The Mumbys - Winners

Here are this year's results in full:

Best Actor in a Leading Role: James Matthewson for Godspell

Despite very good efforts by all involved, particularly Martyn Stanbridge, James Matthewson edged it at the last minute with a humourous and highly energetic performance as Jesus. His performance combined wide-eyed enthusiasm with a bounding physical presence and perfectly judged his lines to wring out the maximum enjoyment from Stephen Schwartz' script.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: James Matthewson for Jesus Christ Superstar

Despite Mr. Finkenrath's best efforts, with a hilarious performance as the obese Capulet father, the award this year must also go to James Matthewson, making it a deserved double. His supporting performance as Herod was the highlight of Jesus Christ Superstar, demonstrating his brilliant comic timing, dancing and total irreverance, upstaging a fine performance by James Brown and leaving his audiences laughing in the aisles with a really memorable turn.

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Josie Cerise in Breaking Point

This was a close category, with Sophie Hammond particularly impressing as Mary Magdalene. But in the end Josie Cerise edged it, turning in a powerful and twisted performance of a quack relationship councillor who ends up sleeping with one of her clients. Cerise's performance combined the anguish and mental instability of daddy's little girl with a bunny boiler trait reminiscent of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. She is a big star in the making and deserves every available plaudit for her work in Breaking Point.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Sophie Hammond for Godspell

Sophie Hammond has impressed throughout the year as both an actress and a singer, and so it is only fair that she received recognition for her work in some form. Her performance in Godspell, while nothing like as large as her role in Jesus Christ Superstar, was captivating and highly entertaining, combining her strong voice with a brilliantly intuitive talent for characterisation which will serve her well in years to come.

Best Original Script: Kim Spence for Gridlocked

This was another close category, with both Paddy Campbell and Giuliano Crispini impressing with their high levels of craft. But the most startling and striking script of the year came from Kim Spence, whose Gridlocked knocked audiences for six via double helpings of madness and mystery. With strong hints of Twin Peaks and Terry Gilliam's Tideland, Gridlocked was a powerful and harrowing take on recycling and religion which hints at a long and inspiring career for its writer.

Best Set Design: Noises Off

Oddsocks' Romeo and Juliet came very close with their use of digital projection to ambitiously restage Shakespeare's classic tragedy. But staging Noises Off is equally adventurous, and Alnwick Theatre Club's set was brillaintly constructed to allow for relatively quick turnarounds while capturing the complexity and scale of Michael Frayn's farce. The design struck a perfect balance between professional and deliberately creaky, adding levity to an already highly entertaining production.

Best Costume Design: Wind in the Willows

Touring Kenneth Grahame's classic on a low budget is difficult, and the physicality of this production made large use of make-up highly impractical. By using waistcoats designed to resemble the animals' fur, the cast were able to embody their characters in terms of physical appearance while still allowing for maximum energy and movement. Dominic Goodwin's performance as Toad particularly benefited from this simple but ingenious solution, and the garments themselves seemed robust and beautifully designed by Sue Cooper and Denise Kitchen.

Best Music and Sound: Godspell

Although the musical interludes in Dad's Army were very good indeed, there can be no denying that Godspell had this one in the bag from the beginning. Under the resourceful direction of Peter Brown, the sound quality trumped previous productions while the cast did more than justice to the playful and often complex lyrics provided by Stephen Schwartz. The band and cast were at perfect pitch and volume throughout, doing justice to the material and filling the auditorium with a host of fantastic sounds and interludes.

Best Director: Andrew Brett Hayes for Breaking Point & Gridlocked

This is a joint award to recognise Andrew's contribution to all four plays in the recent InterAct project. Andrew had demonstrated his talent and versality as a director, showing that he is able to shift seamlessly between genres and to develop trusting and creative relationships with his cast and crew to produce the very best show from any script in any scenario. If he continues to direct with this range and quality, there is no limit as to what he will achieve in the theatre.

Best Short Play (under 1 hour): Gridlocked

Once again Kim Spence's contribution to the InterAct project deserves recognition. Out of the four plays performed in the project, all of which were of a high quality, this was the one which best embodied the project, both as a means of encouraging new talent and as a vehicle for pushing the theatrical envelope. The play explored issues of religion, recycling, murder and madness in intelligent and innovative ways, channeling Spence's exciting style through shrieking performances.

Best Play: Godspell

Despite the best efforts of a late entry in the shape of The Old Curiosity Shop, the cast and crew of Godspell truly deserve this award for the best all-round production of the year, and certainly the year's best musical. An irresistable combination of brillant ensemble acting, excellent comic timing, intelligent direction and immaculate music and sound made this a very fine production. But what swung it more than anything else was the boundless enthusiasm of everyone involved, enthusiasm which has defined this memorable production and set the bar very high for future efforts.

2 comments:

Stephen said...

Thank you Daniel for your very kind words! I'd like to thank the director, my family & friends...my goldfish toodles haha! No seriously, it's great to get any kind of recognition especially so early on in my career & reading this, gives me the boost I need to keep at it! All the best, Josie Cerise x

Daniel Mumby said...

You're most welcome Josie. I know these awards don't count for anything but what you've said has made doing them worthwhile :)

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