues North network – are supporting this inaugural award. Their programmers will watch each show in Edinburgh before voting. Organisations involved include HOME, Hull Truck Theatre, Oldham Coliseum, Royal Exchange, Sheffield Theatres, Stephen Joseph Theatre, The Lowry, Waterside Arts, Sale and York Theatre Royal.

Venues North Chair Annabel Turpin, Chief Executive & Artistic Director of ARC Stockton, said: “One of our core purposes is to raise the profile of new theatre and performance work made in the North of England. The shortlisted shows highlight the diverse, exciting and exceptional quality of work created and produced by artists in the North.

“The award creates a new platform for artists and companies. As a group of like-minded venues, we are committing to provide the winner with the support to help to take their work to wider audiences.”

Venues North members shortlisted the shows from entries which had to meet these criteria:

  • be living and making work in the North of England, as defined by Arts Council England (ACE) area boundaries and not be part of ACE’s National Portfolio
  • meet the Venues North definition of ‘new work’ – new theatre and performance, usually devised work or new writing, or work that explores the boundaries of theatrical form – and:
  • Is ambitious, exciting and relevant to audiences
  • Has a distinctive voice that reflects the people that made the work
  • Responds to the world around us, and provides opportunities for new thoughts and conversations
  • Has carefully considered the experience it offers audiences
  • Makes a contribution to the work already available to programmers and audiences


The winner will receive:

  • £3,500 cash
  • A tailored package of support in kind, which can include support to tour the show in the North of England, based around the needs of the artist
  • Fundraising advice, guidance and advocacy from the Venues North network