Photographs of the 2016 Award Ceremony are available from Stewart McPherson:  e-mail


Chris Harris Award for Best Variety/Revue/ Pantomime

Thornbury Musical Theatre Group for “Aladdin”

This show was a treasure trove which dazzled from start to finish. The casting, performing and direction were all superb and culminated in the most delightful pantomime, suitable for all ages.”

 First Corporate Coup de Theatre Award

Centre Stage, Exmouth for Journey to the Phantom’s Lair in “The Phantom of the Opera”

The Journey to the Phantom’s Lair:  ’Through mirror, trap door and cellars, down to the sepulchral gloom of the underground lake and its crossing through an enveloping tumult of tumbling dry ice, this journey of the ‘Phantom-led’ Christine was totally enthralling.”

 Stage Electrics Award for Technical Achievement

The Cotswold Players for “The 39 Steps” – sound and lighting

The tremendous number of Lighting and Sound cues needed for this fast moving, stylised production set in the 1930’s had to be researched, recorded, computed in and operated with split second timing and operation. Choices of period music from ‘Gone with the Wind,’ ‘Swing,’ ‘Can-Can’ and Silent Movie chase music, alongside ‘canned clapping’, period phone rings, steam train, a bi-plane, crash, partying, sheep, bagpipes and clock ticking – to name but a few. Use of Gobos, flashing lights, smoke effects, and changing atmospheric lighting added this breath-taking production.”

 Award for Best Supporting Actor (Drama)

The Sodbury Players: Orion Abbot-Davies as Chief Bromden in “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

Orion enabled us to feel compassion for Chief Bromden long before we understood his story. This was a deeply reflective, sensitive and awesomely powerful portrayal and a very moving performance.”

 Quartet Community Foundation Award for Best Supporting Actress (Drama)

St Alban’s Players: Sarah Simpson-Down as Charlotta in “The Cherry Orchard”

This was an outstanding characterisation with a totally convincing appearance, worthy of a Charlotta anywhere. The conjuring tricks and ventriloquist style voices were fun and plausible, the cucumber eating a scene stealer. Her erratic personality was realised with abrupt gestures, movement and excellent comedy timing.”

 Award for best Supporting Actor (Musical)

Bristol Amateur Operatic Society: Steve Williams as Roger de Bris in “The Producers”

When a role is written as broadly as this, one thing you cannot afford to do is to send the character up in even the slightest way. If you do, instead of being funny the character becomes silly and a bore. Showing expert judgement, you gave just a hint that you knew how outrageous your portrait of Roger de Bris was, and as a result produced a very entertaining, very funny character.”

 Award for Best Supporting Actress (Musical)

Keynsham Light Opera Group: Sophie Louise Smith as Audrey in “Little Shop of Horrors”

This was an outstanding performance of a hyper-sensitive victim. A very endearing stage presence captured our hearts as we saw her sacrifice herself to the insatiable Audrey 2 and a lovely singing voice did full justice to the iconic musical numbers.”

 Walter Hawkins Award for Creativity and Design

Bath Operatic & Dramatic Society for “West Side Story” – Choreography

The choreographic skills for West Side Story are a huge challenge as there are so many contrasting moods and emotions to interpret. The young cast had clearly worked very hard indeed to bring Bernstein’s masterpiece to life with breath-taking results, including Latin American routines and a poignant ballet.”

 Manor Printing Services Award for Best Publicity Material

ProAct Theatre Company for “Extremities”

The publicity material for this production was both eye-catching and simple. Essential information was conveyed and the choice of a striking image created a sense of mystery about the play.”

 Pamela Southern Award for Best Actor in a Youth Production

Curtain Up Theatre School: Ben Carter as Koko in “Hot Mikado”

A wonderfully ‘Nerdish’ characterisation from a young performer with all round strong skills and stage presence. His cowardice, his cringing, his deviousness were all projected with both voice and body language. Slightly hunched shoulders, pigeon-toed stance, helpless limp hands and superb nervous gestures, combined with a fine singing input and a first class sense of comedy timing, made this an outstanding performance.”

 Barbara Macrae Award for Best Actress in a Youth Production

Centre Stage, Exmouth: Sylvie Hodgson as Christine in “The Phantom of the Opera”

More than equal to the difficult task of this demanding role, singing with a beautiful clear tone and effortless range while showing just the right degree of confused loyalty and vulnerability which totally captivated the audience throughout the show.”

 Jean Fennell Award for Best Youth Production

Zenith Youth Theatre Company for “Return to the Forbidden Planet”

Under the direction of Scott Rogers and musical leader Roy Page, the cast and crew met the challenge of this production head-on, breathing new life into this cult classic whilst handling the archaic verse, modern word-play, the music and dance moves of the 50’s and 60’s and performing in a futuristic space setting. Quite a feat!”

 Joan Hawkins Award for Best Shakespeare Production

The Kelvin Players for “Cardenio – Shakespeare’s lost play”

Cardenio offered a bold, spirited, entertaining, touching and accessible introduction to the plays of the Jacobean period. The Kelvin Players produced a beautifully directed, intelligent, well-acted and engrossing theatrical event.”

 Gregg Latchams Solicitors Award for Best Actor (Drama)

ProAct Theatre Company: Simon Vardakis as Raul in “Extremities”

Beastly, terrifying, pathetic, vulnerable are just a few words to describe this hugely complex character, played with such charisma and emotional intelligence. We witnessed Raul flip between desire and frustration in an instant. A breath-taking performance.”

 Eileen Hartly Hodder Award for Best Actress (Drama)

The Bradfordians Dramatic Society: Astrid Bishop as Emma in “Emma”

This performance got the balance just right between Emma’s youthful vivacity and meddlesome altruism. As both protagonist and narrator you dominated the stage with an entirely convincing performance of a young, regency era lady who eventually learns to listen to her heart.”

 ‘Bomber’ Harris Award for Best Actor (Musical)

Yeovil Amateur Operatic Society: Luke Whitchurch as Che Guevara in “Evita”

Your strong physical presence and edgy cynicism, bordering on arrogance, brought a tension to the role that made it captivating throughout. You achieved vital empathy with your audience, as well as rising to the demanding vocal challenges and your relationship with Evita was perfectly balanced. All in all this was a performance of exceptional skill and creative talent.”

 Melanie Evans Award for Best Actress (Musical)

Weston-super-Mare Operatic Society: Jane Williams as Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde, the Musical”

A perfect appearance for the role of the petite dynamo, Elle Woods. Clearly this was an experienced actress whom had mastered the genre and style of singing needed, moving effortlessly between dialogue and song with excellent clarity and comedy timing. On stage virtually the whole time, with copious costume changes and dance routines, your stamina was amazing!”

 John Coe Award for Best Dramatic Production

St Alban’s Players for “Some Canterbury Tales”

Excellent ensemble playing and inventive, disciplined direction resulted in an evening of wonderful physical theatre that really brought these fourteenth-century tales to life.”

 The Bristol Evening Post Award for Best Musical Production

Taunton Amateur Operatic Society for “Company”

The planning and preparation of this very difficult, rarely seen musical resulted in one of the most precise, smart and polished shows offered in the Rose Bowl over a good many years. Scrupulously detailed direction and faithfulness to the author’s intention were indicative of the integrity of every participant involved in its success.”

 Download a list of all Nominations 2016 here

Award 2015 winners

Award 2014 winners

Award winners 2013

Award winners 2012

Award  winners 2011