THE NORTH WALL Returns From The Fringe With Two Awards
The North Wall returns from Edinburgh Festival Fringe with two awards and a plethora of stars
As the Edinburgh Festival Fringe drew to a close on Monday, The North Wall returned triumphant with a Fringe First and Stage Award for Marika Mckennell and Ria Parry's E8, and rave reviews for Lewis Doherty's BOAR including five stars from Three Weeks and The Wee Review, and fours from The List, Fest and The Scotsman.
E8, a searing examination of life in an alternative provision school, won the Scotsman's Fringe First in the final week, one of only 19 shows across the festival to do so. Writer and spoken word poet Marika Mckennell drew from her personal experience working in PRUs (pupil referral units) in Hackney to give "a rich and unflinching sense of these kids' realities" (Independent ««««). The production was directed by The North Wall's Co-Director Ria Parry, marking her third Fringe First following Mad About the Boy by Gbolahan Obisesan (2011) and Crush by Paul Charlton (2009).
Alice Vilanculo won a Stage Award for her performance as Bailey, a vulnerable schoolgirl who falls through the cracks of society; she was praised by The Stage's reviews editor for a "layered portrayal of a volatile teenage girl." E8 was produced by The North Wall in association with the Pleasance.
Meanwhile, Lewis Doherty's comedic, one-man fantasy adventure BOAR won wide critical praise with an array of four and five star reviews. Armed with just a chair, Lewis transported audiences to a distant land overrun with barbarians, thieves, and creatures of an evil disposition, playing multitudes of characters with "tour-de-force voice work" (Fest), leading Three Weeks to say "there seems to be nothing Doherty can't do." Voice Magazine named the show as one of their top picks of the Fringe 2019, and Theatre Weekly declared it Best Solo Performance in their Best of the Fest. BOAR was produced by Lewis Doherty, Nottingham Playhouse and The North Wall, and will be performed at The North Wall on 2nd November.
Co-Director of The North Wall Ria Parry said, "As the first ever North Wall production at the Edinburgh Festival we're thrilled that E8 by Marika Mckennell has been such a success, and are delighted to have returned to Oxford with a Fringe First Award. Lewis Doherty's show BOAR has also been a huge hit and we're excited that it will be performing it at The North Wall on November 2nd. Marika and Lewis are both graduates of The North Wall's ArtsLab artist development programme and we're very proud to have supported them."'
The North Wall is an arts centre in Oxford led by Co-Directors Ria Parry and John Hoggarth. The venue's ArtsLab programme provides residential opportunities for early-career artists to learn new skills and develop new work.