THE ROSE BOWL AWARD WINNERS 2017

Chris Harris Award for Best Variety/Revue/Pantomime

Glastonbury & Street Musical Comedy Society for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

An original script which, without slavishly copying the Walt Disney 1937 animated film version, captured the joyful spirit of that classic. The production was aided no end by beautifully designed costumes and an excellent choice of music ranging from the 1950′s to the present day, plus one oldie, ‘Spread a Little Happiness’ – which is what this show did for its audiences.”

 

First Corporate Coup de Theatre Award

The Bradfordians Dramatic Society for The Pied Piper 

An amazing effect in this delightful production was when Mechanical Rats ran across the stage and then, moments later, the River Waser at the back of the stage burst with a torrent of water, carrying the Rats flowing down with it.  The whole visual impact was truly memorable.”

 

SLX Award for Technical Achievement

Bristol Musical Youth Productions for Starlight Express

The lighting states for this show were consistently punchy and confident. The staging was bathed in a dazzling array of multi-coloured lights and the race track was was illuminated by industrial structures containing magenta beacons. The electric atmosphere of this production was partly created by the input from this department. Superb! “

 

Davud Higson Award for Best Supporting Actor (Drama)

Taunton Thespians: Jack Ward as The Pardoner/Nick/John/Guard 3 in Telling Canterbury Tales

In each of your varied roles you totally took command of the stage and your characterization was mesmerizing. Your overly dramatic delivery, which in other settings would sound clichéd, worked brilliantly in this restoration genre. Not only did you connect well with others on stage, but also you didn’t, for one moment, forget your voice projection to the audience in this outdoor setting. The clever rhyming couplets needed to be timed just right so that we could to digest the humour that was intended and you were artful in this delivery which was delightful to witness.”

 

Quartet Community Foundation Award for Best Supporting Actress (Drama)

The Actonians: Pat Stimson as Dull Gret in Top Girls

An outstanding characterisation and worthy of any theatre company. Her appearance was totally convincing in an amazing medieval costume as in the Bruegel painting. The use of her pockets to secrete wooden spoons, extra food, bottles of wine and so on was skilfully mimed, together with the use of her eyes to register her emotions. This brought out the comedy superbly and was nothing short of brilliant.”

 

Spirolux Ltd Award for Best Supporting Actor (Musical)

Thornbury Musical Theatre Group: Marvin Harris as Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz

A remarkably sympathetic Scarecrow. The countless effortless falls even when nearly out of sight on some of the exits were amazing. The personality of this loveable, iconic character was totally convincing with his relaxed movement, troubled facial expressions and anxious vocal tone, together with talented dancing and singing ability. Every nuance was realised and brought out.”

 

Award for Best Supporting Actress (Musical)

Weston-super-Mare Operatic Society: Leah Farmer as Lady of the Lake in Spamalot

In a stand-out performance worthy of the West-End, Leah Farmer was unforgettable as The Lady of The Lake.    With a powerhouse of a voice, an astonishing singing range, spot on comic timing, star quality and a readiness to sacrifice all dignity for the sake of a joke, Leah was on spectacular, scene-stealing form!”

Walter Hawkins Award for Creativity and Design

The Kelvin Players Theatre Company for The Beaux Stratagem – costumes

Chrissie Fryers captured the period perfectly and, as an actor knows, putting on a costume is central to the acting experience.  Chrissie gave us the dull, soiled, ragged and mud-splattered offerings of the lower classes in contrast to the silhouette and finer details of upper class lavish costumes - the colours, embroidery, satin, silk, brocade, velvet, lace with sumptuous wigs, jewels and accessories, bringing the eighteenth century to life before our very eyes.” 

 

Manor Printing Award for Best Publicity Material

St Alban’s Players for Ladies’ Day

Bright and eye-catching, this appealing image conveyed a sense of exuberance and the idea that the audience would be in for an entertaining evening, as well as clearly displaying all the essential information about the production.”

 

Pamela Southern Award for Best Actor in a Youth Production

Zenith Youth Theatre Company: Lucas Porter as Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde in Jekyll & Hyde

We were totally immersed in your character from the word go. When you were the romantic and dedicated Dr. Jekyll in those opening scenes, we enjoyed the lyrical tone of your singing voice. Your command of the recitative – so hard to get right -was really impressive. As you settled into the role, your gradual transformation to Edward Hyde and the eruption of evil thoughts and deeds was enthralling. In the second act, when you lost control of your persona, your torment was painfully evident and we all felt your agony. The moment when you sang that tortured ballad alone on stage was exceptional. Congratulations on a masterful and polished performance.”

