Youth Awards 2023

Ken Allan Dist 1
We start off with my nominations for the Youth Individual Awards –

There are three nominations in this category:

Abi Purves – for the role of ‘Cat in the Hat’ in Seussical for Whitley Bay OS
This was a difficult part to play, being narrator as well as taking part. She was always in charge and was a tremendous contributor in a fabulous show.

Ava Nolan – for her role of ‘Cat in the Hat’ in Seussical for Blyth MTC
This young person is a triple threat; a fantastic actor, singer and dancer. She commands the stage with her presence and has that gift of being an audience ‘magnet’.

Erin Anderson - for the role of ‘Gertrude McFuzz’ in Seussical for Whitley Bay OS
This Young lady showed confidence and composure on stage. Her characterisation was full of comedy and colour and was beautifully sang.

And the Winner is…..

This performance would have won many accolades and awards, from not only the NODA contingent who were there on the night, but also the absolutely wowed packed audiences who were lucky enough to have seen it, fully deserving of her standing ovation from almost all. Congratulations to Ava Nolan, who is surely destined for bigger things.


The next Category is my Best Youth Production Winner

This was a wonderful romp through a well-known musical show by a superbly vibrant group of youths, expertly directed and produced. Their exuberance and dedication to their work was a complement to each and every one on stage and behind the scenes.

A wonderfully enjoyable, colourful production; well-lit and with some fantastic individual and team performances. They gave everything on stage and took nothing back to their dressing rooms. Many congratulations Whitley Bay OS Next Gen for their portrayal of Seussical the Musical


My final category is the winner of my Rising Star award

This young person has a soul-sister voice to die for. She played the part of the Sour Kangaroo to perfection. She could be the next Tina Turner.

Emma Bromilow with Whitley Bay OS in Seussical has a gift from God which not many have. I hope she keeps on sharing it with us for many years to come. Definitely one to watch for the future.


Gordon Richardson Dist 2
Taking on the role half way through the year these awards are a combination of mine and my predecessor, Forster Johnson, awards.

We start off with the nominations for the Youth Individual Awards –

There are three nominations in this category:”

Ellen Ledgerwood – for her role as ‘Fiona’ in Shrek by Gateshead MTC
She sparkled throughout and her stage presence, interpretative characterisation vocal range and dancing made her the complete package.

Eva Craig – for her role as ‘Eva’ in KinderTransport by Westovians
A textbook performance by a ten-year-old, rarely off stage that gave an emotional performance that belied her age and remained sympathetic to the culture she was portraying.

Freddie Scott – for his role as ‘Shrek’ in Shrek the Musical by Gateshead MTC
He showcased the bombast of the character but also the pathos and vulnerability that was at the heart of him whilst underpinning the whole show.


And the Winner is…..


Commanding the stage from a place of vulnerability with a massive amount of libretto, outstanding acting, and going into whole swathes of German dialogue.
The winner is Eva Craig for KinderTransport


The next Category is my Best Youth Production Winner

A tour de force from start to finish, bright, energetic, brilliant principals and ensemble, and ending on that rousing chorus…
The winner is Shrek the Musical by Gateshead MTC


My final category of the afternoon is for Rising Star

This youngster never once broke out of character throughout yet gave a superb acting performance backed up with fine vocals.
The winner is Darcy Ranasinghe as Wednesday in Addams Family by Gateshead MTC


Michelle Coulson Dist 3
We start off with the nominations for the Youth Individual Awards –

There are three nominations in this category:


Anya Siou – for her role as ‘Joey’ in Jack and the Beanstalk by CLSTG
A confident performance encompassing interaction with the audience whilst maintaining energy and pace throughout the performance, leading the production with ease

Emily Kerr – for her role as ‘Wednesday’ in Addams Family by IYFTS
This performer had maturity beyond her years, oozing confidence and with solid vocal performances completely embodying her character.

Orie Coulton-Goodwin – for his role as Pugsley’ in Addams Family with IYFTS
This performers confidence grows with every performance, managing the comedy, accent and darkness of the Addams family youngest member, they shone in every production I’ve seen them in.


And the Winner is…

I have watched this young person over the last eight years develop into an accomplished performer, the award goes to Emily Kerr.


