physician serif; color: #222222;”>Conor Fox takes a look at some of the winners of this year’s Absolut Fringe Awards

Finishing after a sixteen day run, the 28th Dublin ABSOLUT Fringe Festival can only be described as a success for the organisers. It was estimated that over 150,000 people would have at least one Fringe experience and with about 500 events happening over the last two weeks, it’s quite possible that those numbers were hit.

The aim of the festival is to create a platform for the best new and emerging Irish arts companies and showcase the best contemporary theatre and dance shows which are touring internationally. It hopes to give artists an opportunity to innovate, to cross disciplines and boundaries, and to find new ways and places to create work.

With that in mind, the ABSOLUT Fringe Awards were held on the 23rd of September to recognise, reward and celebrate the hard work and talent on display in the festival each year. The organisers of the festival describe the awards as “a small but heartfelt tribute to some of the hundreds of festival makers and doers who seem to be able to draw on a reservoir of bottomless energy and passion to create some of the most exciting and original work”.

Dogs by Emma Martin took the award for Best Production and Best Design; the play explored what happens when unrelenting pressure pushes towards extreme success. Dogs was a celebration of the spirit as it wades through the spectrum of human emotion, throwing aside the patterns of social convention and allowing animal instinct to kick in.

Described as “exactly what the Fringe is meant to be: a mad idea, well-executed.”

FARM from Willfredd Theatre took home the award for best off-site production. Teaming up with farmers of all ages, bee keepers, allotment owners and even us city dwellers, WillFredd Theatre aimed to interrupt the city centre with FARM, a “space where the Rural and the Urban unite and bloom”.

Considered to be one of the most highly prestigious awards to receive, the Spirit of the Fringe Commissioning Award was presented to PaperDolls’s production of Constellations. “We attempt honesty, we attempt trust, we attempt vulnerability, we attempt forgiveness. We attempt survival.” PaperDolls’s attempts to create a show for next year’s Fringe was made immeasurably easier by receiving this award. They are commissioned to present work in the Project Arts Centre for next year, along with a particularly generous cash prize.

The ten awards presented help to solidify the Fringe Festival and wrap up the tremendous work which was put into it. The Siren is already excited for next year’s Festival!