New Diorama Theatre and Underbelly are proud to announce the winners of the Untapped Edinburgh competition to bring three theatre companies to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Making their Fringe debut this year, Nouveau Riche, a South London based company comprised of members who started out performing spoken word before moving into theatre.
Their Edinburgh show, Queens of Sheba – is an explosively energetic, hilariously funny and socially urgent look at a group of black women’s day-to-day experiences with men (especially white men), whether that be dating, in the work place, or even just in the street. The company’s creative use of language, music, movement and true stories from their own lives made this a unique and captivating proposition.
Joining them will be Breach Theatre, the company behind acclaimed Fringe productions, Tank and The Beanfield, whose Untapped-winning production It’s True It’s True It’s True is inspired by the transcript of a rape trial from the year 1612.
What follows is an extraordinary courtroom drama, which, through the use of contemporary language, reveals – with humour and searing intelligence – just how little, in many ways, gender power dynamics have changed over the past four centuries.
Finally, the company behind 2017’s huge Edinburgh hit Me & My Bee, This Egg, will use a thrillingly intense combination of direct address, dance, original music and design to tell the true story of a girl who gives all her clothes away and starts making her whole wardrobe from scratch, after being stripped at gunpoint and sexually assaulted while travelling.
Using a range of theatrical styles, dressed is at once harrowing and inspiring, and creates a visceral and illuminating insight into someone losing their sense of control over their own life before gradually taking it back.
The three shows were chosen from a shortlist of thirteen companies who themselves were chosen from 316 entries by a panel of judges from around the country.
Each company will be allocated a space at Underbelly, guarantee-free, receive an enhanced split of ticket proceeds and receive a grant of £3,000 towards the cost of producing their show. They will also receive in-kind mentorship, full marketing and PR support, accessible performances, and a London showcase at New Diorama Theatre after the Fringe.
New Diorama Theatre’s Artistic Director David Byrne said: “Edinburgh becomes increasingly more challenging and expensive every year, especially for the type of ensemble companies New Diorama supports. The three winners of this prize blew us away with their passion, ideas and performances. It’s a privilege to be able to help them get their stories in front of audiences at the world’s biggest arts festival.”