News: Edinburgh Fringe 2017 – Pleasance Theatre Figures

The Pleasance Theatre Trust celebrated 33 years at Venue 33 and the 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August with 5074 performances of 258 shows in 27 venues. 

Ticket sales were up every day of the Festival compared to 2016 with total ticket sales up by 5 per cent compared to 2016 (12 per cent including the tickets sold for EICC shows).

A registered charity, showcasing the best of established and discovering new talent in the arts industry since 1985, the Pleasance invests over £130,000 every year in young talent on and off the stage through various Pleasance Futures initiatives, including Young Pleasance, XYP (ex-Young Pleasance), Media Futures, Pleasance Scratch, Kidzone and the Charlie Hartill Special Reserve Fund for theatre and comedy.

Recipients of the Fund for theatre, Unpolished Theatre, were awarded a highly coveted Fringe First award for their debut show, Flesh and Bone as well as Holden Street Theatres Award which guarantees a 5 week long run at the Adelaide Fringe next February. A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) by Silent Uproar and Education, Education, Education by The Wardrobe Ensemble topped Pleasance’s award list with a Fringe First each. The latter also received The Stage’s Best Ensemble Award whilst political comedy for children, Me and My Bee, received the Stepladder Award from Les Enfants Terribles as well as the Fringe Sustainable Practice Award 2017!

Theatre Re received the ThreeWeeks Editors’ Award, following glowing reviews of their latest offering, The Nature of Forgetting.

Lauren Pattison and Sophie Willan won a Herald Angel each with Terry Alderton scooping the Malcolm Hardee Award for Comic Originality.

Almost half of all lastminute.com Comedy Awards nominees were presenting a show at the Pleasance! Jordan Brookes, Sophie Willan and John Robins were all nominated in the Best Comedy Show 2017 category with Darren Harriott, Ed Night, Kwame Asante, Lauren Pattison and Natalie Palamides getting a nod in the Best Newcomer 2017 category.

The Best Comedy Show went to John Robins (co-shared, for the first time ever, with Hannah Gadsby) and Best Newcomer to Natalie Palamides for LAID.

Ken Cheng won the 10th annual Dave's Funniest Joke Of The Fringe with: “I'm not a fan of the new pound coin, but then again, I hate all change.”

This August saw the Pleasance launching its own in-house award, The Indies. Named after Christopher Richardson’s (founder of the Pleasance) beloved dog, Indie, the award is voted for by the companies and artists themselves. This year’s winners are:

Best Comedy, Cabaret or Variety Show - Joseph Morpurgo: Hammerhead

Best Theatre, Family, Music or Dance Show - Testosterone

Best Comedy Cabaret or Variety Newcomer - Evelyn Mok: Hymen Manoeuvre

Best Theatre, Family, Music or Dance Newcomer - Poll Function

Best Poster Design - Skin

Spirit Of The Pleasance - The Dreamer

Pleasance shows received a record number of four and five star reviews: 454 four stars (and 7 four-and-half stars) and 163 five stars! Lauren Pattison topped the comedy chart with 3 five star reviews and 8 four stars (Phil Wang takes the second spot with 11 four stars!) and Nature of Forgetting took the theatre’s top seat with 8 five stars and 4 four stars (A Super Happy Story trails in second position with 7 five stars and 4 four stars).

Anthony Alderson, Pleasance Director said: “The 70th anniversary of the Edinbur gh Festival Fringe has been one of the best festivals I can remember. The quality of the work created is unprecedented with 3 Pleasance Fringe Firsts and a Pleasance act winning in both Comedy Awards categories in this landmark year.Our incredible staff have pulled off an amazing festival and we look forward to sharing another brilliant programme with you next year!”

 

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