Neil Cooper

A TEENAGE critic with ambitions for a career in theatre has won this year’s Wee Cherub award for her review of an ambitious sonic artwork at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival. Sixteen-year-old Holy Rood High School pupil Olivia Campanile submitted her review of Night Walk for Edinburgh as part of the annual Herald Young Critics scheme, run in partnership between the Herald and EIF. As part of the initiative, high school students are tasked to write reviews of EIF shows they’ve seen after taking part in a workshop led by one of this newspaper’s arts writing team. The best of these were selected for publication, with Campanile judged as outright winner.

“I’m really pleased,” said Campanile after being presented with her award. “I really enjoyed seeing the work. I see a lot of theatre, because I love theatre, but this was quite different to anything I’d seen before, so it’s really nice getting the recognition. Writing it was initially quite hard, but once I managed to get the beginning down on paper it got easier after that.”

Night Walk for Edinburgh was an audio-visual work by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller presented by EIF and the Fruitmarket Gallery, and which led participants on an after-dark walk through the streets of auld reekie wearing headphones.

In her review, Campanile described how the work "creates a city within the city", concluding that, "Anyone lucky enough to experience Night Walk will have their perception of Edinburgh changed forever, and their ideas of past and present turned upside down."

Campanile is currently studying for an advanced higher in drama before she pursues her ambitions beyond. “I want to go into theatre, acting and directing,” she says, “but before I do that I want to go to university to study psychology. I love acting and performing, I love seeing theatre live, and I love being in it live. You can affect so many people with theatre, and I want to be one of those people doing it.”