The Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation Announces MOUTHPIECE The Winner of the Best of Edinburgh Award
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 10:19 am EDT 08/23/19






The Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation is proud to announce the winner of this year’s The Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award, the highest honor at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Chosen by Carol Tambor and members of her Foundation, along with The Scotsman Newspaper’s Arts Writers Joyce McMillian, Jackie McGlone and Mark Fisher, Mouthpiece was announced as the winner at the Scotsman Award Ceremony during the closing ceremonies of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe on Friday, August 23.

Produced by The Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Mouthpiece, written by Keiran Hurley and directed by Katherine Nesbitt, played at the Traverse Theatre from August 1-25. The production will receive a $25,000 cash award from the Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation to facilitate a New York run, with dates and venue to be announced. The original production of Mouthpiece was directed by Orla O’Loughlin in 2018 at the Traverse Theatre.

Salisbury Crags. Twilight. A woman takes a step forward into the air. A teenage boy pulls her back. Two lives are changed forever. Frank, unflinching and threaded with unexpected humour, Mouthpiece takes a look at two different sides of Edinburgh that exist in ignorance of one another, and asks whether it’s possible to tell someone else’s story without exploiting them along the way.

“Mouthpiece, by Kieran Hurley, challenges the audience with ambiguous moral issues. When an older, blocked playwright , Libby, meets younger artist, Declan, they share neither social class nor experience. Declan’s troubled past inspires Libby’s appropriation of his life’s story— is she doing it to give voice to the “unseen and unheard,” or for herself?,” stated Carol Tambor. “The structure of a play within a play adds to the tension and emotion— are we witnessing empathy or exploitation? You decide!”

Kieran Hurley is an award winning writer, performer, and theatre maker based in Glasgow. He is currently working on a number of projects across film, TV and theatre. Theatre includes Mouthpiece (Traverse Theatre), Square Go (Paines Plough Roundabout Theatre, Edinburgh Festival – Fringe First Award), A Six-Inch Layer of Topsoil and the Fact It Rains (Verbatim Theatre), Heads Up (Show And Tell, Edinburgh Fringe – Fringe First Award), Rantin (National Theatre of Scotland / The Arches), Beats (The Arches, 2019 movie produced by Steven Soderbergh), Hitch (The Arches), Chalk Farm co-written with AJ Taudevin (Oran Mor, ThickSkin).

Katherine Nesbitt is a director originally from Belfast via Glasgow. She directed Jade City by Alice Malseed (Lyric Theatre New Playwright 2018) as part of the EastSide Arts Festival in Belfast and VAULT Festival 2019. Other directing credits include Headland by Michael John O’Neill (development, Playwrights Studio Scotland), boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb (Theatre503), The Ocean is Downhill From Everywhere (devised, Imaginate/Tron), When The Rain Stops Falling by Andrew Bovell (Tron Theatre), The Company of Wolves by Angela Carter (Arches/Edinburgh Fringe) and Attempts on Her Life by Martin Crimp (West End Festival). Associate Director credits include Mouthpiece by Kieran Hurley (Orla O’Loughlin, Traverse Theatre) and The Open House by Will Eno (Michael Boyd, Bath Ustinov/Coronet).

This year’s shortlisted productions included Big Bite-Size Breakfast Show, produced by White Room Theatre; Burgerz created by performance artist Travis Alabanza; Dispatches on the Red Dress by singer-songwriter Rowan Rheingans and Knot, created by Nikki Rummer and JD Broussé.

Now in its 16th year, The Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award builds a bridge between New York City and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world. Created by Carol Tambor in 2004, the inaugural award winners were Sister's, Such Devoted Sisters and Rosebud: The Lives of Orson Welles. Subsequent winners include Andrew Dawson's Absence and Presence; Michael Redhill's Goodness; 1927's Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea; Ella Hickson's Eight; Elaine Murphy's Little Gem; Pants on Fire’s retelling of Ovid’s Metamorphoses; Circle of Eleven's LEO; David Greig's Midsummer and The Events; Yael Farber’s Mies Julie; The Object Lesson by Geoff Sobelle; Key Change by Catrina McHugh; Life According to Saki by Katherine Rundell; Emma Rice’s The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, written by Daniel Jamieson and composed by Ian Ross, Borders by Henry Naylor and last year’s winner Ulster American by David Ireland.

Carol Tambor is a longtime professional portrait artist and a theatre aficionado. For over a decade prior to creating the award, she had traveled to Edinburgh to enjoy the Festival offerings. Dismayed that so many fine plays never transferred to NYC, she decided to create an opportunity for New York audiences to get a taste of the Edinburgh magic.

The Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation was established to bring excellent dramatic work to the New York audience by funding the New York run. The mission to support artists in their desire to be seen and produced is carried out with no financial or commercial involvement in their future success. For more information, visit www.bestofedinburgh.org.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the world's greatest platform for creative freedom. In 2019, there are 59,600 performances of 3,841 shows in 323 venues from 63 countries. The festival is open access, which means that anyone with a story to tell and a space to perform can take part. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society is the organisation which underpins the festival and exists to help everyone make the most of the Fringe. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019 runs from 02 to 26 August. www.edfringe.com

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