Record shortlist for Amnesty Freedom of Expression Fringe Award

A record total of seven productions shortlisted this year – the 10th anniversary of Amnesty International’s Freedom of Expression Award

Amnesty International today announced a record number of entries for its Freedom of Expression Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, with 98 productions nominated and a record shortlist of seven productions.

The 2013 shortlist is:

Ban This Filth!
Written and performed by Alan Bissett

Brace: Fionnuala
Written and performed by Donal O’Kelly

Grounded
Written by George Brant and directed by Christopher Haydon

HeLa
Written by Adura Onashile and directed by Graham Eatough

Nirbhaya
Written and directed by Yael Farber

Our Glass House
Written by Aisha Zia and The Company and directed by Evie Manning

Neil Cooper, Theatre Critic of the Herald, and Freedom of Expression Award judge, said:

“The importance of the Amnesty Award cannot be understated. Now, more than ever, artists need to give voice to those who people in power would rather silence. The sheer strength of this year’s shortlist is testament to how prepared artists are to tackle real world issues.

“The range of issues highlighted in these productions demonstrates not just the state we’re in but the need for dissent. The companies haven’t been chosen for what they are saying but how they are saying it – all 7 shows on the shortlist are works of art that should be celebrated – the fact that they advocate human rights issues makes each of them even more vital.”

Mark Bevan, Amnesty International’s Programme Director in Scotland, said:

“Great theatre engages people directly; it informs us in the moment, and has the ability to leave a lasting impression which could lead to real change. We believe freedom of expression is an extremely important part of the Edinburgh Festival and our work throughout the Fringe and at the Book Festival is underpinned by that.

“We are delighted this is a record-breaking year for entries and the shortlist for the Award, which is a reflection on how artists have embraced human rights issues in their creative work. We will continue to stand up for those who are denied their basic rights such as free speech and continue our campaign efforts for those who are experiencing human rights abuses here in Scotland and around the world.”

All entries to the Freedom of Expression Award are visited by Amnesty reviewers and a panel of professional theatre critics. The winner will be announced at a special awards event on Friday 23 August. The Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award is presented in association with Fest magazine www.fest.co.uk

Amnesty’s involvement with the world’s largest arts festival is based on the celebration of freedom of expression and fighting for the rights of people whose free speech is denied. Find out more at www.amnesty.org.uk/edfest /p>

View latest press releases