Evening News Drama Awards return for sixth year

Evening News Drama Awards recognising local talent on the 2012 Fringe are launched today. Picture: Kenny Smith

Evening News Drama Awards recognising local talent on the 2012 Fringe are launched today. Picture: Kenny Smith

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Edinburgh boasts one of the UK’s most vibrant amateur theatre communities. From musicals to historic dramas, gentle comedies to bedroom farce, the Capital’s unpaid actors entertain throughout the year, never more so than in August, when the rest of the world joins them on the international stage that is the Fringe.

In recognition of their dedication, and to ensure that they don’t get lost amongst the ever-growing arts extravaganza that the Festival has become, the Evening News is pleased to announce the launch of the Evening News Drama Awards 2012.

Evening News Drama Awards recognising local talent on the 2012 Fringe are launched today. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Evening News Drama Awards recognising local talent on the 2012 Fringe are launched today. Picture: Ian Rutherford

The ENDAs, as they have become known, are now regarded as the Oscars of Edinburgh’s amateur circle and a highlight of the local theatrical year.

This year, each production will be eligible for one of two awards: The Evening News Drama Award 2012, decided by a panel of industry experts in conjunction with the readers of the Evening News; and the Evening News Essence of the Fringe Award 2012, which will be decided solely by the industry experts.

For 2012 we are very pleased to have three very experienced judges. Eleanor Brown, producer and director of Musselburgh Amateur Musical Association will chair the panel and be joined by NODA Scotland councillor Gordon Blackburn and Gary Roden, General Manager of the Edinburgh Playhouse.

All three will be dispatched to each production taking part, each passing judgement on one particular aspect of the show. These critiques will be published in the Evening News’ daily Festivals pull-out.

Evening News Drama Awards recognising local talent on the 2012 Fringe are launched today

Evening News Drama Awards recognising local talent on the 2012 Fringe are launched today

The 2012 awards will be presented in a glittering ceremony at The Gilded Balloon on Thursday August 23. To be eligible for the 2012 ENDAs, companies must be amateur, Edinburgh-based and have a proven track record of entertaining in the Capital.

For the purpose of these awards, ‘Edinburgh-based’ is defined as being within the Edinburgh Evening News catchment area. Entries must be fully staged productions (not concert or revue performances, staged readings or monologues) running for a minimum of five nights between August 3 and 21.

To enter, companies should email their intention to take part to watchingbrief@edinburghnews.com by midnight Sunday July 15.

Previous winners of the Evening News Drama Awards, which are now in their sixth year, include Tempo, Forth Childrens’ Theatre, Edinburgh Theatre Arts, Saughtonhall Drama Group, Arkle Theatre Company and Edinburgh Peoples Theatre.

In that time, the Awards have been presented by many celebrities including I’d Do Anything star Niamh Perry, Bullseye’s Jim Bowen, ex-Emmerdale star Lorriane Chase, Brittas Empire’s Mike Burns, Australian magician James Galea, Irish songstress Camille O’Sullivan, Fringe favourites Frisky and Mannish and the legendary Les Dennis, who presented the first ever award and returns this year due to popular demand.

He says, “I’m absolutely delighted to be asked back. Last time was such a special event in my Fringe calendar because these awards are so important in recognising local talent.”