Trojan Horse wins Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award

The annual award celebrating work at the Fringe with human rights at its centre has revealed its shortlist of shows and the winner for 2018

Article by The Skinny | 23 Aug 2018
  • Trojan Horse

Amnesty International today (23 Aug) revealed the winner of its coveted Freedom of Expression Award, the charity’s annual award given to work at the Edinburgh Fringe concerned with issues of human rights.

This year’s judging panel – who included theatre critics Joyce McMillan, Lyn Gardner and The Skinny’s Theatre Editor Amy Taylor alongside London Metropolitan University’s Rishi Trikha and Amnesty Scotland Director Naomi McAuliffe – named Trojan Horse from LUNG, part of Summerhall’s Fringe line-up, as their winner.

Written by Helen Monks and Matt Woodhead, and produced in association with Leeds Playhouse, this verbatim play is adapted from numerous interviews and public documents examining the media storm surrounding allegations in 2014 that “hardline” Muslim teachers and governors had infiltrated and attempted to radicalise Birmingham schools.

The Skinny’s five-star review described Trojan Horse as “challenging and uncomfortable at times, yet [pulling] no punches in attacking the insidious Islamophobia that sits at the story’s core. Some of the characters are unpalatable, but LUNG do not shy away from that, presenting the facts to the audience in an unflinching style on a cleverly designed set that represents both classroom and courtroom.”

Trojan Horse was part of a shortlist that also included Freeman, in which Camilla Whitehill and Strictly Arts examine the unspoken link between mental health and systemic racism; Games, which centres on a Jewish athlete taking part in the 1936 Berlin games; Huff, about two brothers caught in a torrent of solvent abuse and struggling to cope with the death of their mother; Meek, Penelope Skinner’s new play with shades of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale; and Koko Brown’s WHITE, about growing up as a mixed-race girl in Britain.

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