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‘A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing’ wins Amnesty prize

By | Published on Thursday 27 August 2015

Amnesty International Awards 2015

Annie Ryan’s stage adaptation of Eimear McBride’s best-selling book ‘A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing’, performed by Aoife Duffin, has been presented with this year’s Freedom of Expression Award by Amnesty International, in a strong year for theatre shows tackling human rights issues at the Fringe.

Confirming the Traverse show as the winner, Amnesty International Scotland Programme Director Naomi McAuliffe said: “‘A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing’ is an incredibly powerful piece exploring the long-term impact of child abuse and rape. The subtext of the misogyny that is at the core of violence against women is powerfully driven home. It was a worthy winner from a shortlist of inspirational, political, topical, and beautifully realised theatre”.

While one of his year’s judges,  Stephanie Knight, added: “‘Girl Is A Half Formed Thing’ is an astonishing piece of theatre, beautifully crafted. Aoife Duffin’s acting is exceptional; the design elegantly echoes the shadows within the protagonist’s psyche and the externalisation of her profound trauma, abuse, neglect, and courageous survival. This is an extremely moving work that truly deserves to win the Amnesty International Freedom Of Expression Award”.

In addition to the main prize, this year Amnesty also gave two additional awards to highly commended shows, ‘Tar Baby’ at Gilded Balloon and ‘Trans Scripts’ at Pleasance Courtyard.

On those McAuliffe added: “‘Tar Baby’ is an important and urgent piece about race relations in the US which skilfully addresses core, universal truths about racism which can be equally applied in the UK and globally. ‘Trans Scripts’ raises important themes about the repression and abuse faced by the transgender community. The personal stories of trans women shared in this production highlight their individuality without ignoring their own unique challenges and pain”.

While we are in theatre awards mode, we ought to namecheck the second batch of award winners declared by The Scotsman, The Herald and The Stage last weekend (lists that also included ‘Tar Baby’ and ‘Trans Scripts’), before all three media dish out their final round of gongs tomorrow at the annual mega-awards presentation that takes place on the final Friday of the Fringe. So, let’s give some belated nods to last weekend’s winners.

The Scotsman presented Fringe Firsts for new playwriting to…
‘Light Boxes’ by Grid Iron at Summerhall
‘Raz’ at Assembly
‘Citizen Puppet’ by Blind Summit Theatre at The Pleasance
‘Labels’ by Worklight Theatre at The Pleasance
‘Tar Baby’ by Desiree Burch and Platt Productions at Gilded Balloon
‘Trans Scripts’ by Paul Lucas Productions in association with Gail Winar at The Pleasance
‘The Great Downhill Journey Of Little Tommy’ by Theater aan Zee and Richard Jordan Productions at Summerhall

The Herald presented Angels to…
‘887’ by Robert Lepage at Edinburgh International Festival
Richard Egarr at Edinburgh International Festival
‘Penny Arcade: Longing Lasts Longer’ by Soho Theatre & The London Arts Project at Underbelly
‘Aceh Meukondore’ by Kande at C Venues
‘Our Ladies Of Perpetual Succour’ by National Theatre of Scotland and Live Theatre at Traverse Theatre

The Stage presented acting awards to…
Andy Gray in ‘Willie & Sabastian’ at Gilded Balloon
Sean Michael Verey in ‘Tonight With Donny Stixx’ at Pleasance Courtyard
The Wardrobe Ensemble for ‘1972: The Future of Sex’ at Zoo Venues

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