The 2023 winners of the Untapped Award were today announced as:
- Dugsi Dayz by Side eYe
- One Way Out by NO TABLE
- It’s A Motherf**king Pleasure by FlawBored
Tickets on sale today
The award supports the Edinburgh Festival Fringe premieres of three outstanding shows from early- and mid-career companies. This year, all three will receive £10,000 cash (double the amount in 2022), alongside a package of paid-for PR and marketing support, an enhanced Underbelly programming deal, mentoring from Nouveau Riche and publication and future licensing by Concord Theatricals under their UK imprint Samuel French Ltd. The expanded package directly responds to the challenges experienced across the festival by marginalised and under-represented artists attending the festival.
The three shows were selected from a shortlist of 15 shows after more than 180 companies applied for the award.
A Somali remix of The Breakfast Club, comedy Dugsi Dayz sees four seemingly very different girls in detention find they have more in common than first appeared; four friends are forced to make decisions that may destroy their brotherhood in a dynamic drama about young British Caribbeans’ experiences of the Windrush crisis One Way Out; and finally, currently running at Soho Theatre until 13th May, It’s A Motherf**king Pleasure is a scathing satire on identity politics which asked ‘What if disabled people were out to make as much money as possible from the guilt of non-disabled, anxious people (like you)’?
The award has a remarkable record identifying stand-out companies presenting game changing-shows. Previous successes including Fringe First-winner It’s True, It’s True, It’s True by Breach, since adapted for BBC television; Nouveau Riche’s Stage Award-winning Queens of Sheba, recently performed at New York’s Public Theater as part of the prestigious Under the Radar Festival. Most recently, the 2022 cohort included Fringe First-winner This Is Not A Show About Hong Kong by Max Percy + Friends.
Underbelly and New Diorama originally partnered on the Untapped award in 2018 to discover and support emerging theatre makers at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This year the partnership is joined by Concord Theatricals and previous Untapped winners Nouveau Riche (Queens of Sheba, For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy).
New Diorama Theatre artistic director David Byrne said: “I cannot wait to share these three incredible shows with audiences at the Fringe. I think we might have the best ever line-up for the award, with the shows we’re presenting representing some of the most exciting new companies I’ve come across in a long time. This award has always been a driver for new, diverse talent – this year, I think they’re each going to knock it out of the park!”
Underbelly’s Head of Programming Marina Dixon said: ‘We’re thrilled to announce the Untapped Award Winners for 2023 alongside New Diorama and Concord Theatricals. Each of these productions showcase voices and stories that are underrepresented at the Edinburgh Fringe. We’re proud to support the Untapped Award, amplifying new voices within the Fringe and therefore the wider arts landscape. The Award has become a marker of the very best of theatre at the festival, we can’t wait to welcome these thoughtful, enlightening and entertaining productions into our venues. Audiences are in for a treat this August.’
Steven Greenhalgh, Vice President of Acquisitions and Artistic Development at Concord Theatricals said: “The Edinburgh Fringe is an important part of the UK theatre ecology and this award plays an integral part in making it accessible to artists of all backgrounds. We are excited to offer new opportunities to unheard and marginalised voices, not only through the commissioning and writing process, but crucially ensuring that these plays reach the stage and as wide an audience as possible. We are delighted to be partnering with New Diorama, Underbelly and Nouveau Riche on this exciting and meaningful new step for the Untapped Award.”
Nouveau Riche artistic director Ryan Calais Cameron said: ‘Winning the Untapped Award was completely game-changing for Nouveau Riche. With our winning show Queens of Sheba on tour ever since and now in New York, you can also draw a direct line from the Untapped Award’s support, right through to our sold out West End hit For Black Boys Who’ve Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy. We’re delighted to now come back and support this next generation of recipients.’