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Norfolk-based theatre company wins award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

PUBLISHED: 16:43 16 August 2014 | UPDATED: 16:43 16 August 2014

Curious Directive's show Pioneer.

Curious Directive's show Pioneer.


A Norfolk-based theatre company’s show about the first mission to Mars has scooped a prize at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Curious Directive's show Pioneer.Curious Directive's show Pioneer.

Curious Directive - which premiered the show Pioneer at Norwich Playhouse during this year’s Norfolk and Norwich Festival - has been awarded a Fringe First for the production which is currently being performed at Edinburgh’s Zoo Southside.

The Fringe First Awards were launched by The Scotsman newspaper 41 years ago to heighten the quality of new theatre available at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

When presenting the award, The Scotsman’s chief theatre critic Joyce McMillan said: “Curious Directive have developed a trademark style that is both intricate and epic, conjuring up entirely new worlds and making them feel as believable as our own. It’s something that’s ideally suited to a sci-fi play, one that draws on films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Alien.”

Pioneer is a multi-media sci-fi thriller about an attempt to colonise Mars, with a complex, jigsaw-like plot formed of many stories.

After being previewed at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, the show was also part of the Holt Festival and saw director Jack Lowe return to his old school, Gresham’s, to present the show at The Auden Theatre.

The show has been supported by Escalator East To Edinburgh, Norfolk and Norwich Festival and Watford Palace Theatre.

About winning the award, Mr Lowe said: “It has been so exciting to start our work in a barn in Spixworth then take it to Norfolk and Norwich Festival and Holt Festival and on to The Fringe - with the brilliant support of Escalator East To Edinburgh - where the world comes to find new theatre.”

Curious Directive also won a Fringe First in 2011 for the play Your Last Breath.

• Have you just won a special award for an art project in Norwich? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at

1 comment

  • While congratulations are in order it is sad that local companies only 'preview' shows locally so that they are eligible for The Scotsman's Fringe First - whose rules state that the show much be premièred in Edinburgh and can't have had a run locally.

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    Monday, August 18, 2014

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