 

Barbara Macrae Award for Best Actress in a Youth Production

South West School of Dance: Olivia Kerton as Charity Barnum in Barnum

Olivia Kerton gave a heart-warming portrayal as loving, yet strong, character.  The relationship between Chairy and Barnum was heartfelt and realistic.  With a beautiful singing voice and fine acting skills, Olivia portrayed this role expertly, giving a mature performance with emotional depth.”

Jean Fennell Award for Best Youth Production

Centre Stage, Exmouth for Barnum

Wonderfully imaginatively staged, with even the auditorium becoming part of the presentation, this production was a treat to the eye as much as it was to the ear.  The ensemble work, combining circus skills with dance movement, was outstanding and a match for the high quality input from all the principal players.”

 

Joan Hawkins Award for Best Shakespeare, Classic or Restoration Production

Taunton Thespians for Telling Canterbury Tales

In this digital age we live in, it is heart-warming to be witness to a piece of theatre that has its roots in a time over 700 years ago when people performed simple tales in front of an audience for their delight. Cleeve Abbey was a perfect setting for this band of very talented performers to entertain us with stories from Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, set into more modern rhyming couplets by Jeremy Secker. This is the sort of entertainment that feeds the soul and reaffirms our love of theatre at its very heart. It’s good to know that simple story telling, with very few props, can still offer great entertainment if the performers are talented and committed, which you all were.”

 

Gregg Latchams Award for Best Actor (Drama)

The Bradfordians Dramatic Society: Ross Scott as The Elephant Man in The Elephant Man

This was an outstanding performance. Ross Scott was physically contorted and facially twisted, yet his eyes conveyed deep and raw emotion. He was at once bashful, funny, desperate, sensitive, ruined, broken and real. This portrayal demanded a remarkable physical transformation which was achieved with sensitivity and total conviction.” 

 

Eileen Hartly Hodder Award for Best Actress (Drama)

St Ursula Players: Emma Russell as Rose in Dancing at Lughnasa

The simple nature of the character of Rose was played with subtle finesse.  I fully appreciated her constantly grinning half-smile and her awkward body language, the higher pitched voice, and the manner in which she knowingly swung her foot while seated as if enjoying secret delicious thoughts – it was superb.  Fine cuing of her almost nonsensical remarks and sly looks and eagerness to speak of ‘men’ and ‘who is going out with who’, and all defining her own secrets.  It was a truly realistic characterisation without any trace of exaggerated, maudlin sympathy.” 

 

John Cousins Award for Best Actor (Musical)

BLOC Productions: Simon Vardakis as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof

Tevye is the pivotal role in this musical and, from the moment you came on stage and addressed the audience, we knew we were in for a truly memorable performance. Tevye is such a well-known role and all your songs are classics, but you brought a new interpretation to it that was fresh and delightful. You have a great sense of timing, which allowed you to make the most of those funny lines and yet you delivered the serious lines with complete integrity. This role was perfectly portrayed and supremely well-balanced. Even as the experienced performer that you are, you should be very proud of what you achieved in this show.”

 

Melanie Evans Award for Best Actress (Musical)

Exmouth Musical Theatre Company: Ann Killoran as Mrs Overall in Acorn Antiques – the Musical

This was such an accomplished performance and stole the entire show. I could see Julie Walters in every movement, every gesture and every word of your Birmingham accent. The audience clearly relished every entrance that you made and eagerly awaited the next pithy line that was so central to this ingenious character that Victoria Wood devised. You didn’t put a foot wrong and you deserved all the laughter and applause from a delighted audience that recognized the work you had put in to bring this character to life once more. “

 

John Coe Award for Best Dramatic Production

The Kelvin Players Theatre Company for A Sense of Place

This devised performance, combining romance and factual political drama, drew on outstanding ensemble work and beautifully choreographed physical theatre. It was both compelling and ground-breaking – a worthy winner of this category.”

 

The Bristol Evening Post Award for Best Musical Production

Bridgwater Operatic Society for 42nd Street

From start to finish full of exuberant enthusiasm, this production grabbed the audience by the throat, determined to entertain them every minute they were in the theatre. With every principal and chorus member equally successful in capturing the spirit  of this wonderfully ‘corny’ backstage romance and giving full value to a classic period score, this show hit its mark right in the centre of the bull’s eye.”

 Photographs of the 2017 Award Ceremony are available on Stewart McPherson’s website:  www.mcphersonphotography.co.uk

e-mail stewartmcpherson@btinternet.com

Award winners 2016

Award 2015 winners

Award 2014 winners

Award winners 2013

Award winners 2012

Award  winners 2011