Curtain up for local-theatre 'Oscars'
WHEN Chris Harris steps on to the podium in Weston-super-Mare's Winter Gardens on Sunday, October 13 to present the Golden Jubilee Rose Bowl Awards, he will face a full house of more than 450 local-theatre enthusiasts.
Representatives of the near-100 productions that have been adjudicated over the past season, covering an area from Stroud in the north to Exeter in the south, will be hoping that their club will take one of these coveted awards.
To make the awards even more memorable in this anniversary year, the winners will receive Bristol blue rose bowls crafted specially for the occasion.
Walter Hawkins, who as managing director of the Bristol Post originated the awards, John Coe, his theatre critic who headed and organised the first group of adjudicators, and the Bristol Post all have awards named in commemoration of their work in starting the awards.
In the past 50 years the awards have grown into the most prestigious local-theatre event in the West of England. The founding fathers would be thrilled to see the quality of the productions and individual performances that have been seen among this season's entries, especially those of the youth groups who now tackle a wider range of shows than would have been thought possible 50 years ago.
Chris will have to use all his experience and skills if he is to keep the lid on the excitement and anticipation as each of the 18 winners of local theatre's Oscars are announced.