St Mary’s scoop award at first attempt

11:28am Thursday 12th July 2007

By Rachel O'Connor

St Mary's School Menston is this week celebrating spectacular wins in the new Drama (Youth & Schools) competition in the 2006-2007 Wharfedale Festival of Theatre, with their production of A Man For All Seasons.

These were announced at an Awards Evening held at Prince Henry's Grammar School, Otley, on July 7.

Against stiff opposition from productions by Kaleidoscope Youth Theatre Group (A Midsummer Night's Dream) and Bradford Girls Grammar School (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), first time entrants to the Festival St Mary's School won Best Overall Production, Best Actor, Best Newcomer, Best Programme, and a host of Certificates.

In addition, a Chairman's Special Award was given for the original music for the production, composed and played by one of St Mary's School students.

Festival Chairman Malcolm Pinder said: "A Man For All Seasons is not an easy play for young people to tackle because the themes are complex.

"It required great discipline and maturity from the students involved to achieve a performance of this standard and I heartily congratulate them and their teachers."

In a tightly fought battle between 11 productions, Cookridge-based amateur drama group S.T.A.R.S. won Best Overall Production for their production of the powerful play According to Hoyle, with Otley Little Theatre (Albert, Make Us Laugh) and Addingham Dramatic Society (Holiday Snap) tying for second place.

First-time entrants S.T.A.R.S. also won Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and were runners-up in Best Stage Presentation.

Best Overall Production in the Musicals (Adults) section was won by another first time entrant Harrogate St Andrew's Players with The Wizard of Oz.

This production won five other awards - Best Director, Best Choreographer, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Programme.

Next year's Wharfedale Festival of Theatre is open as always to all amateur dramatic and musical societies and youth and schools groups who produce full length plays or musicals between September25, 2007 and May 31, 2008, within a geographical area roughly bounded by Leeds, Bradford, Ilkley and Harrogate.

Assessors mark productions at each group's home venue on a normal performance night, and the Festival ends with an Awards Evening when awards in all four categories of the Festival are presented.

Information packs and Entry Forms for the 2007-2008 Festival can be downloaded from the Festival's website at www.wharfedaletheatrefest.org.uk.

A W A R D S MUSICALS (ADULTS) Best Overall Production: The Wizard of Oz (Harrogate St Andrew's Players).

Best Director: Louise Denison (Harrogate St. Andrew's Players).

Best Musical Direction: Jim Lunt (Ilkley Amateur Operatic Society).

Best Choreographer: Louise Denison (Harrogate St Andrew's Players).

Best Actor: Alex Hogg (Harrogate St Andrew's Players).

Best Actress: Kayleigh Stephenson (Ilkley Amateur Operatic Society).

Best Supporting Actor: Rob Edwards Yeadon Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society Best Supporting Actress: Kay Hartburn (Harrogate St Andrew's Players).

Best Stage Presentation: Hello Dolly! (Yeadon Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society) Best Programme: Andrew Walker & Tony Edwards (Harrogate St Andrew's Players).

DRAMA (YOUTH & SCHOOLS) Best Overall Production: A Man for All Seasons (St Mary's School, Menston).

Best Director: Rosemary Grainger (Kaleid-oscope Drama Group).

Best Stage Presentation: Midsummer Night's Dream (Kaleidoscope Drama Group).

Best Actor: Joe Murphy (St Mary's School, Menston).

Best Actress: Alice Smithson (Kaleidoscope Drama Group).

Best Programme: A Man for All Seasons (St Mary's School, Menston).

Outstanding Performances: Georgina Fletcher & Sophia Mahmood (Bradford Girls Grammar School); Jamie Rogers (Kaleidoscope Drama Group), Alice Smithson & Sinead Fisher (St Mary's School, Menston), Megan McGrath & Joe Murphy.

Certificates of Merit: Sophie Brook & Grace Partington (Bradford Girls Grammar), Claire Belmont, John Darnbrough & Rachel Pronger (Kaleidoscope Drama Group), Kate Brady & Tom McNulty (St Mary's School, Menston).

