Am-dram societies clean up at awards

First published in News Malvern Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , @lizsweetmanWN #worcsnews

THE glitz and glamour of the theatre award season was bestowed upon amateur dramatic societies from Worcestershire as they swept the board at a regional ceremony.

Worcester-based Kays Theatre Group won Best Pantomime for the second time in a row at the West Midlands National Operatic and Dramatic Awards for their 2011 production, Humpty Dumpty, at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall.

The award was accepted by the show’s co-directors, Rachel Sedgley and Paula Dymock, principal of Harlequin Stage School, who also choreographed the show’s dance numbers.

The group’s success follows a win the previous year for their 2010 show, Beauty and the Beast.

Miss Sedgley said: “It was like winning the Oscars. It was the icing on the cake for us.

“It was a great achievement. Paula and I were thrilled, it’s the first time we have ever directed a panto.”

There were also celebrations elsewhere in the county, as both Pershore Operatic and Dramatic Society (PODS) and its youth section, PODYS, picked up awards.

PODS’ production of The Secret Garden was named best musical, while PODYS won best youth production for Les Miserables.

The win was a double success for local woman Sue Price, who directed both shows.

PODS faced competition from between 70 and 90 shows across the West Midlands, including local groups Worcester Operatic and Dramatic Society (WODS) and Worcester Gilbert and Sullivan Society.

“The Secret Garden is a special show. It’s quite difficult to do,” said Mrs Price.

“It inspired me, I put my heart and soul into it. I really tried to bring out the magic.

“I think the music was beautiful, the combination of everything came together. I was excited when I saw it and I’m quite self-critical.

“Everyone’s over the moon. I think they deserved it.

“At this time, when all our purses are tight, it’s a real boost to our reputation and hopefully will encourage people to come to our shows and join them.

“Les Miserables is also a very tricky show, I’m so proud of them. It was very rewarding, they loved the show.”

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