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April 14 2021, Cinderella Trophy News The David Beach Competition
Two of the stalwarts of the SFD, husband and wife team Angie and Ian Hurdman have decided to take a step away from amateur drama – for the time being. Ian has been moderator of the David Beach Trophy since 2013 and he has also adjudicated for the Cinderella Trophy. As coordinator for the David Beach Competition, Angie sits on the SFD committee and she has also adjudicated for Cinderella. Here, Ian explains their decision to take a break in his own words.

Angie and Ian Hurdman at the David Beach Awards in 2020

Looking back fondly to my first David Beach and Cinderella adjudications ten years and more ago was a very pleasant thing to do today, some great memories flooded back. Then re-reading some of my Moderator’s reports over the years reminded me of sitting up in bed on a Sunday morning, coffee, notebook, laptop and the previous night’s programme in hand, trying to either restrain my enthusiasm or strive for a polite and encouraging way of suggesting that something didn’t quite reach the heights.

It has been a blast. Having a full time job plus trying to keep my hand in directing and performing had made it a bloomin’ hard-work blast sometimes but great stuff nonetheless.

I have been very lucky in that I have a brilliant partner-in-crime who has supported, encouraged (and occasionally edited my ramblings) in the shape of my better half, Angie. We have worked together as adjudicators and Angie latterly in administration and organisation as she became Co-ordinator for the David Beach competition. She has always been the sensible power and inspiration behind my usual blunderings.

The past year of doing the Covid two-step has given us time to reflect and reminisce and to look at the future. We have had years when we have been to more than thirty shows, then had the privilege of presenting awards evenings. Throughout we have both been enchanted, uplifted and delighted by the remarkable productions we have witnessed. Moments: there have been fabulous high-spots when a performer or a whole show has completely transported us; there have been moments when a lighting rig just wouldn’t behave or a performer has used some choice off-stage words whilst their mic was still live; moments to make us laugh until we wept and moments to make us cry like babies. We were even witness to a real-live, show-stopping, down-on-one-knee proposal. It’s been emotional. It’s been memorable.

The time to reflect has let us look at our lives too: A lovely and amazing new Grandson and work becoming increasingly (if pleasingly) intense have helped us to recognise the need for at least a temporary, change of pace. We have both informed the SFD Committee of our intention to step down as Moderator and Co-Ordinator for the David Beach Competition before the new season commences in December this year.

We both believe that the work of the SFD and its competitions is important in encouraging and developing theatrical arts in our county and are certainly not saying ‘never again’ but we do need a few years.

As a brief message to whosoever steps into the Moderator’s role I can tell them that it can be challenging but, my word it is rewarding.

See you all soon

Ian and Angie

Ian Hurdman and Di Dean at the David Beach Awards Ceremony 2018

The Chairman of the SFD, Sam Allen, said, “Angie and Ian’s departure will leave a huge hole in the running of the SFD. Not only are they both extremely dedicated and hardworking, but they brought years of experience and a great deal of common sense and practical thinking into the running of the SFD. They were always keen to drive improvement in the society and motivate others to do the same. I would like to thank them both for everything they have done for the SFD. They will be missed.”

Vice Chair Di Dean, who worked alongside Ian as coordinator of the David Beach Competition for many years said, “His passion and enthusiasm were second to none. Together we built up the David Beach competition into what it is today.” During Ian’s time as moderator the David Beach Competition for musicals has grown to be the biggest competition in the SFD’s portfolio. It became so large that it was split into two competitions with a new youth competition running alongside the adult one.

Of course Ian and Angie’s contribution to amateur theatre in Somerset has not been confined to their work with the SFD. They are both stalwarts of the Somerton Dramatic Society and Ian has also has been known to tread the boards at Strode Theatre. In 2016 Ian won the prestigious Sybil Thorndike Trophy for his service to amateur drama.

Hopefully the lure of the limelight will be too strong and they will not stay away for long.