Youth and Performance awards 2013

Held in the Rainton Meadow Arena, Houghton-le-spring September 14th 2013

The awards were introduced by Regional Councillor Gordon Richardson and presented by National President Mr Derek Grattidge

Performance Awards

Nominated by Mrs Kathryn Curry - Regional Rep District 9

  • Coquetdale ADS - For their production of “The Sound of Music”.  An all round, real community involvement production, working in a hall with so many limitations.  A great challenge, culminating in a great evening’s entertainment.
  • Dave Penny - For his dual role of “Mr William Cartwright” and “The Chairman” in Alnwick Stage Musical Society’s production of “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”.  A very polished performance switching with amazing ease convincingly from one character to another and being so committed in attending rehearsals.
  • Diane Renner - For her role as “Queen Avarice” in Spittal Variety Group’s production of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  A superb portrayal of the wicked and evil queen with a spine chilling rendition of “Killer Queen”.

For stealing the show with her feisty and accomplished performance which was chilling to say the least.  An extremely worth recipient of this award is Diane Renner.


Nominated by Mr Alistair Bolton - Regional Rep District 8

  • Carol Daly - Carol gave a stunning performance in a quirky role within Nunthorpe Players production of “A Matter of life and Death”.  Throughout she maintained this strong but understanding character with a lovely French accent.
  • Samantha Holden – For her role as “Maria” in Teesside Musical Theatre Company’s production of “The Sound of Music”.  She sang and acted excellently in the role.  She matured through the show from the naïve headstrong novice to the controlled Baroness Von Trapp.
  • Elly Poad – For her role of “Miss Hannigan”, in Stockton Stage Society’s production of “Annie”. The role is the one you love to hate.  Elly gave a stunning performance maintaining good characterisation throughout in both singing and acting.

For not an easy role but portrayed with great style and consistency throughout, a worthy winner of this award is Elly Poad.


Nominated by Mr Peter Parlour - Regional Rep District 6

  • Hannah Miles – For her role of “Dorothy” in Northallerton Musical Theatre Company’s production of “The Wizard of Oz”.  Her powerful singing voice and very good stage presence will see her performing many more leading roles.
  • Nigel Thomson- For his role as “Wishy Washy” in Northallerton Variety’s pantomime “Aladdin”. His performance matched any professional you are likely to see as an Amateur.
  • Gary Winn- For his role of “John” in Richmond Amateur Dramatics Society’s production of “Calendar Girls”.  With his shaven head and overall performance.  Unfortunately he is unable to attend tonight.

A very difficult decision to make with excellent performances, for the professional performance the recipient of the award is Nigel Thompson.


Nominated by Mr Michael Avery - Regional Rep District 5

  • Vicki Hurst - For her role as “The Wicked Queen in Dragon Tale Theatre Group’s production of “Sinbad the Sailor”.  An enjoyable malevolent “baddie” with a wicked twinkle in her eye.
  • Bethanie Johnson - For her role as “Ariel” in Whitley Bay Operatic Society’s production of “Footloose”.  An excellent all-round performance from a young lady who shows great promise.

A young lady I’ve now had the pleasure of watching in 3 shows, who always exhibits a lot of talent and remains noticeable in the middle of a crowd.  The recipient of the award is Bethanie Johnson.


Nominated by Mr Gordon Richardson/Mr Peter Oliver - Regional Rep District 4

  • Rachael Amundsen - For her performances in Sunderland AOS’s concerts, she was confident, raunchy and accomplished performer that shone in each performance consistently.
  • Astravaganza Entertainment - For their production of “A Slice of Saturday Night” their inaugural production of the group with many laugh-out loud moments with loads of energy and great individual performances.
  • Spennymoor Stage and Song - For their production of “Chess” which was their centenary production, with very difficult music which stretched them, ultimately giving a slick performance.

For the many individual performances of note but overall this production was a team performance that had the audiences on their feet at the end. A worthy recipient of the award is Spennymoor Stage and Song Society.


