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Success for Escalator East to Edinburgh artists' at the Fringe

  • Date: 30 August 2012
  • Area: National, South East
Man in black suit

Comedian Dies in the Middle of Joke, Ross Sutherland, 2012. Credit: Sam Robinson Photography

Arts Council England's Escalator East to Edinburgh scheme has proved to be a huge success for a further year with many artists receiving high praise from critics at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival with the impetus now for many to go on their own individual tours.

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is one of the stand out annual summer events for the arts and culture sector. For a lot of the artists at the festival, this is usually their first real taste of performing at such a major event.

Heading into its tenth year, Escalator East to Edinburgh provided 19 fresh and innovative artists on stage and off with the surprise inclusion of a café with a unique spin. Each performance offered something different which added variety and interest from an equally unique audience.

This will be the beginning of what is likely to be an exciting career for all of those involved with Escalator East to Edinburgh, where national tour dates certainly await. Nabokov are one of these and are excited about the opportunities that performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival brings with it.

Joe Murphy, Artistic Director, said: "Performing at the Traverse as part of their Festival 2012 programme has been an invaluable stepping stone in nabokov's development, opening up new touring relationships with more and more respected venues across the UK. Producing Blink at this highly acclaimed venue has noticeably changed the company's position within the theatrical landscape as more producers saw, hear d about, and are interested in the show than ever before. It has also opened international possibilities to countries such as America and India and we greatly look forward to exploring all these new relationships."

Claudia West, Theatre Relationship Manager, East, Arts Council England, praised further by adding: "Escalator East to Edinburgh is a flagship project for the East which continues to go from strength to strength, providing a vital opportunity for regional artists to platform their work at the world's largest arts market. From live lit to live art, from immersive and site-specific to theatre and dance, it's been fantastic to see the rich diversity and creativity of regional artists receiving the praise and recognition they deserve."

Below are just some of the comments about these artists:  

Fringe First winners in 2011 with Your Last Breath, Curious Directive returned with After the Rainfall which looks into the key relationship between our past, present and eternity. Laura Barnett of The Telegraph lauded the film "intelligent" and "highly original theatre" awarding it four stars.

Odd Comic, Would be Nice Though (Holly Bodmer and Dot Howard) which is based around the troubling and nerve wrecking experience of an interview received four stars from The Independent and was described as "Intriguing", "intelligent" and "frequently laugh-out-loud funny"

Live art duo Jenny Hunt and Holly Darton's unique café experience, Hunt & Darton, has been enjoyed by many and provides something entirely different with people able to dine and enjoy the pleasure of art as one. Josephine Lane, of Broadway Baby, labelled the experience as a "cheery vibe" and "addictive atmosphere".

Ross Sutherland's, Comedian Dies in the Middle of Joke, says all you need to know about the performance and was awarded four stars in the Scotsman. Nola, Look Left Look Right, a political piece of art, informs us on the true cost of the BP Oil Spill and received four stars in The Independent  - described as "essential viewing" by Dominic Cavendish.

Bottleneck by the Hightide Festival Theatre is a coming-of-age story about an adolescent male teen growing up in Liverpool and the struggles involved from meeting girls and following the city's football club. The Edinburgh Festival gave it four stars and praised Steven Atkinson's direction.

Fringe First winner Joel Horwood, who earned acclaim for I Caught Crabs in Walberswick, followed up this year with I love Peterborough, a tale about a dysfunctional father and his 15-year-old son. Alice Jones of The Independent believes the show to have a "big heart" and also describes it as a "coming of age" for Horwood giving the show a four star rating.

There were also many other impressive reviews for Escalator East to Edinburgh artists with Mark Grist - Rogue Teacher receiving acclaim in Fest and Fringe Review awarded Say Something by h2dance a five star rating labelling it an "outstanding show". Blink, a nabokov performance involving a funny love story, was also received well in Exeunt Magazine.

Escalator is a talent development initiative in the East of England supported by Arts Council England which aims to identify, support and invest in artists and artform development through a range of programmes across all artforms. Escalator is managed by Colchester Arts Centre with support from the Junction in Cambridge.

For more information on Escalators East to Edinburgh artists, of which some have not been mentioned, please visit their Facebook page