The Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation announces the winner of The Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award, the highest honor at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Winner to be presented in NY at Performance Space 122 in January 2009, in conjunction with the Under the Radar Festival and the Coil Festival
New York, New York August 22, 2008—The Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation is proud to announce the winner of this year’s The Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award, the highest honor at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The winner of The Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award was announced at the closing ceremonies of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe on Friday, August 22, 2008 at 10 AM GMT (5 AM EST).
This year, The Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award goes to EIGHT, written and directed by Ella Hickson and produced by the Edinburgh University Theatre Company. This production will receive its NYC premiere in conjunction with both Performance Space 122’s Coil Festival and the Under the Radar Festival in January 2009 .
EIGHT is a collection of extraordinary tales of remarkably self aware young adults: a politically conservative prostitute keeping old values alive; a hugely successful stockbroker walking out of his life; a gallery owner discovering the suicide of his partner hanging by an Hermès scarves.
The play presents obsession in its moral, sexual, and religious guises; raising the question of why nothing is ever enough for our resource-guzzling age. EIGHT works to find the glimmers of faith in a world of wholesale cynicism; this show moves seamlessly from despair to hilarity as its characters search for meaning in a morally and spiritually bankrupt England. Spend an hour or so, with beguiling oddballs from a generation trying to find its feet in faithless 2008.
“EIGHT gives the audience an opportunity to get inside the heads of some very complex twentysomething people. Part cynicism, part idealism, part sophistication, part resignation: these people are well beyond school days and are now dealing with life’s realities,” said Carol Tambor, founder of the Best of Edinburgh Award and The Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation. “Ella Hickson’s writing captures both male and female voices, upper and lower classes alike. Her keen ear is matched by performances that made me catch my breath—and a collective expulsion of air was heard throughout the audience at each monologue’s end.”
Ms. Tambor enthuses, “Ella is fearless in describing characters you’ve never come across before, surely you’ve never heard inner voices speak so eloquently. I can only compare her play to another of my favorites, Talking Heads by Alan Bennett, except her characters are just beginning their lives, and we know the road ahead will be a rocky one.”
The Edinburgh University Theatre Company runs the Bedlam Theatre in Edinburgh, the oldest student run theatre in Britain. Any member can propose a show for selection by company vote, and all aspects of the production are carried out by the student membership.
To be eligible for The Carol Tambor Award, the show must be an original work, never seen in New York City, and have received a 4-star or 5-star review from The Scotsman, Scotland’s foremost daily newspaper.
The winning production was chosen by Carol Tambor and members of her Foundation, Under the Radar’s producer Mark Russell, along with The Scotsman Newspaper’s Arts Writers Joyce Macmillian, Jackie McGlone, Mark Fisher and Andrew Eaton.
Now in its fifth year, the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award builds a bridge between New York City and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world. Created by Carol Tambor in 2004, the inaugural award winners were “Sister’s, Such Devoted Sisters” and “Rosebud: The Lives of Orson Welles”. This showcase resulted in both shows being picked up for productions in the US and Canada.
In 2005, The Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation presented the critically acclaimed NYC premiere of Andrew Dawson’s “unbearably beautiful” (NY Times) “Absence and Presence”. The 2006 winner, Michael Redhill’s “Goodness”, received wide critical acclaim and was called “gripping and important” by the New York Times.
Last year’s winner “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” was presented in conjunction with the Under the Radar Festival. This surreal satire, which used animation and live performance to tell 10 startling and funny tales, was the recipient of two Drama Desk nominations and returned to the US in May as part of the Spoleto Festival. The work has subsequently toured Australia, Korea, Sri Lanka and Singapore, among other countries.
The on-going alliance between The Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation, the Under the Radar Festival and Performance Space 122 fully realizes the original intention and spirit of the Foundation and the award: commitment to providing an exceptional and increasingly rare opportunity for new international work to travel to New York and be seen by producers and the general audience, as well.
Carol Tambor is a portrait artist by trade and a theatre aficionado. For over a decade prior to creating the award, she had traveled to Edinburgh to enjoy the Festival offerings. Dismayed that so many fine plays never transferred to NYC, she decided to create an opportunity for New York audiences to get a taste of the Edinburgh theatre offerings.
The Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation was established to bring excellent dramatic work to the New York audience by funding the New York run. The mission to support artists in their desire to be seen and produced is carried out with no financial or commercial involvement in their future success.
Under the Radar (UTR) is an annual theatre festival that spotlights international artists ranging from emerging talents to masters in the field. The festival is a wild mix of works by ensembles, solo artists, writers, and creators. The UTR Festival and Symposium is a project of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, produced by Mark Russell and The Public Theatre in New York City. The ultimate goal of UTR is to offer a crash course in theatre that is exciting, independent, and experimental, created by some of the most dynamic artists working today.
Founded in 1979, Performance Space 122 is dedicated to supporting and presenting artists whose work challenges the traditional boundaries of dance, theatre, music, and performance. Committed to exploring innovative form as well as material, P.S. 122 is steadfast in its search for pioneering artists from a diversity of cultures and points of view.
COIL: A Winter Festival of Theatre, Dance and Performance is PS122’s annual winter event that features some of the best up-and-coming artists in the underground performance scene.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world, has been ongoing since 1947. Fringe 2007 featured over 31,000 performances of 2,088 shows in 2247 different venues throughout Edinburgh. The 2007 Festival sold more than 1.7 million tickets during its 3 weeks, the fifth consecutive year the Fringe sailed past the one million-ticket barrier. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe has served as a launching pad for the careers of renowned stars such as Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Jude Law and Eddie Izzard as well as renowned playwrights like Tom Stoppard.
Carol Tambor publishes a monthly newsletter, which announces worthy shows coming to New York, along with occasional information about London theatre and, of course, the Edinburgh Fringe.