The ET End of Year Fringe Theatre Awards
What are they?
First introduced for 2022, The Everything Theatre Fringe Theatre Awards, or Etties for short, are simply our fun round up of the year. The original plan was to publish them over the quiet Christmas period, just to highlight some of the amazing Fringe Theatre we saw during the year.
But in the end, due to a mixture of time and how the awards grew into something bigger than we had originally envisaged, we instead published our shortlists at the start of the year and then revealed the winners on our Runn Radio show in mid-January. And we plan to do the same for our 2023 awards.
The Etties are simply our way of highlighting some of the best fringe theatre we’ve seen during the year. It’s not highly scientific: after all, we had 50 people write for us in 2022, all of whom will no doubt have different opinions on what would have been the best shows they have seen. But having seen 547 shows during 2022, we felt we had a good range of productions to select from. So this is our little way to sing the praises of some of those we loved.
2022’s awards proved to be more successful than we could ever imagine, and it really did touch us how people embraced them, we’ve even seen show posters that included “Ettie nominated”, so we thought we better keep doing them. So for 2023, the plan is very much the same.
We also thought it would be fun to include a few non-show categories, because as well as all the amazing shows, we really wanted to show our love for all those people who gave their time freely to write for us. And we plan to do the same this year.
Which shows are eligible?
Firstly, it has to be a show we’ve reviewed! Then it has to come under what we feel is the fringe banner – which is quite a hard one to define, but basically this excludes all those big productions such as the West End or big touring shows. After all, these tend to get plenty of other opportunities for awards elsewhere. So our awards truly are for fringe theatre shows. Then it’s quite simple, any show we award 4 or 5 stars will be up for consideration.
Who will decide the winners?
For many of the categories, we’ve handed the decision making over to a Head Judge; a member of our reviewing team we feel has a strong interest in that category. Their job will be to look at all eligible show reviews and somehow decide on a shortlist; the size of this really depends how many shows we’re reviewed that qualify. Then for most of the non-show based awards, we’re planning to have our editorial team create the shortlist.
These shortlists will then be put forward to all our reviewers to vote for the winners.
What are the categories?
For eligible shows we’re going to have the following categories:
- Best musical
- Best drama
- Best comedy
- Best Theatre for Young Adults
- Best immersive experience
- Best show outside of London
In addition to these, we are also going to have a few categories more for our own fun and enjoyment.
- Favourite fringe venue (we will be accepting free drinks as bribes towards getting shortlisted for this)
- Review of the year (simply the review we feel was the most fun to read, whether it was 2 stars or 5)
- The Going Above and Beyond Reviewer Award (simply put, this is our reviewers’ chance to bribe us for the honour of having this title for the next 12 months)
What will the winners receive?
Our heartfelt love and if they want, they can put “Etties 2023 winner” on their next show poster! We might even send them a lovely certificate (subject to our graphic designer having the time!)
When will the shortlists and winners be announced?
We aim to publish the shortlists over the very quiet period between Christmas and early January. Then we’ll hold our awards night during our Wednesday evening Runn Radio show on 17 January 2024.
How can you get involved?
If you want to be part of our reviewing team, we’re always looking for new people. You can find out more about joining us here.
If you want to get involved in any other way, we’re also always looking for people to help write features, put together interviews, or even help with the website. Again check our the Join Our Team page for further info. It can be a lot of fun, and look very good on your CV!