History

The idea of the Rose Bowl Awards was born in 1963 when the late Walter Hawkins, the Chairman of the Bristol Evening Post, and John Coe, a well-known journalist and drama critic, decided that it was time to recognise the huge talent often hidden away in the many amateur theatrical groups in the region. It was their inspiration and enthusiasm that ensured the competition’s fortunes and laid the foundation for the Rose Bowl Awards to grow and flourish throughout the years that followed.

Encouraged by the increasing interest from participating clubs and no longer able to rely on the sole support of the Evening Post, the Rose Bowl Committee was formed in 1991 to ensure the ongoing stability and continuation of the competition.

Today the Rose Bowl Awards ceremony is the major event of the year in the region for members of the amateur theatre. The evening combines the celebration of excellence, good food and entertainment with an opportunity to meet, exchange experiences and congratulate the winners in each category.

Award categories

New in 2017 is an Award for Best Opera/Operetta (includes Gilbert & Sullivan productions), in addition to the 19 Awards presented in 2016:

The Chris Harris Award for Best Variety/Revue/Pantomime

First Corporate Coup de Theatre Award

Stage Electrics Award for Technical Achievement

Award for Best Supporting Actor (Drama)

Quartet Community Foundation Award for Best Supporting Actress (Drama)

Award for Best Supporting Actor (Musical)

Award for Best Supporting Actress (Musical)

Walter Hawkins Award for Creativity and Design

Manor Printing Services Award for Best Publicity Material

Pamela Southern Award for Best Actor in a youth production

Barbara Macrae Award for Best Actress in a youth production

Jean Fennell Award for Best Youth Production

Joan Hawkins Award for Best Shakespeare Production

Gregg Latchams Solicitors Award for Best Actor (Drama)

Eileen Hartly Hodder Award for Best Actress (Drama)

‘Bomber’ Harris Award for Best Actor (Musical)

Melanie Evans Award for Best Actress (Musical)

John Coe Award for Best Dramatic Production

The Bristol Evening Post Award for Best Musical Production

Theatre Companies

The Rose Bowl Awards are open to any amateur dramatic or operatic club in Bristol and surrounding area including Devon, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire. The following companies entered in 2015/16:

CLUB AREA
Amateur Players of Sherborne Dorset
Argyle Players Bath
@2KTheatre Taunton, Somerset
Bath Gilbert & Sullivan Society Bath
Bath Light Operatic Group Bath
Bath Operatic and Dramatic Society Bath
Bath Unity Players Bath
BLOC Productions Bristol
Bradfordians Dramatic Society Trowbridge, Wilts
Bridgwater Operatic Society Somerset
Bristol Amateur Operatic Society Bristol
Bristol Amateur Operatic Society Youth Bristol
Bristol Catholic Players Bristol
Bristol Musical Comedy Club Bristol
Bristol Musical Theatre Bristol
Bristol Musical Youth Productions Bristol
Centre Stage, Exmouth Devon
Clevedon Light Opera Club North Somerset
Clevedon Light Opera Club Juniors North Somerset
Clevedon School North Somerset
Clifton College Bristol
Cotswold Players Stroud, Gloucestershire
Court Players South Gloucestershire
Curtain Up Theatre School Bath
Devizes Musical Theatre Wiltshire
Dursley Operatic & Drama Society Gloucestershire
Exeter Musical Society Devon
Exit Stage Left Bath
Exmouth Musical Theatre Company Devon
Glastonbury & Street Musical Comedy Society Somerset
Holt Dramatic Society Wiltshire
Horfield Theatre Company Bristol
Ilminster Entertainments Society Somerset
Kelvin Players Bristol
Keynsham Light Opera Group B&NES
Merlin Theatre Productions Frome, Somerset
National Academy of Performing Arts, Bristol Bristol
Northavon Youth Theatre Company South Gloucestershire
Oldland Players South Gloucestershire
Oppitts Youth Group, W-S-M Operatic Society North Somerset
Phoenix-KYT Keynsham, B&NES
Pinstripe Productions Bridgwater, Somerset
ProAct Theatre Company Bristol
SCAMP Saltford, B&NES
Sodbury Players South Gloucestershire
Spare Room Theatre Bath
St Alban’s Players Bristol
St Mary’s Players Bristol
St Ursula Players Bristol
Starlite Productions Bristol
Sunshine Productions Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset
TAOS Musical Theatre Trowbridge, Wiltshire
Taunton Amateur Operatic Society Somerset
Taunton Thespians Somerset
The Trowbridge Players Wiltshire
Thornbury Musical Theatre Group South Gloucestershire
Timsbury Theatre Group B&NES
Tiverton Junior Operatic Club Devon
Weston-s-Mare Operatic Society North Somerset
Winterbourne Players South Gloucestershire
Yeovil Amateur Operatic Society Somerset
Yeovil Youth Theatre Somerset
Zenith Youth Theatre Company Bath

