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

The Chris Harris Award for Best Variety/Revue/Pantomime

First Corporate Coup de Theatre Award

SLX Award for Technical Achievement

David Higson Award for Best Supporting Actor (Drama)

Quartet Community Foundation Award for Best Supporting Actress (Drama)

Spirolux 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)

John Cousins 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 2016/17:

@2KTheatre Taunton, Somerset
Actonians Drama Group South Gloucestershire
Argyle Players Bath
Backwell Drama Club North Somerset
Barnstormers Somerset
Bartholomites Bristol
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 Musical Comedy Club Bristol
Bristol Musical Theatre Bristol
Bristol Musical Youth Productions Bristol
Centre Stage, Exmouth Devon
Chedworth Drama Productions Gloucestershire
Clevedon Light Opera Club North Somerset
Clevedon Light Opera Club Juniors North Somerset
Clevedon School North Somerset
Clifton College Bristol
Cotswold Players Stroud, Gloucestershire
Curtain Up Theatre School Bath
Dursley Operatic & Drama Society Gloucestershire
Exit Stage Left Bath
Exit Stage Left Youth Bath
Exmouth Musical Theatre Company Devon
Glastonbury & Street Musical Comedy Soc Somerset
Just Us Productions Stroud, Gloucestershire
Kelvin Players Theatre Company Bristol
Keynsham Light Opera Group B&NES
Merry Mechanicals Thornbury, South Gloucestershire
Motiv8 Productions Yeovil, Somerset
Northavon Youth Theatre Company South Gloucestershire
Oldland Players South Gloucestershire
Phoenix-KYTS Keynsham, B&NES
Pinstripe Productions Bridgwater, Somerset
ProAct Theatre Company Bristol
St Alban’s Players Bristol
St Mary’s Players Bristol
St Ursula Players Bristol
Shooting Stars Taunton, Somerset
Sidmouth Musical Theatre Devon
Sodbury Players South Gloucestershire
South West School of Dance Glastonbury, Somerset
Stagecoach Performing Arts Trowbridge, Wilts
TAOS Musical Theatre Trowbridge, Wiltshire
Taunton Amateur Operatic Society Somerset
Taunton Thespians Somerset
Thornbury Musical Theatre Group South Gloucestershire
Thornbury Musical Theatre Group Juniors South Gloucestershire
Tickenham Drama Group North Somerset
Timsbury Theatre Group B&NES
Tiverton Junior Operatic Club Devon
Triple Dare Musical Theatre Productions Bath
Tworx Productions Bristol
Upstagers Upton St Leonards, South Gloucestershire
Weston-super-Mare Operatic Society North Somerset
Weston-super-Mare Operatic Society Youth North Somerset
Wotton-under-Edge Dramatic Society South Gloucestershire
Yeovil Amateur Operatic Society Somerset
Yeovil Youth Theatre Somerset
Zenith Youth Theatre Company Bath


We are currently recruiting additional adjudicators and would like to hear from anyone interested in the role.  Please get in touch via the contact form on this website.


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 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.


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 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 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.


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.


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.


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


Steve Blackmore

Peter Coe

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

Helen Moss OBE

Caroline Whitehead