ED2014 Dance & Physical Theatre ED2014 News ED2014 Theatre ED2014 Week3 Edition

Total Theatre Awards return

By | Published on Thursday 21 August 2014

Total Theatre

The Total Theatre Awards are back for another Fringe, celebrating, in the programme’s own words, “artists and companies presenting innovative work within devised theatre, live art, visual performance, mime, puppetry, physical theatre, experimental theatre, clown, circus, street, immersive, outdoor, site specific performance and more”. It’s a wide remit, though the simpler definition is in the title I guess, ‘total theatre experience’.

No less than 436 shows were eligible this year, and the Total Theatre team saw each of them in the early stages of the Festival. “The assessors are looking for new ideas and examples of excellence” says awards producer Jo Crowley. “And we spend a lot of time discussing the craft and skills employed in the work, the relationship between form and content, consideration of the audience, and the rigour with which the work is made”.

The assessors meet regularly to discuss the shows they have seen, eventually producing a shortlist which was announced last week. And that kickstarts a second stage of judging, with a panel charged with the task of selecting overall winners in the four categories that sit under the Total Theatre Award umbrella.

“It’s been an incredible year for shows across all four of the Total Theatre Awards categories”, Awards Associate Natalie Querol says. “In addition to awards for physical and visual theatre, we also have one for innovation, experimentation and playing with form, another for emerging artist or company, and this year also the Total Theatre And Jacksons Lane Award For Circus”.

Circus shows have grown in number at the Fringe in recent years, the genre being specifically name checked in the Fringe Programme for the first time in 2014. “The Total Theatre Awards have always recognised circus within its nominees and winners” says Crowley, “and over the years there has been a proliferation of world-class circus at the Fringe”.

The Awards’ Associate Producer Becki Haines adds: “For 2014 we have teamed up with Jacksons Lane, widely acknowledged as the UK’s leading supporter of small to mid-scale circus, to introduce The Total Theatre And Jacksons Lane Award For Circus. This will launch a critical dialogue about circus as an art form in its own right at the Fringe and will award a company or artist that is advancing the medium and helping to create new audiences for contemporary circus, from artists both at home and overseas”.

This year’s overall Total Theatre winners will be announced later today. Look our for news on the winners at ThreeWeeks.co.uk/news