News The David Beach Competition
It was a bumper year for musicals in Somerset and so it was only fitting that the season ended with a bumper awards ceremony. The great and the good from the world of amateur theatre turned out in fine style at Taunton’s County Cricket Ground to see Glastonbury and Street Musical and Comedy Society walk off with the top prize for their amazing production of The Addams Family.
In what was a splendid year, the runners-up also had a wonderful production: Tickenham Drama Group’s Company.
In a stunning night for the society, Glastonbury and Street also picked up awards for Best Stage Management, Best Costumes, while Tyler Curry won the award for Best Under 16-year-old Male for his portrayal of Munkustrap, and Jess Russell was awarded a Highly Commended Certificate Best Female in a Lead Role for her performance as Morticia Addams, the remarkable Jodie Gibson winning Best Female for her portrayal of Roxy in Weston’s Chicago.
Meanwhile WODS Musical Theatre Company were picking up a few awards of their own for their production of Evita, winning the Challenge Trophy as well as the accolades for Best Chorus, Best Cameo (Stephanie Reeves as The Mistress), their Director Blair Ruddock being awarded a Highly Commended certificate for his direction. The coveted award for Best Director was won by first-timers Lucy Taylor and Lewis White from Bridgwater Operatic for their stunning Sister Act.
The evening was organised in fine style by Angie Hurdman, the new coordinator, but it was the time-honoured team of SFD Vice Chair Di Dean and competition moderator Ian Hurdman who compèred the evening with the competition adjudicators, Dendy Harris, Jadi Carlyon, Linda Mumford, Beth Hancock and Chris Holman-Holmes taking turns to present the awards along with SFD Chairman Sam Allen. The venue has never looked more splendid with lighting provided by bright* and the tables organised by the ever-willing staff at the Cricket Ground.
In his opening remarks, Ian Hurdman reminded everybody how strong the field was this year. He said, “As I remind you every year, our process for judging both this and our new youth competition, is very rigorous and scoring is scrupulously fair. Every show is seen and scored by an Adjudicator and a Moderator to ensure that every show is judged on a level playing field. At the end of the year we all meet and have to narrow down the field of nominations for each category. We can have as many as twenty in any one category to choose from. Arguments are had, adjudications and notes are studied and we arrive at a list for each category. So if you have been nominated you are very, very good indeed. If you have not – it does not mean you are bad in any way but simply that there were a few others judged slightly stronger than you this year – Why not go out and look at some of the winning groups’ shows and see what made them winners!”
The events of the evening were recorded by SFD photographer Roger Price and all photos can be seen on the SFD website
A full list of winners is shown below.