The next Category is my Best Youth Production Winner

A super show delivered by an enthusiastic and talented young cast which was worthy of their sell out audiences. Slick choreography, confidently sung music and great character portrayal.
Congratulations to CAOS Musical Theatre Company for their production of Matilda jr


My final category of the afternoon is for Rising Star

This young performer shone, they had good clear diction, beautifully delivered solos and they performed with great confidence, definitely a bright future ahead – the award goes to Rana Ozbec as Matilda in CAOS MTC’s production of Matilda jr


Helen Abraham Dist 4
We start off with the nominations for the Youth Individual Awards –

There are three nominations in this category:

Charlie Jackson – in the concert ‘Back in the Habit’ by Spennymoor YTG
A beautiful performance as a duo in a wonderful concert.

Faith McDermott – for her role as ‘Wednesday’ in Addams Family with Spennymoor Stage & Song
A stand out performance from the second they stepped on stage.

Nathan Johnson – for his role as ‘Shrek’ in Shrek the Musical with IYFTS
One of the most humble and talented young people I know, shining like the star that they are.


And the Winner is…


What a performance this was, commanding the stage from the second they stepped out and utterly smashing what is a very vocally challenging role.
The award goes to Faith McDermott as Wednesday in Spennymoor YTG’s performance of Addams Family


The next Category is my Best Youth Production Winner

A superb show from start to finish, with teamwork bringing it to the stage, bright colours and superb performances.
The award goes to In Your Face Theatre Seaham for their production of Shrek the Musical


My final category of the afternoon is for Rising Star

A versatile performer who excels in everything they do. An incredible character actor who entertained with a vigour and professionalism far past their years.
The award goes to Aimee Curtis in the role of Donkey for IYFTS’s Shrek the Musical


Michael Avery Dist 5
We start off with the nominations for the Youth Individual Awards –

There are three nominations in this category:


Bryony Wilkinson – in the role of ‘Dorothy’ in Wizard of Oz with Ponteland RS
In a show bursting with talented young people, Bryony was a very impressive Dorothy Gale and her version of Over the Rainbow was really quite moving.

Jack Stuart – in his role of ‘Scarecrow’ in Wizard of Oz by Ponteland RS
As Joe, the farmhand who became the Scarecrow, Jack gave us some impressive vocals and some good stage movement/dance.  He was amusing throughout and particularly touching in his vocal plea If I Only Had a Brain.

Matthew Hunter – in his role as ‘Cowardly Lion’ in Wizard of Oz by Ponteland RS
As Zeke, the farmhand who became the Cowardly Lion, Matthew exhibited pleasing vocal ability and stagecraft.  If I Only Had the Nerve was amusingly performed, as were his displays of cowardice!


And the Winner is…

This youngster acted and sang their way to the front of a talented, mainly young, cast.
The award goes to Bryony Wilkinson as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz with Ponteland RS


The next Category is my Best Youth Production Winner

The cast came primarily from “The Preppies Youth Theatre”, the youth group of Ponteland Repertory Society, with a few adults to play older characters.  The whole ensemble, including some very talented young people,  worked seamlessly together and seemed to enjoy themselves, as did the audience who joined in whenever possible.
The award goes to Wizard of Oz by Ponteland RS


My final category of the afternoon is for Rising Star

This person stood out as a nascent all-rounder, very impressive when acting, singing or dancing.  I imagine that, if they wanted to, they could go far as an actor, a singer, a dancer or all three.
The award goes to Jack Stuart for his role of Scarecrow in Wizard of Oz by Ponteland RS


Richard Hamilton-Leighton Dist 6
Having taken over as Regional Rep in June of this year, I read out my predecessor’s nominations and winner. We start off with the nominations for the Youth Individual Awards –

There are three nominations in this category:


Charlotte Finn – for their role as ‘Princess Elizabeth’ in Swive by Richmond ADS
Charlotte managed with ease to show so many sides of this complex historical figure, from a naïve and vulnerable teenager to a young lady clearly aware of how to manipulate those around her with skill and ease.

Isla Henderson – for their role as ‘Jenny’ in Calendar Girls by Richmond Operatic Society
Isla Henderson was brilliant as Jenny, rebelling against her strict and pompous mother she showed a true sass to her character with an abundance of eye roles and strutted about the stage like a true moody teenager.

Madison Parkinson – in their role as ‘Elsa’ in Frozen jr for Darlington APA
Nailing the very tricky role of Elsa she held the audience and the big hit “Let It Go” was sublime, a song that many adults struggle over.


And the Winner is ….


