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Enda Walsh and Druid were awarded a prestigious SCOTSMAN FRINGE FIRST AWARD on Friday August 8th at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for The New Electric Ballroom, written and directed by Walsh. These awards are given to outstanding new writing premiered on the Fringe, having been highly recommended by the Fringe’s panel of experienced critics and arts journalists.
Following swiftly after this award, a second award was bestowed on Enda Walsh on Saturday August 9th. Enda was conferred with the HERALD ARCHANGEL AWARD, a single award each week to someone who has made a sustained contribution to the arts in festive Edinburgh. This award acknowledges his contribution to the festival over the last ten years since he first presented Disco Pigs in 1997 (Critics Choice Award), bedbound in 2001 (Fringe First Winner), The Walworth Farce in 2007 (Fringe First Winner) and The New Electric Ballroom (Fringe First Winner).
Druid’s production of The New Electric Ballroom opened at Galway Arts Festival in July and is currently running at the Traverse Theatre as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The production opened to glowing reviews both at home and in Edinburgh and Druid’s second visit to Edinburgh is once again generously supported by Culture Ireland.
Writer and Director of The New Electric Ballroom, Enda Walsh, had this to say upon receiving the Fringe First award - “I'm delighted with the critical and audience response to The New Electric Ballroom and this second Fringe First Award in two years is a recognition of Druid's care and delivery of production. To all crew involved I wish to offer my thanks. We were very fortunate to secure four extraordinary actors for this production and with a little luck their performances will be seen in many more places. My congratulations to my creative team in design, lights and sound for a job well done. It's great news.”
Further accolades came all the way from China from Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism Martin Cullen TD - “I am delighted to add my congratulations to Druid Theatre and Enda Walsh on achieving the Edinburgh Fringe First Award. This well deserved acknowledgement demonstrates the professional and artistic success of Druid and Enda Walsh in representing Irish theatre abroad.” and from Eugene Downes, Chief Executive of Culture Ireland - “Hats off to Druid and Enda Walsh on back to back Fringe Firsts. In the global spotlight of Edinburgh, Enda is being recognised as one of the great playwrights of his generation.”
With news of the Herald Archangel reaching Enda Walsh he had this to say upon receiving his second award in as many days “I’m honoured to receive such recognition just a day after receiving a Fringe First for The New Electric Ballroom. 2008 will most definitely be a stand out year with The Walworth Farce receiving such acclaim in New York and now two awards in Edinburgh. My thanks again to the amazing casts, creative teams and crews I’ve worked with down through the years”
Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism Martin Cullen TD said -
“In receiving the Herald Archangel Award, Enda Walsh has again demonstrated his key role in showcasing Irish work abroad.”
Tim Smith, Druid’s General Manager commenting on the award - “We were delighted that a playwright of Enda’s calibre should receive a Fringe First two years in a row but this award duly recognizes his contribution to the world stage. Edinburgh, at this time of year, is THE platform to announce and celebrate his achievements over the past ten or more years.
The New Electric Ballroom runs until August 24th at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh. www.traverse.co.uk