Nominated by Mrs Michelle Coulson - Regional Rep District 3

  • Chester-le-Street Theatre Group - For their production of “Calendar Girls”.  This production had strong all round performances from the entire cast.
  • Eileen Glenton - For her performance as “Mrs Lovett” in Durham Musical Theatre’s production of “Sweeney Todd”.  Eileen gave her audience a master class in performance.
  • Graeme Smith - For his performance in Seaham AODS production of “Jekyll and Hyde”,  Graeme’s distinction between his two characters was in the main done by voice change and posture and yet the transformation was believable.

This was a very difficult choice – all nominees are worthy and deserving of recognition but I have never felt so moved and inspired as I was by this performance.  The award goes to Eileen Glenton.


Nominated by Mrs Gwyneth Hunter - Regional Rep District 2

  • Cleadon Village Drama Club - For their production of “Murder by Misadventure”.  The cast of four all created strong, intriguing characters who gave this quirky thriller a real edge right up to the final curtain.
  • Felling Stage Society - For their production of “Sweeney Todd”.  A tale brilliantly told and sung, with dramatic performance and great atmosphere.
  • Kevin Riley - For his role as “Man in the Chair” for Caprian Theatre Company’s production of “The Drowsy Chaperone”.  An outstanding performance, with marvellous audience rapport and brilliant comedy timing.

The recipient of the award is Kevin Riley of Caprian Theatre Company who amongst some amazing principals was himself awesome.


Nominated by Mr Jim Graham - Regional Rep District 1

  • Blyth Music and Theatre Company - This Society deserves praise when, within 3 weeks of opening night they lost “Francis Fryer” one of their principals of their production “Calamity Jane”.  The replacement was Andrew Fearon who in the short time was word perfect.  In addition the Society found itself without a sound technician.  An appeal was made (via NODA) -  a recruit was found to enable the show to go on.
  • Tynemouth Priory Theatre – The production of “Moonlight and Magnolias” was a very fast-moving production for 2 hours.  The audience lapped up all the dialogue, were in stitches of laughter and went home thoroughly entertained, mainly due to the main character played by Brendan Egan, who was on stage virtually the whole time.
  • Whickham Theatre Club - For “Sleeping Beauty” and presenting a fairly traditional pantomime whilst writing it and presenting it in a very topical and local manner to the obvious delight of the audience.  The “Twelve Days of Christmas” by four cast members supplemented with props gave an imaginative finale to this pantomime.

The recipient of the award is Tynemouth Priory Theatre


Youth Awards

Nominated by Mr Jim Graham - Regional Rep District 1

  • Beaconsfield Operatic Society - The Society used at least six young people to take part in this production of "Calamity Jane". They were used along with the adult cast very effectively and added charm – if not cheeky impish grins to the production.

  • Blyth Music & Theatre - In this production of "Annie Get Your Gun" the Society involved 18 of its younger members in two teams to add colour and strength to the singing in the show and to generally involve the young people in the production.

  • Walkerville Musical Society - This pantomime “Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood” was scripted to include two young people to play Janet and John. This they did with aplomb and ease.  They were well received by the audience.

The recipient of the award is Blyth Music and Theatre Company.


Nominated by Mrs Gwyneth Hunter - Regional Rep District 2

  • Andrew Dawson - For his role as “Graham”, in the Junior Westovian production of “The Tale of the Tail”.  He gave a mature and sensitive performance as the kind and caring poor boy, showing acting skills beyond his years.
  • Caitlin Bannister - For her role as “Iago” in Rainbow Youth’s production of Aladdin Junior.  A brilliant performance from one so young.  Great stage presence.
  • Gateshead A & D S Juniors - For their production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”. A sparkling show with great chorus harmonies.  Principals and chorus alike produced an enthusiastic and entreating show.

The recipient of the award is Caitlin Bannister of Rainbow Youth whose performance shone out and added an extra sparkle to the production.


