Winners of Edinburgh International Festival Award 2008 announced today at the Hub

The winners of the Edinburgh International Festival Award 2008 are Belt Up (nothing to see/hear).


The Edinburgh International Festival Award takes the form of an invitation to a company appearing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer to present a work in progress as part of the Edinburgh International Festival Behind the Scenes programme in 2009.


Jonathan Mills, Festival Director met with five members of the collective, Belt Up Theatre, yesterday (Tuesday 26 August) to discuss the award and how the Festival and they can work together to develop their work.


The award which provides £5,000 towards developing a new project seen in development at Behind the Scenes 2009, is provided by Ewan Brown, a long term supporter of Edinburgh International Festival and Vice Chair of the Festival Board.


Belt Up (Nothing to See/Hear) was set up in 2007, producing new writing, established texts, adaptations and installation pieces in venues across the UK.

This year at the Fringe they presented The Red Room; a combination of theatre, music, and more at their burlesque boudoir in a new immersive venue.

Jonathan Mills, Festival Director selected the winner following recommendations made by a panel charged with scouring the 2008 Fringe.


Jonathan Mills said: "The judges did a sterling job seeing so much on the Fringe. There was a very strong shortlist but Belt Up (nothing to see/hear) stood out. The Red Room is a very interesting concept and this young collective have theatrical integrity and passion. We are very much looking forward to working with them over the next year and they promise to bring something fresh to EIF audiences in 2009."


Ewan Brown said: "I am delighted to support this award, which sees the Edinburgh International Festival scouting for talent on its doorstep at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. And I am very pleased to see it go to Belt Up Theatre Company who sound an exciting company with lots of ideas to develop. "


Fringe Festival Director Jon Morgan said: "I am delighted that Belt Up Theatre Company has been chosen for the Edinburgh International Festival Award. The company is a great example of the Fringe's capacity to platform young and exciting new talents and get them noticed by promoters and producers. "


Belt Up Theatre said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for a company at our stage of development. We look forward to working with the Festival to develop our ideas in what we hope is an exciting workshop in 2009.


The panel members were:


Chair: Roy Cross, Director, British Council Scotland

Neil Cooper, critic

Cindy Sughrue, Chief Executive of Scottish Ballet

Tony Reekie, Director of Imaginate

David Levin, Theatre Director

Sally Hobson, Head of Programme Development, EIF


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