Cinderella Trophy Comment News The David Beach Competition
Here are our replies…!
By Sam Allen
Thanks for you feedback on the proposed changes to our competitions. It’s not too late to comment. The committee will deliberate on 21stAugust and take forward your ideas from there.
Although in some areas opinions differed, there was one topic where there was 100% support: the creation of a Youth Competition for musical theatre. A total of 24 people contributed and everyone was in favour. Natalie Baker said,“I think having a separate youth competition is a fab idea.” And Michelle Mitchell commented, “Absolutely think a youth awards night is a great idea. This would be a fantastic opportunity to recognise, and equally encourage, young performers across the region… for they are of course the Oliver Warbucks, Widow Twankys and Dinah’s of tomorrow, and there are some incredibly talented juniors in the area.”
So it looks as though a separate youth competition is very much on the cards. We will now go on to develop the details in time for a launch next year.
The comments about the Cinderella Trophy Competition (CTC) were more varied. This is not surprising as there were more issues and options to consider. Overall, it seems there is a hankering to return to a big venue. Sam Nicol said, “A return to the old format where almost the whole company could attend would be great!” And in similar vein Richard Derry commented, “Personally keep the Cinderella competition as it is with no nominations but at a bigger venue where more people can attend and a small buffet.” And Alan Scott added, “…get rid of any food …get a venue that you can just take nibbles …get a venue where you can bring loads of your gang and not just a select few.”
But people recognised that such venues are difficult to come by in Somerset and the prevailing view was that, if we are forced to move to a smaller venue, we should announce the nominations in advance so there is a better chance of nominees being there on the night.
Emma Vicarage said, “…if numbers continue to be limited (and I understand why they are) then nominations need to be published. It is impossible to “choose” a limited number of people to attend amongst the cast let alone the very worthy back-stage people who have to fight even harder to secure a place” And Chris Sealy was clear, “I think all nominations for all awards/competitions should be announced in advance.”
This was not a universal view and some people feel strongly that there is something special about the frisson of hearing you have been nominated for the first time on the night.
Steve Hentschel said, “I know from years of experience that we as a group really don’t want to know if we’re nominated as we love the thrill of our names/society being called out.” Perhaps Michelle Mitchell reflected the views of others when she commented, “Not knowing is a huge part of the excitement, like the feeling of anticipation you had as an excited 8 year old on Christmas Eve!” And Joan Jarvis made several contributions including, “In my opinion announcing nominations for the Cinders in advance takes away the ‘surprise’ element of the evening.”
Despite these views, analysis of the comments and ‘likes’ shows that overall people are 2:1 in favour of nominating in advance if numbers remain restricted; something for the committee to ponder on.
Other issues were raised in the course of the Facebook discussion and we promised to feedback on those, so here goes…
Issue: The question of amateur status and professional input arose.
Comment: Although the committee looked at this issue a couple of years ago, and outlined their findings in a Spotlight Online article, we will look at it afresh in the new year, taking on board all the issues you have raised.
Issue: Luciana Shaw made a suggestion, “In regards to the Cinderella awards I think it would be awesome to have a wig making award.”
Comment: The Cinderella Trophy competition has over 40 named awards plus usually another ten or so youth awards. We have to be very careful when it comes to expanding the number of available awards because it could easily become unmanageable. To help to deal with this we have a moderator’s award and adjudicators’ awards. These allow us to cover any category that is not covered by the standard awards. So, if your wigs are particularly outstanding, they may well pick up a special award.
Issue: Matthew Maisey was also concerned about CTC awards: “The Cinderella awards given need a shake up. Too often people are winning ‘double awards.’ This year for example I think the winner for best villain also won one of the other trophies for the same performance. This seems a waste of time. Yet there seems no category for parts like the King role.”
Comment: The award you are referring to is, I believe, the Eddie Bowker Award for outstanding performer of the year. It would be very odd indeed, would it not, if the overall outstanding performer did not also come top in their particular category? As for the comment about an award for King, I would refer you to the answer above. There are lots of ancillary roles beyond the basic ‘pantomime’ categories. It would be unworkable to provide an award for every single one and we use the adjudicators’ awards to pick up great performances that are not specifically categorised. That said, we review the categories annually and the CTC team will take your comments on board when they next consider this issue at their meeting in September.
Issue: The cabaret is not a great success. Richard Derry commented, “Personally I find the ‘entertainment’ at half time does not work as people are distracted by eating/drinking and catching up with friends from other societies/groups”and Steve Hentschel concurred, “I do agree with the matter of the entertainment… that does need attending too… everyone goes to the bar and squabbles over the cocktail sausages rather than listen… maybe the entertainment could be interspersed throughout the night between awards”
Comment: Thanks for the input. The idea of the cabaret is to provide a little light half time entertainment and to showcase some of the talent that has impressed the judges, but perhaps it does need a rethink. This is something else that the team can consider this at their next meeting.
Issue: Alan Scott suggested, “…a big screen showing video clips or pictures of your panto if it’s been nominated for something so you can see what’s beaten you.”
Comment: Showing video clips can be a problem for two reasons. Firstly, not every society videos their shows to a high enough standard for public screening – some don’t video them at all. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, video licences usually exclude public showings. The idea of displaying photographs is an interesting one that perhaps the team can consider.
Issue: Alan Scott said that drunken people ruin the evening.
Comment: It is very hard for the SFD to police this but we do ask societies to be responsible for the behaviour of their members.
In conclusion, thank you for all your comments. It is not too late to add your voice to the discussion. If you feel your comment hasn’t been addressed, let me know. We’ll keep you posted on further developments. And thank you to all the positive comments about our competitions. It is great to see so many people who are engaged in what we are doing and who, like us, want to keep making it better.