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Escalator East to Edinburgh 2010: best year yet

  • Date: 16 September 2010
  • Area: National, South East
Bryony Kimmings

Bryony Kimmings, Sex Idiot. Credit: Christa Holka

It has surely been the best year yet for the Escalator East to Edinburgh talent development programme with an abundance of award-winners at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Of the group of 22 artists selected to perform at the festival as part of the programme, three won prestigious festival awards and the scheme itself won a ThreeWeeks Editors' Award.

Escalator East to Edinburgh, supported by Arts Council England and managed by The Junction, helps talented individuals and companies from the East of England take their work to international audiences at the Fringe.

As well as financial support, participants get help with PR, marketing, show promotion and building networks. The scheme helps to raise the profile of performers from the region, especially those visiting the Fringe for the first time.

Miriam Manley, Relationship Manager at Arts Council England, said: 'This year's Escalator East to Edinburgh was a resounding success, proving its worth in developing and delivering world class arts and showcasing the wealth of creative talent the East of England has to offer.'

Two of the biggest success stories of this year's festival were Bunny, a play written by Jack Thorne and performed by new writing theatre company nabokov, and Lidless, written by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig and produced by High Tide; both of which won Fringe First awards from The Scotsman.

Speaking at the Fringe First's awards ceremony, Joyce McMillan, chief theatre critic of The Scotsman said: 'The success of shows like Bunny, Roadkill and Lidless demonstrate that initiatives like Escalator East To Edinburgh and Made In Scotland can take a relatively small amount of money and use it in a way that really helps performers at The Fringe take risks, and I have nothing but praise for them.'

Another Escalator award-winner was live artist Bryony Kimmings whose show, entitled Sex Idiot, proved an out and out success at the Fringe, winning her a Total Theatre award for Emerging Company as well as a nomination for The Arches Brick Award for experimental, risk-taking companies. Bryony is touring Sex Idiot in the autumn and spring, while also working on a downloadable audio installation called Mega.

Bryony said: 'I am overwhelmed by both the audience and industry response to my work. It means a great deal to me that the pieces I create are received and read the way in which they are intended - it is such a reward for all the hard work!

'The main benefits of the support I received from the Escalator scheme were the marketing opportunities, which dwarf anything a solo artist can hope for and the vital press advice and support before and throughout the festival.'

The Escalator East to Edinburgh team were also recognised with a ThreeWeeks Editors' Award. The judging panel said: 'practical support is at least as valuable as any cheque. Not only that, but over the years these guys have introduced us to some of our favourite shows and performers.'