A Cause For Celebration

As another season begins, it was time to reflect upon the past 12 months in the am-dram world, at the Clwyd Community Theatre Association’s (CCTA) annual finals night.


On Sunday the 22nd September 2013, the Hawarden Players along side several other dramatic societies from the North East Wales area, met at the Shotton Social Club to celebrate each others efforts and achievements within amateur theatre locally. The Hawarden Players both of our shows from the past 12 months entered for adjudication based on performances in the 2012/13 season; Aladdin; the panto, and Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Stolen Suspender.

We were very pleased to be praised for how we dealt with a change in performance venues, with both shows of the season taking place in our new how the Hawarden Institute. We were commended on not just our performances,but also the technical aspects of a show such as costumes and staging.

We were very proud to receive several nominations for individual awards within the group, which were as follows in order:

  • Ian Bandy was nominated for best supporting actor for his role as Emperor Chow Mein. Ian’s characterisation of the role, along side his vocal clarity and the amount of energy he brought to the stage throughout were prominently praised
  • Fiona Burdsall was also nominated in the same category as Ian for her role as Amelia Prude in Sherlock Holmes, bringing out the maximum potential of her characters playful, flirty side, while creating great drama when Amelia’s real, more sinister personality was shown to the audience.
  • Fiona went on to receive a second nomination of the evening In the category of best lead actor for playing Widow Twankey in Aladdin!  She was complimented on her consistantly outrageous dame behaviour, and her brilliantly garish costumes
  • Dan Ellis was nominated in the best lead actor for his portrayal of Wishee Washee in Aladdin, specifically for his comic timing and his interaction with the audience.

The group were also very proud to receive several nominations and mentions for one of the adjudicators special awards:

  • Fiona and Dan were praised for their performance of ‘A Song That Goes Like This’ and the amount of humour they managed to bring out within its performance during Aladdin
  • Mike Gilliland and Deborah Dickinson for their duet of Everlasting Love as Aladdin and Jasmine, for both how it sounded and how they interacted with the chorus on stage during  the song
  • Dan was nominated for his performance as Dr. Watson in the performance of Sherlock Holmes, specifically for how unorthodox it may have looked at face value having a quite a young Watson , but his performance allowed the audience to suspend reality for the evening and believe in his and Holmes’ partnership

It was in the ‘Adjudicators Special Award’ category that the highlight of the Hawarden Players evening took place:

Steve Burdall won an award for the set design and staging of Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Stolen Suspender.  He was complimented on how he had ‘ingeniously’ managed to create 4 different sets in a 2 act play taking place on a relatively small stage, with barely any wing space either side.  Steve who was aided in the creation of set, props, and helped backstage by Pete McCann came up with the design along side the shows director Debbie. All members of the group should feel a sense of pride in this award, as it really is a group effort getting set painted and all the elements of show visually ready for an audience, as shown in this video that was taken during one of our ‘get into theatre’ days

Again many congratulations to Steve, who’s consistent and unfaltering dedication to the group for many years has been such a strong point of our shows, and his work behind the scenes is second to none, and this reward is well deserved!  The Hawarden Players would also like to extend their congratulations to all other groups that had nominations, and won awards during the evening, and we are proud to be a part of such a strong, constantly improving theatrical community that North East of Wales currently has going from strength to strength!

As you can see, it’s been another hugely successful year for the Players.  We have returned home to Hawarden, with 2 shows that have had amazing attendance from the community, I don’t think we have had more nights ‘sold out’ and any one year before!  Feedback from audience members has been overwhelmingly positive, and we thank you for all your encouragement throughout the year, and hope to see you all at our next pantomime:  Alice In Jungleland, further details of which will be posted here and on our Facebook Page in the coming weeks!

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