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April 5 2020, David Beach Youth Competition News

It was a night of firsts in so many ways. It was the first ever David Beach Youth Awards evening. It was the first SFD presentation evening that was live streamed instead of held at a big venue. And it was the first awards night where the comments came thick and fast as the results were being announced.

The coronavirus lock down could not dampen the enthusiasm of the many members of the societies that had entered the inaugural David Beach Youth Awards Competition, and the initial disappointment that we would not be able to get together to celebrate was replaced by excitement about the live stream ceremony. Up to 150 screens were watched at any one time and, with 2, 3 or 4 people watching in each home the total number of viewers far exceeded the number that would have been at the live event.

Di Deane and Ian Hurdman keep socially distant to present the awards

With moderator Chris Bailward standing down, Ian Hurdman kindly agreed to host the evening and announce the awards. Ian has a long and honourable association with the David Beach Competition where for many years he has been an outstanding moderator. And there by his side was competition coordinator Di Deane who has an equally strong association with the SFD musical competitions, eagerly becoming the first coordinator of the youth awards competition. In keeping with government advice on social distancing, Di appeared as an iPad head set atop a mannequin in a sparkly dress courtesy, no doubt, of DB coordinator Angie Hurdman who was on hand to offer assistance.

The honours were spread all round as the groups displayed amazing talent in so many fields. The runners up in the overall competition were, in no particular order, Tri.Art/Merlin for Footloose and WsM Oppitts for Barnum. But the overall winners were Castaway Theatre Group from Yeovil for their production of Annie. Amongst an enthusiastic list of comments, director Lynn Brown said, “Wow! Thank you so much! Congratulation everyone so happy and proud of you all.” Castaway also picked up the award for Best Costumes and Poppy Wells won the award for best female lead for her portrayal as the Annie.

There is a list of all the winners below.

SOUND Topaz Dance Studios Fame Jnr



PROPS Spectrum Musical Theatre Seussical

STAGE MANAGEMENT Tri.Art/Merlin Theatre Footloose

MADE SET Clevedon School How to Suceed in Business without Really Trying

COSTUMES Castaway Theatre Group Annie jnr

PERFORMER UNDER 13 George Souster as Mole Castaway The Wind in the Willows

CAMEO Dan Fowler as Bud Frump Clevedon Sch How to Succeed ….

FEMALE SUPPORT Olivia Bird as Tallulah BEES Bugsy Malone

MALE SUPPORT Joe Thomas as Ringmaster Oppitts Barnum

FEMALE LEAD Poppy Wells as Annie Castaway Annie Jnr

MALE LEAD Issac Lewis as Joe Casey CLOC jnrs Our House

The all new David Beach Youth Trophy

SHOWSTOPPER Mabel’s Prayer YAPS Fame Jnr

CHORUS CLOC Jnrs Our House

CHALLENGE MAKE Performing Arts Into the Woods

SMALL VENUE Clevedon School How to Succeed ….

CHOREOGRAPHY Amy Maughan Tri.Art/Mer Footloose

MUSICAL DIRECTION Annie Ford Oppitts Barnum

Lynda Prescott &

DIRECTION Danni Toogood CLOC Jnrs Our House

BEST PRODUCTION (in no particular order)

Runners Up Tri.Art/Merlin Footloose AND

WsM Oppitts Barnum

OVERALL WINNERS Castaway Theatre Group Annie

* Note: The bright technical award was chosen for the house fire.