THE stars shone for the Oscars of the South.
Southampton’s Grand Harbour Hotel was the location for the Daily Echo’s own glittering version of the Academy Awards.
The cream of amateur theatre came together for the annual Curtain Call Awards.
From village halls to top professional theatres and from low budget to blockbuster productions, amateur theatre is thriving in Hampshire.
The Daily Echo’s team of judges saw hundreds of productions in each genre – drama, comedy, musicals and operas, youth productions, Shakespeare and pantomimes – throughout 2013.
Special guest star and former Eastender John Altman, who famously played Nasty Nick, opened the golden envelopes to reveal the winners in each of 37 categories.
Footlights Youth Theatre scooped the coveted Production of the Year for their version of Miss Saigon, the first time the top prize has been won by a youth group.
The judges were impressed by the ‘perfectly executed’ and ‘stand out’ show.
More than 400 guests enjoyed a drinks reception, dinner and disco.
The event was compered by the Daily Echo’s own editor Ian Murray and entertainments editor Lorelei Reddin.
The results in full:
Winner: Ben O'Shaugnessy, Producer and Co-Director of Scorched. Titchfield Festival Theatre. Has already established himself as a director of great daring and imagination.
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama
Winner: Chris McKenzie, Nhad and Abou Tarek in Scorched. Titchfield Festival Theatre. A tour de force performance.
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama
Winner: Georgie Gulliford, Miss Willesden in London Wall. Titchfield Festival Theatre. A stalwart of the amateur stage who doesn’t realise how good she actually is.
Best Supporting Actor in A Musical
Winner: Patrick Cahill as Collins in Rent, Showstoppers. He gave the role his all and what an all it was!
Best Supporting Actress in a Musical
Winner: Kerry McCrohon as Joanne in Company, CCADS. Kerry was subtle and totally convincing, with a thin veneer of bravado coating her anguish.
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy or Comic Drama
Winner: Graham Robertson, John in Calendar Girls. The Portchester Players. Played a pivotal role perfectly.
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Comic Drama
Winner: Joanna Warner-Smith, Sarah in Round And Round The Garden. Bishopstoke Players. Not a lady to be crossed lightly!
Best Supporting Actor in a Youth Production
Winner: Laurence Allen, Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls. Encore Youth Theatre. Showed why Miss Adelaide and the audience could not resist him.
Best Supporting Actress in a Youth Production
Winner: Hannah Scanlan. Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls Encore Youth Theatre: A comedienne of immense skill and timing.
Best Supporting Actor in a Shakespeare Play
Winner: The Duke of Clarence in Richard III. Titchfield Festival Theatre. A sensitively-worked study of this betrayed sibling.
Best Supporting Actress in a Shakespeare Play
Winner: Meriel Shepherd, Vincentio in The Taming of the Shrew. RAODS. A fabulous portrayal.
Best Lighting Sound and Effects
Winner: Ian Pratt, Martin Stevens , Ralph Pegden and Ben Dulake for Whistle Down the Wind, CCADS. Perfectly set the scene for a whole range of dramatic situations.
Winner: Christina Finn and Emily Try. West Side Story, SJ Theatre Productions. They managed to bring out and showcase the immense talent of every cast member with their contemporary choreography.
Best Opera or Musical
Winner: West Side Story, SJ Theatre Productions. Never mind West Side Story, this was good enough to be a West End Story!
Best Musical Director
Winner: Alan Pring. Evita, South Downe Musical Society. The band and vocals were the perfect backdrop to every mood.
Best Actor in a Drama
Winner: Sam Dobson. Alan in Equus, SUSU. Captured physical changes of different playing ages, tortured nightmares and interactions.
Best Actress in a Drama
Winner: Jessica Hawkins. Pat Milligan in London Wall. Titchfield Festival Theatre. Excellent both as an individual performer and in her stage work with others.
Best Actor in a Musical
Winner: Chris Horn as Billy in Billy, Winchester Operatic Society. Comedy, acting, singing or dancing – Chris has it all!
Best Actress in a Musical
Winner: Kerry Butcher as Cathy in The Last Five Years, SJ Productions. A truly memorable portrayal in this two person show.
Best Actor in a Comedy or Comic Drama
Winner: Tony Dart and Tony Doye, Willie Clark and Al Lewis in The Sunshine Boys. CCADS. Stellar performances and incomparable sparring partners.
Best Actress in a Comedy or Comic Drama
Winner: Georgie Gulliford, Susan in Bed Among The Lentils. Titchfield Festival Theatre. A masterclass of monologue acting.
Best Actor in a Youth Production
Winner: Gus Summers Crook, Billy Flynn in Chicago. A performance of charming, show stealing bravado.
Best Actress in a Youth Production Winner: Lauren Caffyn. Kim in Miss Saigon. A powerhouse of a performance from a rising star.
Best Actor in a Shakespeare Play
Winner: Joseph Allen, Henry V in Henry V. Collingwood RSC. Brought great maturity and dignity to the role.
Best Actress in a Shakespeare Play
Winner: Holly Mitchell, Miranda in The Tempest. Titchfield Festival Theatre.Created a totally believable character.
Best Performance in a Pantomime
Winner: Patric Howe, Beast in Beauty And The Beast. Swanmore Amateur Dramatic Society. Inevitable that Beauty would fall for this Beast!
Winner: Aladdin. Bench Theatre. A high octane, enthralling production.
Best Set and Props
Winner: Phil Moody, Adam Case and Kate Bailey, Miss Saigon. Footlights Youth Theatre. An absolute triumph.
Winner: Mo Wills, Peggy Kemp and Kath Vicarey for Once Upon A Mattress, Waterside Musical Society. They had knitted chain mail!
Best Performance in an Opera
Winner: Eddie Nias as Major-General in Pirates of Penzance, Andover Musical Theatre Company. A director's dream cast-member.
Best Director of a Drama
Winner: Ben O'Shaugnessy, London Wall. Titchfield Festival Theatre. In his first year of directing, Ben has already shown a highly sophisticated understanding of stage drama.
Best Director of a Musical or Opera
Winner: Sam Quested. West Side Story, SJ Theatre Productions. This show was so professional it could have been in the West End!
Best Director of a Comedy or comic drama
Winner: Jane Blatch-Gainey – Collingwood RSC – “from the moment the audience entered the Millenium Hall, this was a magnificent evening of screwball entertainment!”
Best Director of a Youth Production
Winner: David Tatnall, Miss Saigon. Footlights Youth Theatre. A director who is at the peak of his talents
Best Director of a Shakespeare Play
Winner: Chris Blatch-Gainey, Henry V. Collingwood RSC. Made full use of the Historic Dockyard and HMS Victory as a backdrop.
Youth Ensemble Award
Winner: Miss Saigon, Footlights Youth Theatre. One of the best theatrical experiences of the year, as visually stunning as it was powerful.
Production of the Year
Winner: Miss Saigon, Footlights Youth Theatre. The stand out production of the year. Poignant, piquant and perfectly executed, this was an object lesson in how to put on a show.”