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14th Mar 2019

  • Second year of competition to award a full Edinburgh Festival Fringe run with unprecedented support to early-mid career theatre companies
  • Winners were chosen from 198 applicants

New Diorama Theatre and Underbelly are today delighted to announce the winners of the Untapped Award for 2019. 

Barrel Organ will present Conspiracy -an insight into the inner world of conspiracy theorists and the role their polemic and sometimes alienating beliefs play in their personal lives. 

A timely topic in the era of The Mueller Investigation and Cambridge Analytica scandal, where conspiracies are mainstream, fake news is rife and the truth is an ever less tangible construct, Conspiracy brings one of the world’s most fascinating subcultures roaring to life using Barrel Organ’s distinctively atmospheric, highly stylised staging and razor-sharp dialogue. 

Burnt Lemon gained critical acclaim for their 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe debut The Half Moon Shania and return to Edinburgh this year with Tokyo Rose– the true story of Iva Toguri D'Aquino; a Japanese-American comedian who was baselessly accused of being an infamous war propagandist. 

The company’s electric combination of fast-paced, dialogue driven storytelling, and raucous, gig theatre-inflected performance gives this historical drama a modern edge which creates undeniable parallels between societies in which competing narratives in a propaganda war lead outspoken women to be vilified creating what promises to be a thrilling play which packs a political punch. 

Poltergeist were shortlisted for the Untapped Award in 2018 and following a hugely successful Edinburgh with their tale of UFO believers, Lights Over Tesco Carpark,they return with Art Heist– a satirical depiction of an art heist which plays cleverly and entertainingly with form. Blending monologue, movement and music, and even incorporating their own take on performance art, Art Heistis a sharply funny depiction of the world of abstract artists, hapless criminals and unsuspecting gallery visitors. 

The three shows were chosen from a shortlist of thirteen companies who themselves were chosen from 198 entries by a panel of judges from around the country. 

Each company will be allocated a space at Underbelly, guarantee-free, receive an enhanced split of ticket proceeds and receive a grant of £3,000 towards the cost of producing their show. They will also receive in-kind mentorship, full marketing and PR support, accessible performances, and a London showcase at New Diorama Theatre after the Fringe, supported by Arts Council England.

Last year’s inaugural Untapped partnership between Underbelly and New Diorama spawned three sold-out shows, Breach’s It’s True It’s True It’s True, Nouveau Riche’s Queens of Shebaand ThisEgg’s dressed., which between them garnered two Scotsman Fringe First Awards, two The Stage Edinburgh Awards and a further Total Theatre Award nomination. 

For Untapped Award media enquiries please contact Gregor Cubie at Borkowski:| 0203 176 2700



Art Heist

Underbelly Cowgate, Big Belly, 1st – 25th Aug, (1.55pm), (no show Wednesday 14th), runtime 60 mins

Preview: 1st – 2nd August, £7

Weekend: 3rd – 6th, 9 – 11th, 16th – 18th, 23rd -25th, £12.00 (£11.00)

Weekday: 7th - 8th, 12th– 13th, 15th, 19th – 22nd, £11.00 (£10.00)

Three thieves break into the same gallery on the same night. They're all intent on stealing the same Extremely Valuable Painting. They’re bound to meet and it’s bound to get messy. An existential comedy caper which asks the Big Questions. What is art? Why is it Extremely Valuable? And, how much can I get for this on eBay? From the team behind multi award winning Lights Over Tesco Car Park. **** (The Scotsman and The Stage). New Diorama Theatre and Underbelly Untapped Award 2019. 



Underbelly Cowgate, Big Belly, 1st – 25th Aug, (4.45pm), (no show Monday 12th), runtime 75 mins

Preview: 1st – 2nd August, £7

Weekend: 3rd – 6th, 9 – 11th, 16th – 18th, 23rd -25th, £12.00 (£11.00)

Weekday: 7th - 8th, 13th – 15th, 19th – 22nd, £11.00 (£10.00)

Princess Diana never landed on the moon. Elvis lives in Area 51. JFK did 9/11. 60% of Brits believe in at least one conspiracy theory. And not all of them are wearing tinfoil hats. Multi award-winning Barrel Organ returns with a larger-than-life, cartoonish show about conspiracy theories, fake news and an epidemic of mistrust. Conspiracy tells the stories of people brought crashing together – to find the truth, to exploit hysteria and to fight the rising tide. Barrel Organ's work includes: Anyone's Guess How We Got Here, Some People Talk About Violence and Nothing. New Diorama Theatre and Underbelly Untapped Award 2019.


Tokyo Rose

Underbelly Cowgate, Iron Belly, 1st – 25th Aug, (6.55pm), (no show Monday 12th), runtime 60 mins

Preview: 1st – 2nd August, £7

Weekend: 3rd – 6th, 9 – 11th, 16th – 18th, 23rd -25th, £12.00 (£11.00)

Weekday: 7th - 8th, 13th – 15th, 19th – 22nd, £11.00 (£10.00)

Turn back the dial to 1949. Iva d'Aquino stands accused of treason in one of the most controversial trials in American history. Faced with accusations of peddling Axis propaganda, Iva becomes known as the notorious Tokyo Rose – but was she the villain she was made out to be? Five female wartime disc jockeys spit piercing verse in a rap-packed musical broadcast going live in 5, 4, 3... From the team behind The Half Moon Shania: 'Best Musical Award 2018' ***** ( **** (Stage). **** ( New Diorama Theatre and Underbelly Untapped Award 2019.

Posted by Annie Wheeler