These are the winners of Amsterdam Fringe Festival

On Sunday evening September 13th Amsterdam Fringe Festival interrupted the live stream of the Nederlands Theater Festival with the announcement of the winners of the Amsterdam Fringe Awards. A jury of twenty, consisting of theater professionals, saw all performances at Amsterdam Fringe Festival. They selected three productions that may carry the title 'Best of Fringe 2020'. This year, for the first time, an online performance was also awarded the title of 'Best of Fringe - Digital'.

The winning performances are ‘Let me tell you something you already know’ by Merel Severs, ‘Leeuwenkind’ by Luan Buleshkaj and ‘Motherland’ by Jip Smit. From the beginning of 2021 these productions can be seen in five different theaters throughout the country during the Best of Fringe Tour: Theater Bellevue in Amsterdam, Het Nationale Theater in The Hague, Theater Kikker in Utrecht, Theater aan de Rijn in Arnhem and Theater Walhalla in Rotterdam.

“Merel Severs is a game changer. She tilts it mainstream, masculine, hetero-narrative. She does it in a crazy, performative way.”

“Luan Buleshkaj brings spoken word to top level, with a touch of cabaret. Linguistically it’s put together perfectly.”

“Jip Smit is a master storyteller. She effortlessly takes the audience into a beautiful story. Game of Thrones meets feminist manifesto.”

The performances ‘Burning Butterfly XL’ by Annica Muller and ‘Yoniverse’ by Cherella Gessel received an honourable mention from the jury. Because of the unique situation, some makers decided this year to adapt the form of their performance and present it online. On the initiative of the jury, ‘Seriously Interrupted Millennial’ by WUSS. wins the very first ‘Best of Fringe – Digital’ award.

But there is more to win. After closing the festival, makers can nominate themselves for the ‘Next Best Fringe Award’: a residency at ICK Dans Amsterdam or Het Huis Utrecht. There they will be given coaching and studio space to further develop the artistic experiment they started at Fringe. Festival director Aukje Verhoog: “As a platform for new and independent creators, we are very happy to support performing arts talent in finding their way in the cultural field through both jury awards and prizes for which you can nominate yourself.”

The International Bursary, a scholarship to play at a Fringe festival abroad, was not awarded this year. Because it is not certain that these Fringe festivals can take place in times of COVID-19, this prize could not be awarded this year.

With the announcement of the prizes Amsterdam Fringe Festival closes a special edition.

Photo: Annelies Verhelst