The 2019 Fringe Awards
At Union Ten Distillery on Saturday night, the London Fringe Festival and Theatre in London.ca presented the annual TiLee Awards. The TiLees recognize a number of artists who participate in the London Fringe Festival, and are chosen by Theatre in London.ca’s team of volunteer reviewers and Fringe Executive Producer Kathy Navackas.
On behalf of the TiL review team, who collectively saw and reviewed every show, editor Peter Janes presented nine awards. The awards went to:
- Outstanding Show and Outstanding Cast Performance
- Edgar Allan. In the Fringe’s twentieth year of impressive productions, The Coldharts’ “manic lullaby” combined a clever script, original music, and strong performances to create a curious sibling rivalry between Edgar Allan and… himself?
- Outstanding Drama
- Left Behind. This production of Londoner Trina Brooks’ time-melding story featured Patrick Avery-Kenny and Ben Kennes as two very different veterans of two very different wars.
- Outstanding Comedy and Outstanding Ballyhoo
- (Sex) Cult: A Musical (S)explosion. Hardly a Fringe lineup missed getting a live performance of Bunker in the Sky, one of the catchy songs from this hilarious, naughty, sweet(ish) parody of doomsday cults.
- Outstanding Storytelling
- Abeyance. Tyler West’s “microphoned mime” performance involved stage-created sound effects, (almost) no dialogue, and plenty of slapstick, making it an unlikely contender but deserving winner in a category usually reserved for spoken-word artists.
- Outstanding Variety
- SpinS. A virtuoso unicycle routine, updated and transmogrified vaudeville and circus acts, and a keen sense of fun were central to SpinS‘ win.
- Outstanding Solo Performance
- Stéphanie Morin-Robert in Eye Candy. Combining the style of Blindside with the quirkiness of The Merkin Sisters in a story rooted in love and Fringe, Stéphanie’s performance could only be upstaged by a co-star who appeared in the last seconds: her daughter Olive.
- Fringiest Show
- Ink. A portrait of the (two-dimensional) artist as he rages against his papery life can be a metaphor for… any number of things, really. It was hard to find two audience members with the same interpretation of this performance art piece, and that’s the way Fringe should be.
Kathy Navackas, co-founder of the London Fringe Festival and its executive producer, presented two awards of her own:
- Spirit of the Fringe
- Laura Wood and Lyn Harrison. Laura is the other co-founder of the London Fringe, and has been a volunteer for all twenty years of the festival; Lyn Harrison has been the volunteer coordinator for the Fringe for the last several years, also on a volunteer basis.
- Producer’s Pick
- The Coldharts. Katie Hartman and Nick Ryan are not only fine performers but great to work with.
The awards were followed by the “Circus of the Stars”, where Fringe performers showcased some of their other talents, including music, storytelling, and acrobatic roller skating.
Thanks to TiL’s review team of Laurie Bursch, Shelley Carr, Abby Grinnell, Greg Kondrak, Daniel Manley, Eric Trudell, and Jacqui Vandale, for their efforts this year. Congratulations to the winners, and thank you to all of the performers, behind-the-scenes participants, and audience members who have made it possible for the London Fringe Festival to continue for twenty years, and into the future!