Monday, 21 July 2014

The Eagle Awards at Derby Theatre

Caroline Barth of Derby Theatre sent me a very nice email today reflecting on my small input to last night's amateur theatre celebration  - The Eagle Awards at Derby Theatre.

"Dear Phil,
Thank you so much for your wonderful contribution to the Eagle Awards.  You were warm, funny and helped the evening go with a swing!    Everyone was really pleased with the whole evening and we are so grateful that you gave us your time voluntarily."
I thoroughly enjoyed the event and was very proud to offer my services as a presenter for the Malcolm Sircom Award for best production of a Pantomime.
The nominees were:
The Watson Players for The Sleeping Beauty 
Kaleidoscope Players for Beauty and the Beast
The Enfield Players for Trouble in Pantoland
Mickleover Players for Robinson Crusoe and the Pirates
The judges thought that the winning production was; a fantastic interpretation of the traditional tale, brought to life with energy, humour and style. Excellent staging, costumes and sets, great Performances and a pace that never let up and made for a resounding success. Those involved in this production have every right to be very proud.
The WINNER was The Watson Players for The Sleeping Beauty.

All the winners in all categories of The Eagle Awards.
As I sat in the audience watching all the other awards and speeches I started to think about what I was going to say outside of the script and came up with a few short stories that went right back to the very beginnings of my own amateur attempts at theatre. The very first attempt was being cast as one of the three kings aged nine in the Roe Farm School nativity. I didn't  turn up on the night of junior school nativity as one of the three kings (I had no idea I had to!) and found myself being forgiven enough the next year to be the centre of a three boy Puff The Magic Dragon with my face stuck against the sweaty bottom of a boy with chronic wind so foul that I almost threw up every night! Even this didn't put me off and after some Derby Gang Show experiences I found myself completely hooked and joined The Littleover Players and then Derby Theatre in the Round with a few forays into Derby Shakespeare and a few musical societies before going to university to study performance art in the late 1980s.
I also told the audience about how my family in Chaddesden circa 1960s never went to the theatre but were 'entertained' on Saturday night by a trip to the Dog Track on Friar Lane and on Monday night the live entertainment came in the form of wrestling bouts at the Queen Street Baths venue. One Christmas I was given an encyclopaedia with a several vibrant colour plates and one of these was an artists' impression of a side view across a stage where a production of Peter Pan was in full flow. The theatricality of this sparked a profound interest in this thing called theatre which I began to follow with a passion at the tender age of eleven and have continued to do so ever since.

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