Drama groups honoured with award haul

A scene from Clifton Academy's production of Urinetown at Lowther Pavilion'NODAS
A scene from Clifton Academy's production of Urinetown at Lowther Pavilion'NODAS
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Fylde Coast amateur theatre was celebrated with a plethora of accolades at the prestigious National Operatic and Dramatic Association awards.

The glittering ceremony for the Fylde, Preston and Isle of Man ‘am dram’ groups took place at the Hilton Hotel in Blackpool, where societies and individuals were rewarded for their efforts on stage through pantos and musicals, plays and youth groups.

Poulton Drama Group picked up the coveted Best Overall Production of the Year for Macbeth, while best actor awards went to the show’s stars Sarah Jane Stone and Anthony Henry

Lytham’s Anonymous Players won best staging for Dangerous Corner and Blackpool and Fylde Light Opera Company scooped two awards – best ensemble for their performance of 9 to 5 and Amy Lewise Spurgeon won most promising newcomer for her portrayal of Roz.

Clifton Academy and Lytham Academy of Theatre Arts grabbed three trophies each in the youth section for Urinetown and The Railway Children, respectively.

It was also a proud night for NW1 Theatre School. Rowan Keane, who played the character of Buddy in Elf the Musical, won best male actor in the youth section.

Sarah Jane Stone, who was also nominated for an award for her role in Glorious with Anonymous Players, said: “I was delighted to be nominated for both these wonderful roles, which I believe is quite an unusual occurrence and honoured to have actually won the award for Lady Macbeth.”

Group secretary Linda Hunter added: “We were absolutely overwhelmed to win the overall award which every group aspires to, as ‘Macbeth’ was such a team effort, from the creative members, to the experienced and talented cast, and of course the very valued experience we had with the Royal Shakespeare Company last year which no doubt added to what we hope was a quality production in every way.

“It is a great boost to the company and its members to have this recognition and we are overjoyed.”

Lytham Anonymous Players received nominations for all three of their 2017 plays, California Suite, Dangerous Corner and Glorious.

Chairman Lesley Jarvis said: “It was an honour to receive so many nominations and this is a real testament to the dedication and hard work of a number of talented members, both on stage and behind the scenes.

“Congratulations to director Heather Cartmell and the team who created the award-winning staging for our summer play and we’re keeping our fingers crossed for further recognition at the next stage of the NODAS.

“Our members receive no reward other than the enjoyment of working as a team to entertain audiences.”

Special awards went to John Chesters of Blackpool Operatic Players who picked up the Services to the Amateur Stage Award, and various people from across local societies who work tirelessly in fund raising to revamp Lowther Pavilion, earned the Lynne Millar Award.

Eddie Regan, the District two regional representative at NODA, said: “We would like to thank everyone for attending the event and supporting NODA. We wish everyone well for their productions this year.”