News The Phoebe Rees Competition
By Sam Allen
The trophies were gleaming and the stage was set as actors, directors, set designers, technical directors and the whole gamut of amateur dramatists gathered on Friday evening at the Shrubbery Hotel in Ilminster for the Annual Phoebe Rees Awards evening. It was a sparkling affair as guests donned their best bib and tucker, jewellery sparkled, and the light glinted off the trophies arrayed on the stage. There was an a air of anticipation as people caught up with old friends, had a drink in the bar and sat down to a delightful meal before getting down to the main event of the evening: the awards ceremony.
Competition coordinator Philip de Glanville welcomed drama societies from across Somerset – all but three societies that had entered were represented on the evening. Competition moderator Clive Wooldridge presided over the evening and started off by saying, “I have been really impressed in my time as moderator how standards have got better and better.” He went on to say, “To be nominated, you have to have impressed both the moderator and the adjudicator. In my opinion, everyone who has been nominated is already a winner.” Perhaps this was reflected in the number of nominations as up to ten societies were nominated in some categories.
Four of the adjudicators were on hand to present the trophies: Philip de Glanville, Phil Wells, Polly English and Lynne Wooldridge, who is retiring from the panel. The fifth adjudicator, Lynn Lockyer, is on holiday.
As has become traditional, the technical awards were presented first and it was notable that the awards were distributed over a range of societies with no particular society dominating, a reflection of high quality right across the county. Then came the awards for those who tread the boards and, again, it was notable that the award winners came from a wide range of societies.
The Champagne moment is a ‘wow’ moment that takes the breath away and stays in the memory. Clive Wooldridge was effusive about this year’s winner: The Hens’ in Telling Canterbury Tales performed by Taunton Thespians.
Jo Neagle presented the prestigious Gordon Neagle Memorial Cup for Best Production in a non-theatre venue. This year’s worthy winners were Wellington Theatre Company for their production of Steel Magnolias.
SFD Chairman Sam Allen presented the awards for Best Direction and Best Production. The Best Direction Award went to Wellington for Steel Magnolias and their director Rachel Buttell.
Overall Best Production went to Swan Theatre Company for The Reluctant Debutante. As Moderator Clive Wooldrige pointed out, although they had not actually won in any other category, this show came up time and time again in the list of nominations, reflecting the overall strength of their production. A very worthy winner indeed.
The full list of winners is given below and you can find all the nominations here.
The Phoebe Rees Awards 2016/17 Award Winners
Best Production: Swan Theatre Co The Reluctant Debutante
Best Direction: Rachel Buttell Wellington Theatre Co Steel Magnolias
The Gordon Neagle Memorial Cup (Best Production in a non-theatre venue):
Wellington Theatre Co Steel Magnolias
The Marie Gannicott Memorial Trophy (Champagne moment): ‘
The Hens’ in Telling Canterbury Tales – Taunton Thespians
The George Crocker Challenge Trophy: West Huntspill Players The Titfield Thunderbolt
Best Male Actor: Alan Burgess as Prospero The Tempest Frome Drama Club
Best Female Actor: Charlie Wood as Beatrice Much Ado About Nothing Street Theatre
Best Supporting Male Actor: Andrew Meadows as Richard Key For Two Civic Players
Best Supporting Female Actor: Rosie Taylor as Alice Tinker The Vicar of Dibley @2K
Best Cameo (Male): Paul Townsend as Verges Much Ado About Nothing Street Theatre
Best Cameo (Female): Elaine Taylor as Louise Private Lives Swan Theatre Co
Best Youth U21 (Male): Django Lewis-Clark as Charles Murdoch The Ghost Train Frome Drama Club
Best Youth U21 (Female): Anna Griffiths as Fanny Robin Far From The Madding Crowd Ilminster Entertainments Soc
Best Youth U16: Zuleika Driver as Lucy Prince Caspian Ilminster Youth Theatre & IES
Best Artistic Impression: Ilminster Entertainments Soc Far From The Madding Crowd
Best Creative Set Design: Street Theatre Dancing At Lughnasa
Best Set Construction: Ilminster Entertainments Soc Snake In The Grass
Best Creative Lighting: Swan Theatre Co A Passionate Woman
Best Costumes: Frome Drama Club The Ghost Train
Best Stage Management: Swan Theatre 4000 Miles
Best Props: Wellington Theatre Co Steel Magnolias
Best Sound: St Gregory Players Wyrd Sisters
Best Effects: Ilminster Youth Theatre & IES Prince Caspian