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Conchords ignite Fringe Hall of Fame; awards named

The New Zealand Fringe Festival capped off the one of the biggest festivals in its 19-year history by naming Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement as the inaugural members of the New Zealand Fringe Festival Hall of Fame.

The naming of the duo was the highlight of the annual Fringe Awards, which named the best, brightest and most bizarre of Fringe 09 across 15 categories at Wellington’s Paramount Theatre on March 1.

The winner of top award, Best of Fringe, was Two Day Plays, a month long competition that challenged 18 teams to create the best 10 minute play they can in a weekend.

Other significant winners included Improv: The Secondary School Musical for Best Comedy, Footnote Dance’s Perforum for Best Dance, Frogs Under the Waterfront for Best Outdoor, and Fleur Wickes’ This is Where I Live for Best Visual Arts. The Intricate Art of Actually Caring won Best Theatre, while Australian multi-instrumentalist Adam Page won two awards, for Best Music and Best ‘One Man Band’ / Solo Show.

“The Fringe Hall of Fame recognises individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the New Zealand Fringe Festival over the years and Bret and Jemaine are shining examples of such individuals who have used Fringe as a platform to create diverse, brave and gob-smacking work.” said Fringe Arts Trust director Mark Westerby.

Additionally, three productions were awarded the Pick of the Fringe, a successful initiative developed in the 2008 festival where Downstage Theatre and Fringe selected three gems amongst the delicious, different and downright deviant theatre shows for a return season at Downstage April 29 to May 7. Winners also receive development mentoring to help their shows conquer New Zealand’s and the world’s stages.

The winner of the Two Day Plays competition was Squash from the HalfWITs, which included members of the Wellington Improvisation Troupe (WIT).

Fringe 09 Award Winners

Winners in bold, followed by finalists

BEST COMEDY (supported by Becks)

Improv – the Secondary School Musical (The Improvisers)

Sincerely, Yours – An Improvised Love Story (Laughing Giant Productions)

The Skyrocketeers of Justice vs. The Zombie Apocalypse (Chess Club Underground)

BEST DANCE (supported by Red Bull)

Perforum (Footnote Dance)

Who’s Poppin? (BodyTalk & Tewata Productions)

BEST MUSIC (supported by Radio Active)

Adam Page Solo

The Trons

BEST OUTDOOR (supported by Henshaw Signs)

Frogs Under the Waterfront (Bard Productions)

The Navigators (Fuse Circus)

BEST THEATRE (supported by Afid Mobile)

The Intricate Art of Actually Caring (The Playground Collective)

A Mime to Kill (The Magniloquents)

A Most Outrageous Humbug (Three Spoon Theatre)

BEST VISUAL ART (supported by French Art Shop)

This is Where I Live

Weaving the Circle

WHERE DID YOU COME FROM? (Best Newcomers) (supported by Tranz Metro)

Binge Culture Collective – Drowning Bird, Plummeting Fish

Not Even Broductions – The Minister’s Son

Sopa Enari – Who’s Poppin?

MARKETING AWARD (supported by Creature Design)

A Most Outrageous Humbug (Three Spoon Theatre)

This is Where I Live – Fleur Wickes

Adam Page Solo

BEST ‘ONE MAN BAND’/ SOLO SHOW (supported by Trade Me)

Adam Page – Adam Page Solo

Fleur Wickes – This is Where I Live

Sophie Roberts – Wolf’s Lair

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