Published: Aug 29, 2012
A theatre company started by a group of actors while they were students at LIPA is celebrating Edinburgh Fringe success.
Sell a Door, established in 2007, was presented with a Scotsman Fringe First Award for Rainbow, which they co-produced with Boxed Cat Theatre for this year’s festival.
The company's artistic director, David Hutchinson, and Boxed Cat’s Emily Jenkins, who wrote the darkly comic play, jointly received the accolade in August at a ceremony in the Scottish capital.
This is the fourth year Sell a Door, which is now based in London, has presented at Edinburgh.
David, who launched the company with fellow LIPA alumni while they were all students on the BA (Hons) Acting programme, enthused: “We’re over the moon! We’d had our eye on it, but up until this year we hadn’t won it.
“Emily sent us her script after hearing about our company. We read it and immediately fell in love with it. We took the play on board and set about taking it up to Edinburgh. The Fringe gives you the opportunity to take risks in a way that tours or long runs can’t, and has got to be the best platform in the world for new writing.”
Designed to encourage performers to bring new work to Edinburgh in the spirit of adventure and experiment, the Scotsman Fringe First Awards celebrate the best new writing on the Fringe, as judged by a team of critics from Scotland’s national broadsheet, The Scotsman.
Rainbow, about three deeply flawed characters and the impact of their actions on each others' lives, is due to be staged at London’s Arcola Theatre this autumn on the back of its Fringe success.
Sell a Door started life as a predominately fringe theatre company working in and around Liverpool. It gradually expanded its artistic vision to include mid-scale touring theatre, and has built up a portfolio of productions including the debut UK tour of Spring Awakening and a revival tour of Lord of the Flies.
Among other members of the LIPA contingent at Edinburgh this year were Renako McDonald and Nicolette Whitley – aka dance act Alleviate – and InSTEP Theatre, which staged the fun-packed new musical Departure Lounge. InSTEP took the show to Edinburgh after winning a Scottish Daily Mail Edinburgh Festival Fringe Drama Award (Commended), which included a £2,000 funding element. The award scheme was established by the Scottish Daily Mail in collaboration with UK drama training body the Conference of Drama Schools (now Drama UK) to encourage and reward new acting talent.
David Hutchinson with Sell a Door and Boxed Cat's Fringe First Award