THERE was a great evening of entertainment when the Leader Times Stage Awards sponsored by Howard Rigg were held at the Pendle Hippodrome Theatre, Colne.
The event involves 10 Leader Times awards and eight others, and they form the finale to an evening which showcases some of the best productions by Pendle’s amateur theatre groups - plays, musicals and pantomimes. It was again hosted by Richard Sanderson, who is so funny. He keeps people entertained throughout.
And the Leader Times Stage Awards were presented by the chief executive of the National Operatic and Dramatic Association, Mr Tony Gibbs. He was very impressed by the Hippodrome Theatre itself and all the productions he saw. He said: “It is good to see all the excerpts but it makes you want to see the whole of them!”
Other awards in memory of people involved in Pendle’s theatre who have died are usually presented by family or friends.
St John Southworth Youth Theatre opened the evening with samples of its award-winning “Dick Whittington” and its next panto - “Cinderella”, in January.
Next, there was a scene from the Brian Wellock Trophy winning Nelson-based play “The Right Thing” by John Turley, staged by Pendle Borderline.
The Pendle Hippodrome Youth Theatre’s “The Likes of Us” about Dr Barnardo went down very well with the audience, and it was followed by a funny scene from The Garrick’s production of Alan Bennett’s comedy “Habeas Corpus”.
And before the end of Act 1, the youth theatre returned to give people an idea of its forthcoming production “Half a Sixpence”.
After the interval, Colne Dramatic Society staged part of “The Sunshine Boys” which had been a nominee for both best drama and the Thomas Todhunter Award.
The Pendle Hippodrome Theatre Company then sampled its future production of the Stephen Schwartz musical “The Baker’s Wife” and that was enough to encourage people to go along and see it - it looks tremendous!
Award-winning “Murdered to Death” was staged by St James Players led by nominated best actor David Riley, who proved a very funny police inspector.
And finally, the PHTC return to demonstrate the best musical “The Producers”, led by best musical actor Howard Raw. It was another big success with the audience, which included the Mayor of Pendle, Coun. Nadeem Ahmed.
l The lifetime award for service to amateur theatre in Pendle was awarded to Marilyn Crowther, who has been a key success as both actress and director. Marilyn’s key role has been with Colne Dramatic Society, although she has been with others - including hosting the Stage Awards recently.
She has had countless nominations as best actress and has won it several times over the past 20 years. She has also been very much involved in administration including chairman and secretary at the Little Theatre.
Her contribution to theatre in Pendle has been amazing. She is perhaps best remembered for playing Shirley Valentine - but there will no doubt be lots more!
A list of the award winners appears below.
THE LEADER TIMES STAGE AWARDS,
SPONSORED BY HOWARD RIGG
Best musical: “The Producers” (Steve Royle), Pendle Hippodrome Theatre Company.
Best drama, and the Kenneth Hickey Trophy: “An Inspector Calls” (Clifford Spencer), The Garrick.
Best Pantomime: “Dick Whittington” (Joe Brown), St John Southworth YT.
Best actor (musical): Howard Raw (Max), “The Producers”, Pendle Hippodrome TC.
Best actress (musical): Evie Rapson (Syrie), “The Likes of Us”, Pendle Hippodrome YT.
Best actor (drama): Richard Sanderson (Basil), “Fawlty Towers”, Pendle Hippodrome TC.
Best actress (drama): Susan Dinsdale (Shelley), “Ladies’ Day”, Colne Dramatic Society.
Best Pantomime performer: Daniel Mason (Dick), “Dick Whittington”, St John Southworth YT.
Best young performer: Rob Hartley (Leo), “The Producers”, Pendle Hippodrome TC.
Special service award: Marilyn Crowther.
Thomas Todhunter Comedy Award: Cast of “Murdered to Death”, St James Players.
Brian Wellock Award (for an outstanding contribution to a production): John Turley’s script “The Right Thing” (Pendle Borderline TC).
Maureen Hopkins Award (best supporting actress, musical): Liz Wellock (Conchita), “Copacabana”, Pendle Hippodrome TC.
Ray Eden Award (best supporting actor, musical): Sam Crabtree (Franz Liebkind), “The Producers”,
Pendle Hippodrome TC.
Vincent Waterworth Award: Stephen Collinge.
Thomas Wright Trophy: Neil Salway.
Maureen Hopkins Award (Outstanding contribution to Pendle Hippodrome Youth Theatre): Kevin Mason.
PHYT President’s Award: Neil Salway.