This young actress stole the show with her cocky swagger and cracking vocals. Capturing the character's ability to change and later show off her softer side, for a stunning performance The winner is  Isla Henderson for her role in Calendar Girls for Richmond OS


The next Category is my Best Youth Production Winner

For my 1st visit to this Society it was clear how much hard work had gone into putting such a great group of youngsters together. From slick routines, clever costume changes and some lovely vocals this show gave us it all. For a sparkling production the award goes to DAPA for their production of Frozen Jr

My final category of the afternoon is for Rising Star

Having known this young actress for a number of years I was blown away by her ability to command the stage in this role. Showing off a control both in her acting and vocals in a showing well above her years, the world is there for the taking
The winner of the Rising Star is Freya Shepherd-Pegman for ‘Summer’ in School of Rock by Teesdale OS


Daniel Matuszak Dist 8
We start off with the nominations for the Youth Individual Awards –

There are three nominations in this category:


Emily Wallace – for their role as ‘Margaret’ in Everyone’s Talking About Jamie by Middlesbrough Youth Theatre
This young lady was sensational in her portrayal as Jamie’s Mum,

Margaret. Her characterisation was on point throughout and her voice melted the audiences hearts in her rendition of ‘He’s My Boy’.

Jake Legg – for their role as ‘Squire Reuban’ in Snow White & the 7 Dwarfs by Nunthorpe Players
This young man had everything a comic character should have. The props, the stance and the humour. He had the audience in the palm of his hands and got the best applause of the night.

Lucy Strong – for their role as ‘Nina’ in In the Heights by Crash Bang Wallop
This young lady, from start to finish had 100% energy. Her skills in all aspects of the show shone through. Her powerful voice was breathtaking and her characterisation of a very conflicted teenager was absolutely on point.


And the Winner is….


For her truly heartstring pulling performance of Margaret in ‘Everyone’s Talking About Jamie’
The winner is Emily Wallace


The next Category is my Best Youth Production Winner

The winning show is a powerful and demanding show for anyone to do let alone children but boy did they pull it out of the bag!

With stunning renditions of well-known songs, creative use of the set and great attention to detail in all aspects. This for me, really stood out.
Congratulations to Crash Bang Wallop for their production of West Side Story.


My final category of the afternoon is for Rising Star

Characterisations away from ones you are used to doing are really hard. However, this person had clearly put a lot of time and effort into researching their character. Never one to out do a fellow cast member, this person commanded the stage when it was needed. With the right coaching and help from their tutors, this person could really be one to watch. For their portrayal as Pritti in Everyone’s Talking About Jamie, the winner is Emily Felgate.


Michelle Coulson - Regional Youth Coordinator
As Regional Youth Coordinator I have two awards to bestow

The first is my RYC’s award for best youth individual

This young person brought tears to my eyes. The emotion she put into her singing was unbelievable and the quality of her vocal performances was stunning. I have only one word – WOW

The award goes to  Emily Wallace for her role of Margaret in Everyone’s Talking about Jamie by Middlesbrough Youth Theatre


For my final award this afternoon I am presenting the RYC’s award for best Youth Production

I encourage anyone who hasn’t seen this group to give them a visit. This show was energetic, emotional, slick, had superb vocals, had excellent choreography fabulously executed – a first class production.

The award goes to Middlesbrough Youth Theatre for Everyones Talking about Jamie


Peter Oliver - Regional Councillor Youth Awards
There are eight nominees for my Councillors Individual Youth Performance Award

Ava Nolan – for their role as “Cat in the Hat” iin Blyth MTC’s Seussical the Musical
This young performer can certainly act, she has excellent stage presence lovely vocals and works well with her stage family which ensures that the overall production is delivered to a very high standard.

Eva Craig – for their role as ‘Eva’ in Westovians KinderTransport
Taking on a leading role in an adult play is not an easy choice,  this young actress used all her acting ability not only to deliver a spectacular performance but managed to  portray her character in both English and German. Her delivery was outstanding.

Rana Ozbec – for their role as ‘Matilda’ in CAOS MTC’s Matilda jr
Playing the lead in a musical at any age can be very daunting, but this young performer acted, danced and delivered a stand out performance

Nathan Johnson – for their role as Shrek’ in In Your Face Theatre Seaham’s  Shrek The Musical
This young man certainly knew how to command the stage, he delivered his character perfectly great acting ability and the confidence to deliver this iconic character.

Matthew Hunter – for their role as ‘Cowardly Lion’ in Ponteland RS’s Wizard of Oz
Playing an iconic character from a film that has been around for 84 years is not an easy task, everyone knows the character and it’s difficult to put your own slant on how this is going to be delivered, but this talent young man certainly knows what to do, and he did it with confidence.

Freya Shepherd-Pegman – for their role as ‘Summer’ in Teesdale OS’s School of Rock
What a performance that was delivered form this young actress, the confidence and acting ability was evident from start to finish in a very difficult show to perform.

