March 4, 2008


The New Zealand Fringe Festival closed with an awards ceremony and closing night party at The Paramount Theatre on Sunday March 2, drawing to an end the biggest and most successful Fringe in its 19-year history.

More than 100 shows were part of Fringe 08, and while final statistics are yet to be tabled, Fringe 08 director Mark Westerby said that participants and venues are reporting stronger audience figures than ever before.

"We already knew we had the biggest Fringe ever, now we reckon we have had the best," he said. "In the face of major competition for the entertainment dollar, Fringe productions have enjoyed night after night of full or near-full capacity.

"The strong support for Fringe 08 reveals both the high calibre of the New Zealand creative arts community and also just how much interest there is in our local theatre, comedy and arts scene from the public."

Ninety-five eligible productions were considered for 13 categories, with 17 judges from the Wellington arts community deciding the awards and the grand prize of Best of Fringe.

The grand prize winner was the March of the Meeklings, produced by Three Spoon Theatre.

"This production captured the beauty of Fringe: a bold and original plot, inventive production and their marketing saw Wellington awash with red plastic spoons, while their pavement chalking had the town wondering what on earth was going on," said Mr Westerby.  "The Meeklings inherited the earth – well they inherited Fringe 08 at least! Bravo to Three Spoon Theatre, lets hope they’re back for Fringe 09.

"The Fringe Festival certainly will be back for 2009 – and it’ll be sublime."

And the Winners, Very Highly Commended (VHC) and Highly Commended (HC) honours go to:

BEST COMEDY (supported by Becks)
Office Boy – Wrigglemania Productions
HC: Real Hot Bitches: Back to Basics

BEST DANCE (supported by DANZ)
Dark Tourists – Rifleman Productions
VHC: 2 Kiwis and a Spic
HC: The Chronicles

BEST MUSIC (supported by Radioactive)
Die Henkel Spur – Winning Productions
HC: Spartacus R’s Delusions
HC: Eden Mulholland (Dark Tourists)

BEST OUTDOOR (supported by Texture)
Excess: The Cargo Show – A Conduction Production
HC: Sub Surface
HC: Footnote Fused

March of the Meeklings – Three Spoon Theatre
VHC: Blinkers
HC: Step Up Darlings
HC: Babycakes
Special Mention: The Magic Journey

BEST VISUAL ART (supported by Artzone)
What We Walk By – By Dra McKay
HC: The Scrimshaw Thief
HC: Fan-O-Tron

WHERE DID YOU COME FROM? for Best Newcomers (supported by EAT Wellington)
Legacy Dance Crew
HC: Bryon Coll (The Man, The Pie & The Taxi Guy / Babycakes / Get Cuffed)
HC: Blinkers

MARKETING AWARD (supported by Creature Design)
Office Boy – Wrigglemania Productions
HC: March of the Meeklings

Around the World on 80 Quid – Aindrias De Stack

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN (supported by Resene)
Sleep/Wake – The Playground (NZ Ltd)
VHC: Vula

MOST ORIGINAL CONCEPT (supported by Springload)
Sub Surface – Gondwana Productions
HC: Sleep/Wake

STAND OUT PERFORMER (supported by Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance)
Maria Dabrowska (Sleep/Wake / 2 Kiwis & A Spic / Step Up Darlings)
HC: Anya Tate-Manning (Babycakes / Belonging)
HC: Paul Young (Dark Tourists)

March of the Meeklings – Three Spoon Theatre 

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