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March 10 2019, News The David Beach Competition

David Beach Winners: Weston-super-Mare Operatic Society with Cats

In a glittering award ceremony at the Somerset County Cricket Club in Taunton, Weston-super-Mare Operatic Society took the top award for their spectacular production of Cats while Tri.Art scooped the award for Best Youth Show for In the Heights.

This was the final awards ceremony in this style; next year there will be a separate competition showcasing the tremendous talent of Somerset’s youth. And it was an evening to remember as the upper room at the County Cricket ground was packed to the gills! As ever, competition moderator Ian Hurdman was the host for the evening, ably assisted by Di Dean who for a number of years has been the competition coordinator and organised the presentation evening. New competition coordinator Angie Hurdman has taken up the mantle as Di moves to the youth competition but this evening was very much a coordinated effort as they worked closely together to make the evening the sparkling success that it was.

The hosts for the evening

The competition adjudicators were there too: Dendy Harris, Chris Bailward, Jadi Carlyon, Linda Mumford and Beth Hancock. Andy Marchant, unfortunately, was unable to be there. Over the year Ian and his team of adjudicators visited some thirty shows. They then write their detailed and expert adjudications which are intended to help societies continue to improve even more.

Moderator Ian Hurdman explained: “Our process for judging is rigorous and scoring is, I hope scrupulously fair. Every show is seen and scored by an Adjudicator and a Moderator to ensure that every show is judged fairly. Both Adjudicator and Moderator put forward suggestions for nominations which are graded. At the end of the year we all meet to narrow down the field of nominations for each category. We can have as many as thirty in any one category to choose from. Lively discussions are had, adjudications and notes are studied and we arrive at a list for each category.

“So if you have been nominated, and we have slightly reduced the number of nominations this year, you are very good indeed. If you have not – it does not mean you are bad in any way but there were others stronger than you this year – I say this every year and it is brilliant that so many of you are already doing it: Why not go out and look at some of the winning groups’ shows and see what made them winners!”

Before the awards ceremony got under way, tributes were paid to two stalwarts of amateur drama who we lost during the year. Di dean paid a moving tribute to Hilary May whose group Fusion was represented on the evening and Ian Hurdman used his Moderator’s award to honour the memory of a man who, he said, epitomised Amateur Musical Theatre in our region: Clevedon Light Opera’s Jeff Prescott.

In all, twenty-two groups were present: Exit Stage Left, Tri-Art, YMTC, Castaways, Clevedon School, SCAMP, CLOC, CLOC Juniors, Weston Operatic, Muses, Beatnik, CUDOS, Tickenham, Fusion, YAOS, YAPS, CATS, WODS, BEES, Glastonbury and Street, Bridgwater, and Nailsea.

DB Youth Competition winners, Tri.Art

The complete list of winners is shown below:

Best Sound: Exit Stage Left Disenchanted

Best Creative Lighting: Weston-Super-Mare Operatic Society CATS

Best Effects: SCAMP Midlife-The Crisis Musical

Best Props: Cary Amateur Theatrical Society Oh What A Lovely War

Best Stage Management: Topaz Dance Studio Thoroughly Modern Millie

Best Made Set: Clevedon School Calamity Jane

Best Made Costume: Crewkerne United Dramatic And Operatic Society Spamalot

Bright Technical (Youth): Clevedon School Calamity Jane The Amazing Stagecoach

Bright Technical (Adult): Bridgwater Operatic Society My Fair Lady Fantastic Digital Scenery

Best Performer 13 And Under: Clevedon Light Operatic Club Juniors High School Musical Desmond Coglan-Forbes as Ryan

Best Male 14-16: Fusion Young Performers Cats Alfie Yates as Asparagus/Growltiger

Best Male 14-16: Fusion Young Performers Cats Lennie Stanford as Skimbleshanks

Best Male 16 and under: Tickenham Drama Group Oliver! Ollie Painter as The Artful Dodger

Best Female 16 and under: Tri.Art In The Heights Millie Weare as Abuela

Best Female 17-21: Beatnik Theatre Company Avenue Q Leah Driver as Kate Monster

Best Male 17-21: Tri.Art In The Heights Oliver Edwards as Benny

Best Youth Cameo: Fusion Young Performers Cats Nicky Rush as Mr Mistofelees

Best Youth Supporting Performer: Exit Stage Left Grease Scarlett Swales as Rizzo

Best Youth Female in Lead: Young Musical Theatre Club Addams Family Jaimi Bartlett as Morticia

Best Youth Male In Lead: Yeovil Amateur Pantomime Society Hairspray Jr Ashleigh Payne as Link Larkin

Best Cameo: Weston-Super-Mare Operatic Society Cats Ashley Brown as Old Deuteronomy

Best Supporting Female: Muses Theatrical Productions Singin’ In The Rain Leah Farmer as Lina Lamont

Best Supporting Male: Bridgwater Operatic Society My Fair Lady Andrew Carpenter as Alfred P Doolittle

Best Female in Lead: Muses Theatrical Productions Singin’ In The Rain Samantha Aylott as Kathy Selden

Best Male in Lead: Bridgwater Operatic Society My Fair Lady Phil Turley as Henry Higgins

Showstopper: Yeovil Amateur Operatic Society Top Hat Act I Finale: Top Hat, White Tie, Tails

Showstopper: Bridgwater Operatic Society My Fair Lady Doolittle And Company: I’m Getting Married In The Morning

Best Youth Chorus: Castaways Theatre Group Peter Pan

Best Chorus: Weston-Super-Mare Operatic Society Cats

Challenge Trophy: Topaz Dance Studio Thoroughly Modern Millie

Adjudicator’s Award: Exit Stage Left Disenchanted Big Tits

Moderator’s Award: Clevedon Light Opera Club: Jeff Prescott for Being An Amazing Bloke

Small Venue Trophy: Crewkerne United Dramatic And Operatic Society Spamalot

Best Choreography: Weston-Super-Mare Operatic Society Cats

Best Musical Director: Fusion Young Performers Cats David Pitts

Best Direction: Beatnik Theatre Company Avenue Q Alan Ferguson And Will Poulton

Best Youth Show Runners Up: Castaways Theatre Group Peter Pan

Best Youth Show: Tri.Art In The Heights

Best Show Runners Up: Bridgwater Operatic Society My Fair Lady

Best Show: Weston-Super-Mare Operatic Society Cats


Photos of the evening, taken by Roger Price will be available on Photobox: and the password is Taunton (case sensitive)