At the SFD AGM on Saturday, Annie Ford was awarded the Pat Hudson Trophy for her work with Youth in the county. Unfortunately Annie was not there to pick up the award in person and she will be presented with her trophy by the David Beach Competition Moderator, Ian Hurdman, at a later date. In announcing her award, Ian said, “When I watch a Musical Theatre show in and around the Weston super Mare area and see the name ‘Annie Ford’ in the program as Musical Director I relax, knowing that the music will be brilliantly handled.
I first came across Annie as a performer in Weston’s superb, multi-award winning Ragtime as she played Mother, her gentle take on Our Children was memorable. It is, however as an MD that she is best known. The huge range of show titles gives some idea of her versatility and the number of nominations given in the David Beach competition shows her real talent.
Even in the last couple of years – Wizard of Oz; CATS; Priscilla, Queen of the Desert; Bugsy Malone; Legally Blonde; Made in Dagenham; Fame and Spamalot. Annie appears to be equally at home guiding the ensemble of a small show with recorded backing tracks in one of the smaller theatres or wielding the baton over a full orchestra in a real blockbuster.
For me it has been her remarkable work with the Oppitts at Weston that has been a stand-out. Guiding inexperienced, if talented singers into giving terrific performances year after year and still bearing her trademark sparkling smile is no mean feat.
Recently engaged to the annoyingly handsome Tony Vincent she is taking a short (we hope) sabbatical from theatre so this feels like a great time to take stock of her huge contribution to Musical Theatre and honour her with this award.”