Toby Davidson – for their role as ‘Tony’ in Crash Bang Wallop’s West Side Story
A love-struck actor needed to dig deep into all his emotions to deliver a confident performance in his character to deliver a believable and yet passionate performance and this young man certain did this. A confident and powerful performance.

Matthew McIver-Scott – for their role as ‘Gertrude’ in Spittal Variety Group’s Cinderella
Every pantomime needs a funny, confident Dame it is what has become a tradition and is what bridges the gap between the story line and adds the humour and audience participation. The young performer took to the audience by storm and for a person of this age he delivered some great comic moments.


And the overall Winner is….

Councillor Cup for Best Youth Individual 
Another difficult category especially when we have some much talent in NODA North with some of the most talented youths appearing on stage. This year the Councillors cup goes to Eva Craig for her portrayal a young Jewish child moving to England as part of the Kindertransport programme moving children to safety from occupied Germany.


We now move onto my Councillors Rising Star award

There is only one Winner in this category

The award for rising star is one of the hardest awards to consider, taking into account the immense talent that we have in NODA North across all of our Regions. The recipient of this year’s award amazed me with her immense talent and stage presence, during her performance she had the ability to portray her character with maturity, confidence and a natural flair. I loved how she delivered her authentic personality which enabled her to have this emotional connection with the audience. Excellent vocals especially in her solo number which was emotional and uplifting.

This year’s rising star goes to Emily Wallace for her role as ‘Margaret’ in the NODA North premiere of Everyone’s Talking about Jamie with Middlesbrough Youth Theatre


We move onto the Councillors Award for best overall Youth Production

There are seven nominees in this category

Blyth Musical Theatre Company - Seussical the Musical
There is nothing better than to see a group of young people on stage enjoying what they do best. This production was well directed and the talent from the cast was event for the onset with some promising stars in the making.

Gateshead Musical Theatre Company - Shrek the Musical
This youth group certainly knows how to entertain its audience:  with its large cast of talented youths, led by an enthusiastic director you can feel the excitement even before their performance starts.

CAOS Musical Theatre Company – Matilda jr
Playing to a sell-out audience, you couldn’t hear a pin drop until the curtains opened and this large cast of enthusiastic young performers burst onto the stage to deliver an outstanding, lively production great acting singing and choreography.

In Your Face Theatre Seaham - Shrek The Musical
It doesn’t matter how many times I see this musical the interpretation from the Director makes every time seem like it’s the first time that I have seen the production and for this great production it was no different, the whole cast were fantastic and it was clear from their performances that each and everyone has a great time.

Ponteland Repertory Society -Wizard of Oz
These young talented performers certainly know how to put on a production, it doesn’t matter the size of the venue it all about the talent on stage and these guys had this in abundance, great costumes and I loved the face make up which enhanced the characters.

Darlington Academy of Performing Arts – Frozen jr
When it comes to youth productions there are none better than we have in the North East, this production delivered a standout performance by a group of dedicated and talented youths. The teamwork was exceptional as was the presentation. A great performance which was appreciated by the audience.

Middlesbrough Youth Theatre - Everyone’s Talking About Jamie
This amazing production tugged at the heart strings of the audience. The story is based and highlights the issues of equality and diversity and how a person’s dreams can become reality. This talented cast certainly demonstrated how they can take these important messages and emotions and deliver these in a stand out production.


And the overall Winner is …


Councillor Cup for Best Youth Production 

When it comes to thinking outside the box this Society certainly leads the way, they love a challenge and deliver this with expertise and professionalism, I love the way they support each other and how hard they work to ensure that they deliver a professional production to their audiences. The Councillors Cup for best youth production goes to Middlesbrough Youth Theatre, for their production of Everyones’s Talking About Jamie


Christine Hunter Hughes - National President reads out the citation for the Richardson award for youth unsung hero

“James and William were founding members of Kids on Stage in 2015. They have supported our society both on stage and behind the scenes.
They have contributed to the planning and execution of musical numbers and Musical plays. As they matured they accepted greater responsibility supporting younger members of the society and showed great maturity doing so, while keeping the fun element present.
James and William were very much a team act always willing to assist in the making and storage of props. They both assisted in the planning and delivery of workshops during school holidays.
They have welcomed Councillors and NODA Representatives to the performances and are always willing to explain about the current show and the running of the Society in general.
Both young men are a credit to our society and are generous with their time despite juggling “A” level studies and exams and College studies and other stage commitments. I always knew that they would be there in the background ensuring the smooth running of Kids on Stage.”


The award goes jointly to James Archer and William Metcalfe of Walkerville