Ahead of its performance at Brighton Fringe, Julian Caddy and James Turnbull explain how LORRAINE & ALAN earned the Brighton Fringe Award For Excellence.
You may have noticed that LORRAINE & ALAN, upcoming this May, is sporting rather a grandiose-sounding award: “The Brighton Fringe Award For Excellence”. May 2015, however, marks the show’s first visit to Brighton Fringe. So how has it earned such a prestigious honor before even arriving…? We asked JULIAN CADDY, Managing Director of Brighton Fringe and our own JAMES TURNBULL.
WHAT IS THE BRIGHTON FRINGE AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE, AND HOW COME THE WINNER HASN’T EVEN ARRIVED IN BRIGHTON YET?
JAMES TURNBULL: The idea behind the award is to support a stand out show – chosen at Edinburgh Festival Fringe – to enable it to tour to Brighton Fringe the following May. The winning performance is hosted by a different venue each year, and this year it’s The Old Market’s turn.
SO WHO CHOSE THE WINNING SHOW?
JAMES TURNBULL: As host venue, The Old Market led a selection panel comprised of Richard Jordan (Richard Jordan Productions), Richard Stamp (Director of trusted review site, FringeGuru) and Julian Caddy (MD of Brighton Fringe). Between us we saw in excess of 200 productions at Edinburgh Festival Fringe. We shortlisted 12 and – after a long discussion – came to the unanimous decision to award Bucket Club’s brilliant Lorraine & Alan.
200 ENTRIES – SO WHAT MADE BUCKET CLUB’S SHOW STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD?
JULIAN CADDY: It’s refreshing, creative, original theatre. I’m absolutely delighted that Bucket Club won the award, and certainly look forward to enjoying more of their work for many years to come.
JAMES TURNBULL: For audiences, seeing a new theatre company perform a new script can represent a bit of a gamble. But Bucket Club have created something outstanding, and wholly worthy of audiences’ time. Nel Crouch’s production brings the old selkie myth up-to-date in a wonderfully charming way.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THEM – ANY OTHER WINNERS’ PERKS?
JAMES TURNBULL: They get £500 cash, free Brighton Fringe registration, advertising in the brochure and website, a favourable deal and additional venue support.
THIS WAS CLEARLY A HOTLY CONTESTED PRIZE – WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THE ARTISTS AND PERFORMERS?
JULIAN CADDY: Emerging companies are vital for the future of live performance and they are chronically under-supported. With this in mind, for the past 4 years, Brighton Fringe has been running awards for excellence at Edinburgh Fringe. We are the only UK Fringe to offer something of this kind. It’s a small step but I believe that it’s an important one and I hope that in future we will be able to both maintain and develop it further. Anyone wishing to enter for next year’s award should sign up for the Brighton Fringe newsletter.
The award-winning show, LORRAINE & ALAN can be seen here at The Old Market on 21 and 22 May, as part of Brighton Fringe.