Adjudicators

LINDA EVANS, ALAM

Linda trained at BOV Theatre School and the Guildhall School of Music. She was a founder and director of the Northavon Youth Theatre Co. Until her retirement, she was Head of Drama at Westonbirt School and she directs many plays and musicals. She was Artistic Director for the Thornbury Arts Festival over several years and continues to serve on the committee.

CAROLINE JOY BAHons, ATCL

Caroline has been involved in television, radio, theatre and performance for the past seventeen years, including touring with a theatre company. She is now a full-time Speech and Drama Teacher.

CLAIRE MORRIS BEd – Claire studied English and Drama at Leicester University.  During this time she worked in a Parisian recording studio, her voice being used in the production of French/English learning material. She worked as a Drama teacher before moving to the South West where she has been an active member of three different amateur dramatic groups.

GERRY PARKER Drama Critic

A journalist and broadcaster with wide experience as an actor and director, Gerry has contributed theatre and music reviews to The Bristol Evening Post (now the Bristol Post), Western Daily Press and other journals since 1970. For many years he has written a weekly column on local theatre for the Bristol Post newspaper.

BARBARA SMITH LGSM LLAM ADB

Barbara is a Former Head of Performing Arts (FE & HE) at Weston College, Moderator for BTEC and also for Associate Boards Consortium. Currently Drama Director and Tutor in Voice and Acting Skills.

 REBECCA THOMPSON BA Hons, LLAM (Hons)

Rebecca studied Drama and English at Bristol University. She then became a journalist and documentary researcher, working for the BBC Radio Drama Department and a regional magazine. She has since qualified as a Speech and Drama teacher and works in schools and higher education departments as a voice and presentation skills coach. She also runs her own speech and drama practice.

 CLARE TOGHILL BA Hons, FAETC

After qualifying, Clare Toghill taught, directed and choreographed in the Far East, The Middle East and Europe for a number of years. She was responsible for creating theatre-based curricular programmes for schools in Asia and for staging large-scale productions in several countries. She was an in-house Choreographer for a Singapore-based touring Theatre Company during her time there. Clare still teaches Drama and English in schools, lectures in colleges and tutors privately.

PETER TOWNSEND

Peter has served many years on the Amateur and Professional Stage. He trained at BOVTS and was taught to LAMDA standard at Dance Station. He toured with Vienna’s English Theatre (Austria and Italy) and ‘Sound & Fury’ (UK and Macedonia). His acting credits include Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, Theatre West, Yorkshire TV, BBC1, Panther Films, Hanover Pictures.

CAROLINE WHITEHEAD

Caroline trained as a classical singer and pianist. She has performed opera, light opera, classical concerts and musicals for more than twenty years with both amateur and professional ensembles. In later life, Caroline has worked as a vocal coach and a musical director for numerous productions in the South West. She also conducts two mixed choirs and a school orchestra, as well as playing the piano as an accompanist across the region and the cello for Frome Symphony Orchestra. Caroline has a particular interest in lighting, sound and stage management aspects of performance.

We are currently recruiting additional adjudicators and would particularly like to hear from anyone interested in the role who is based in South Somerset or Devon.  Please get in touch via the contact form on this website.

Committee

The Rose Bowl Awards are managed by a Committee comprising family representatives of the founders, Walter Hawkins and John Coe, and other officers and committee members.

President: Joan Hawkins

Chairman: Gerry Parker

Secretary: Veronica Northam

Treasurer: Peter Stoppard OBE

Committee:

Steve Blackmore

Peter Coe

Bernard Fennell

Richard Jones (Chair of the Awards Ceremony Sub-Committee)

Helen Moss OBE