Over the last two weeks, audiences members had the chance to vote for their favourite performance at this year’s Cardiff Fringe Theatre Festival. The votes were then taken into consideration by a panel of judges to select this year’s festival favourite.
With tough competition and a record number of votes, StammerMouth - Just a Few Words was crowned TicketSource Festival Favourite, just pipping runners-up Bummer & Lazarus by Big Egg theatre.
'Just a Few Words' was a clever comedy that addressed a more serious subject: stammering as a disability. It was a unique performance that encapsulated everything the Fringe is about - engaging small audiences with something fresh and thought provoking. The reaction of those who attended was incredible with comments such as:
“A very clever show. A brilliant insight into life with a stammer. Brilliant, vulnerable, and 'endearing' performance style. Great. If you get a chance to see it, really do. Such a good show.”
“I laughed, I cried, I sang the beach boys. A really brilliant piece that both explores stammering and allows the audience to understand more about the impediment.
“There were tears of laughter, and of sadness. A heartbreaking insight into one living with a speech impediment.”
TicketSource Festival Favourite Award winner, Stammermouth, AKA Nye Russell-Thompson (centre), with Cardiff Fringe's Finance Director, Steve Bennet (left), and TicketSource Head of Marketing, Terry Rosoman (right).
Cardiff Fringe's Partnership Manager, Isabelle Paige said: "This show is uniquely intelligent and full of heart. It succeeds in communicating what it's like to struggle to communicate, which when you think about it is a pretty amazing feat. We were delighted to be able to include it in the Cardiff Fringe programme, and it is a very worthy winner of the Festival Favourite award."
StammerMouth, AKA Nye Russell-Thompson said: I am extremely proud of ‘Just A Few Words’, and to win the TicketSource Festival Favourite Award was unexpected and an absolute delight! The point of my show is to raise awareness of stammering and create solidarity with people who stammer, and I feel excited to have done so in Cardiff to such responsive audiences. Thank you so much for this recognition, it means a huge amount to me, and StammerMouth, and reaffirms that 'Just A Few Words' will continue to raise awareness with great success."
A special mention must also go out to last year's runners up Spilt Milk Theatre with Five Green Bottles and Georgia Coles-Riley with "Good Time Girl" - with both performances receiving all around brilliant reviews.
For the first time, the TicketSource Best Writing Award was up for grabs. TicketSource partnered with the Cardiff Fringe Theatre Festival, ScriptDawg, Production Company Bad Wolf and Emily Nabney from a local drama production company to judge the award. Offering budding scriptwriters the chance to win a £100 cash prize, the quantity and quality of scripts submitted was astounding.
The judges found it very difficult to narrow down their top three. However, 'Binary' by Philippa Mannion, 'Odd Ones In' by Claire Boot and 'Igloo Bombs' by Simon James, were read out live at the Fringe closing ceremony with “Igloo Bombs” eventually taking the top spot and the coveted TicketSource Best Writing Award.
"Igloo Bombs" by Simon James Warning: this video contains strong language, which may cause offence
Winner Simon James took the theme of ‘New Beginnings’ to heart and produced a fantastic and imaginative comedy. The script 'Igloo Bombs' is a cautionary tale about a man called 'Frank' as he emerges from a toilet into an uncertain future that hopefully contains a cup of coffee.
TicketSource Best Writing Award winner Simon James (left) with TicketSource Head of Marketing, Terry Rosoman (right).
TicketSource Best Writing Award judge, Anna Fywell from Bad Wolf Production Company said "I loved its fresh and funny take on a dystopian story which felt totally original.
Judge, Emily Nabney from a local drama production company said: "This was a script with a fresh, unique voice which balanced sparky dialogue with big themes about the future of humanity."
TicketSource would like to congratulate the Cardiff Fringe Theatre Festival for another fantastic year of fringe theatre. Well done to all who performed over the last two weeks and the winners of the two TicketSource awards. We'll see you all next year!