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Edinburgh Festival: Freedom of Expression Award 2015

A Girl is a Half-formed Thing actress Aoife Duffin, winner of the 2016 award
A Girl is a Half-formed Thing actress Aoife Duffin, winner of the 2016 award © Amnesty International

The 2016 award was won by A Girl is a Half-formed Thing, brought to the Traverse Theatre by The Corn Exchange theatre company. The play is acted by Aoife Duffin, who brings multiple characters to life in a fearless story of one girl's upbringing in Ireland.

"A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing is an incredibly powerful piece exploring the long-term impact of child abuse and rape. The subtext of the misogyny that is at the core of violence against women is powerfully driven home. It was a worthy winner from a shortlist of inspirational, political, topical, and beautifully realised theatre."
Naomi McAuliffe, Amnesty Scotland Programme Director

Our annual Freedom of Expression Award honours an Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre production of excellent artistic merit that builds understanding and raises awareness about human rights in an inspirational way.

All entries are reviewed by Amnesty Ambassadors and a panel of professional theatre critics.

The 2016 shortlist

  • A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing
  • Counting Stars
  • Fake It ‘til You Make It
  • Labels
  • Smash It Up
  • Tar Baby
  • Trans Scripts

Read more about these productions

The 2015 longlist

Our panel have longlisted 71 productions they feel are inspiring audiences to think about human rights issues at this year's festival.

  • 12.10.15, Momentum Venues
  • 17 Border Crossing, Summerhall
  • A Borderless Twitter Ballad Fresh from the Middle East, Summerhall
  • A Reason To Talk, Summerhall
  • Antigone Now, Church Hill Theatre
  • Antigone: An Arabian Tragedy, Greenside
  • As Is, Bedlam Theatre
  • Bayou Blues, Venue 13
  • Bedsocks and Secrets, Spotlites
  • Bismillah! An ISIS Tragicomedy, Just The Tonic
  • Black is The Color of My Voice, Gilded Balloon
  • Bloody Eastern Europeans, Quaker Meeting House
  • B-Orders, Underbelly
  • Boxed In, Pleasance Courtyard
  • By the Bi, Spotlites
  • Children Must Run, Greenside
  • Chris Cooke's Free Speech, SpaceTriplex
  • Cinema, Summerhall
  • Counting Stars by Aitha Sen Gupta, Assembly
  • Dark Lantern, Just Festival
  • Dawns Ysbrydion/ Ghost Dance, ZOO Venues
  • Death and the Maiden, Royal Scots Club
  • Denial, Just Festival
  • Don't Say That, theSpace
  • E15, Gilded Balloon
  • Echoes by Henry Naylor, Gilded Balloon
  • Fake It Until You Make It, Traverse Theatre
  • Gator Tales, theSpace
  • Heartbeats and Algorithms, Pleasance Courtyard
  • Help Yourself, Just Festival
  • Here Is the News from Over There (Over There Is the News from Here), Summerhall
  • How to Keep an Alien, Traverse Theatre
  • Human Resources, Summerhall
  • I Am, Spotlites
  • Katie O'Kelly's Counter Culture, Just Festival
  • Labels, Pleasance Courtyard
  • Les Inouis, Underbelly
  • Lost in Transition, Summerhall
  • Lunch, Just The Tonic
  • Magdalen, Paradise Green
  • My Mania, Church Hill Theatre
  • My Name is Rachel Corrie, theSpace
  • My Name is…, Summerhall
  • Ndebele Funeral, Summerhall
  • Nina Simone Black Diva Power, New Town Theatre
  • Odd Shaped Balls, SpaceTriplex
  • Pardon/In Cuffs, Traverse Theatre
  • Poetry Can F*ck Off, Summerhall
  • Reclaiming Vietnam, Greenside
  • Sequamur, Assembly Rooms
  • Since Maggie Went Away, theSpace
  • Skins and Hoods, Insitut Francais d'Ecosse
  • Smash It Up, Summerhall
  • Some People Talk About Violence, Summerhall
  • Tar Baby, Gilded Balloon
  • The American Soldier, ZOO Venues
  • The Beanfield, theSpace
  • The Christians, Traverse Theatre
  • The Dolphin Hotel, theSpace
  • The Kindness of Enemies, Royal Over Seas League
  • The Laramie Project, Church Hill Theatre
  • The Mountain Top, Venue 13
  • The Star Rover, Spotlites
  • Theatre Uncut, Summerhall
  • To Kill a Machine, ZOO Venues
  • Trans Scripts, Pleasance Courtyard
  • Undermined, Greenside
  • Walking the Tightrope: The Tension Between Art and Politics, Underbelly
  •, Summerhall
  • Wilde Without the Boy, Assembly
  • With Their Eyes: The View from a High School at Ground Zero, theSpace

Previous winners

2014: Cuckooed by Mark Thomas

Cuckooed should be compulsory viewing for everyone in the UK. The show raises timely and very important issues including the erosion of our right to privacy and democratic activism without interference from the state. Ultimately it celebrates freedom of expression - the very reason we created this award.

2013: Nirbhaya by Yael Farber

A searing work based on the horrific rape in Delhi in 2012 silence around women whose lives have been shattered by gender-based violence. Tearing away the shame that keeps the survivors silent, Nirbhaya is a voyage into a tapestry of personal testimonies that speaks for a world no longer able to hold the tides of change at bay.