MUSICALS (YOUTH & SCHOOLS) Best Overall Production: Oliver! Ralph Thoresby High School.

Best Director: Brian Wilson (Ralph Thoresby High School).

Best Musical Director: Miss J Saxton (Ralph Thoresby High School).

Best Choreographer: Andrea Haley Mallen (Stage 84).

Best Stage Presentation: The Wiz (Intake High School Arts College).

Best Programme: The Wizard of Oz (Stage 84).

Best Actor: Dean Smith (Ralph Thoresby High School).

Best Actress: Hannah Nadry (Ralph Thoresby High School).

Outstanding Performances: Teejay Bailey, Leanne Hunter, Tom Milner (Intake High School Arts College), Leanne Hunter, Tom Milner, Rosie Baynham. Chris Bevan, Will Cooke, Mel Smith, Nick Tobias (Prince Henry's Grammar School) Hannah Nadry, Dean Smith, Domanik Wightman (Ralph Thoresby High School), Polly Johnson, Thomas Ramsey, Kayleigh Stephenson, Sophie Wysoczanski (Stage 84), Helen Webster & Nick Bellwood (Northern Academy of Performing Arts).

Certificates of Merit: Sarah Cowman & Amy Lofthouse (Intake High School Arts College), Sarah Atkins, Olivia Blake, Tom Wilkinson (Prince Henry's Grammar School), Chantelle Brooks, Ross Lee Fowkes, Beth Moxon, Mike Neilson (Ralph Thoresby High School), Philip Hill-Pearson, Sophie Whitehead, Edward Wilkinson (Stage 84), Lucy Annable, Beth White, Megan Brown, Sophie Smith (Northern Academy of Performing Arts).

DRAMA (ADULTS) Best Overall Production: 1 According to Hoyle (S.T.A.R.S.), 2 Albert Make Us Laugh (Otley Little Theatre) and Holiday Snap (Addingham Drama Group), 3 The Memory of Water (Calverley Players).

Best Director: 1 Geoff Walker (S.T.A.R.S.) 2 Alison Clay (Addingham Drama Group).

Best Stage Presentation: 1 Tons of Money (Fulneck Dramatic Society), 2 According to Hoyle (S.T.A.R.S.).

Best Programme: 1 Roger Charnley (Burley Millenium Theatre Group) 2 Fred Wells (Otley Little Theatre).

Ambience, Front of House: Sue & Vernon Whelan (Burley Millenium Theatre Group).

Best Actor: Chris Binns (S.T.A.R.S.) Best Actress: Dianne Newby (The Adel Players).

Best Supporting Actor: Mathew Driver (S.T.A.R.S.).

Best Supporting Actress: Emma Gordon (Limelight Drama Group).

Best Comedy Performance: Mike Denby (Addingham Drama Group) CHAIRMAN'S AND OTHER SPECIAL AWARDS The Yorkshire Post Trophy Ensemble Playing: Westgate Drama Group Ilkley Playhouse Trophy Successful Recruitment Campaign: Weeton & Huby Players Spirit of the Theatre Award: Eileen Routledge (The Adel Players).

Most Promising Newcomers: Sinead Fisher (St. Mary's School, Menston) & Heather Goring (Weeton & Huby Players).

Magical Moment of Theatre: Julie & Glen Boldy (Calverley Players).

Moving Interpretation of Docin West Side Story: Mark Brown (Ilkley Amateur Operatic Society).

Talented Chorus Work in The Wizz: Mason Jubb (Intake High School Arts College All Round Period Detail: When We Are Married (Limelight Drama Group).

Composition & Performance of original music: Mark Comer (St. Mary's School, Menston) for A Man for All Seasons.

Outstanding Performance: Rick Whyte as Buttons in Cinderella by The Bradford Players.

Outstanding Performance: Patricia Robinson as The Fairy Godmother in Cinderella by The Bradford Players.

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