Nominated by Mrs Michelle Coulson - Regional Rep District 3

  • Emily Jane Bell - For her performance as “Annie” in Murton & East Durham Musical Theatre Group’s Production of “Annie”. Emily Jane portrayed her character with the right balance of confidence and vulnerability and had the audiences’ support from her first scene.
  • Michaela Crawley - For her performance as the “Mother Abbess” in Chester-le-Street Theatre Group production of “The Sound of Music”.  Michaela as the Mother Abbess had a compassion and maturity in her performance which was beyond her young age.
  • Holly McElhone - For her performance as “Swallow” in Spotlight Community Theatre production of “Whistle down the Wind”.  Holly’s singing and acting was excellent, she commanded the stage and gave a believable portrayal of the lonely teenager.

Each of these young people gave wonderful performances and I would like them all to receive the award but I had to choose and the award goes to Holly McElhone of Spotlight for the most emotional youth performance I have witnessed over the season.


Nominated by Mr Gordon Richardson/Mr Peter Oliver - Regional Rep District 4

  • Emilly Rollo - For her role as “The Fairy Godmother” in Maldo Productions “Cinderella”.  Her stage presence shone as brightly as the star on the end of her fairy wand.
  • Seaham Youth Theatre Group - For their production of “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”. Superb individual talents but ultimately a brilliant team performance.
  • Nick Thompson - For his role as “Joe” in Park Productions “The Inn Crowd”.A very moving performance – superb voice and raw talent.

Having overcome many obstacles on route in losing their MD, having their performance venue flooded the week before the show causing it to be postponed for six weeks and still coming up with a team performance that belied their youthful years. The recipient of the award is Seaham Youth Theatre Group.


Nominated by Mr Michael Avery - Regional Rep District 5

  • Ruby Corder - For her role as “Annie” in Hexham Amateur Stage Society’s production of “Annie”.  A confident and impressive young lady who made an effective and delightful Annie.
  • Shaunagh Kelly - For her role as “Princess Nina” in Whitley Bay Pantomime Society’s production of “Humpty Dumpty”. Her very pretty and impressive voice managed to overcome the pantomime antics surrounding her.

A performance that managed to make an impact even when surrounded by quite a large company.The recipient of the award is Ruby Corder.


Nominated by Mr Peter Parlour - Regional Rep District 6

  • Ben Connor - For his role as “Willard Hewitt” in “Footloose” for Darlington Operatic Society.  His overall performance was outstanding throughout the show in this his first major role.
  • Freya Mawhinney - For her role of “Miranda” in “Return to the Forbidden Plant” for Richmond Operatic Society.  Freya never stops acting a great asset to the society.

Two excellent performers and it was difficult to decide who the award should go to, but for continued overall performance, the award goes to Freya Mawhinney.


Nominated by Mr Alistair Bolton - Regional Rep District 8

  • Jessica Harrison - For singing “I Dreamed a Dream” in the Edith Harrison PA concert.  She made every note of this song her own portrayed with sincerity and clarity.  An absolutely stunning performance.
  • Ruby Hoggarth - For her role as “Kim” in Crash Bang Wallop Theatre’s production of “Miss Saigon Schools Edition”.  Ruby gave a heartfelt performance from the beginning to the end, singing and moving with style.
  • Amelia Wilde - For her role as “Orphan Annie” in Stockton Stage Society’s production of “Annie”.  An excellent portrayal of the courageous strong willed redhead sustaining good singing and acting throughout.

For making every note her own, a shining beacon of what can be achieved and an outstanding performance, the recipient of the awards is Jessica Harrison.


Nominated by Mrs Kathryn Curry - Regional Rep District 9

  • Molly Adamson - For her role as “Louisa” in “The Sound of Music” for Coquetdale Amateur Dramatic Society.  She was sparkling, lively and captured the role perfectly with thorough enjoyment.
  • Hannah Bass - For her role as “Prince Ferdinand in Spittal Variety Group’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”.  This was her first principal role, she oozed confidence, had a super voice and just looked perfect for the part.
  • Georgina Faed - For her role as “Annie” in Berwick Operatic Society’s production on “Annie”.  She was superb , convincing and acted and sang the part with maturity and sensitivity.

In her first role she was confident, showing a thoughtful performance and was in character throughout.  A very talented young lady and a worthy recipient of this award – Georgina Faed.