The Southwick Players will be relaunching their youth section after a successful season which saw a large number of young people take to the stage, some for the first time.
Award-winning directors Amy Bowyer and Amanda Reeves announced at the annual SPOSCARS awards ceremony on Saturday night they will be running Southwick Players Youth on a regular basis.
Priority will be given to the cast of their pantomime, Cinderella, which won best overall production, as voted for by members.
Amanda said: “Amy and I had a brilliant, brilliant time directing panto. We had such a brilliant time with the children that we are going to restart SPY in March.”
Amy and Amanda won the award for best director for the pantomime and best supporting actor went to Ian Bishop and H Reeves, who played the Ugly Sisters.
Louise Yeo won best actress for her portrayal of Miss Moffat in The Corn is Green, having also recently won best actress at the Brighton and Hove Arts Council Drama Awards 2018 for the same role.
Louise said: “This means more to me because you are my friends and this means a lot.”
There were three further awards for The Corn is Green – Phil Nair-Brown won best male actor, Sharon Churchill won best supporting actress and Debbie Creissen won best cameo.
Director Susanne Crosby, who collected these three awards as none of the winners could be present, said: “Not only was Phil brilliant but off his own bat, he decided he would learn Bread of Heaven in Welsh. That was fantastic.”
The Peter Gullen Award for most promising youth member was jointly won by Louis Johnson and Nina Hayward.
Louis said: “Acting is a thing that is very important, I feel, and from a very young age, I have been enjoying it.”
A new award for the backstage crew was dedicated to the late Iris Roberts, known as Smudge, who was a long-standing support of the Players and died last year.
The Smudge Roberts Creative and Technical Award went to Pete Dilloway, who was stage manager for all four shows in 2018.
President Gary Cook, who won the Players Player award for going ‘above and beyond’, said the annual ceremony was an opportunity to look back over the shows of the past season and recognise the people who had made them such a success.
To read our reviews of the 2018 productions, click on these links: