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  • Writer's pictureDownsview Players

Awards evening celebrates Players' success

Updated: Jun 12

The Downsview Players celebrated talent across the team this week with a special awards evening and dinner in Croydon.

The cast of The 39 Steps stands across the front of the stage waving.
The cast of The 39 Steps saw nearly everyone on stage with lots doubling up of roles on-stage and backstage

Organised by Social Secretary Elaine Walsh, the ceremony marked the group’s successful

productions during the past two years.


The 39 Steps, performed in May 2023, saw the most members being recognised: Dan

Carr was presented with the Best Actor Award for his leading role as Richard Hannay while The Rita Scott Comedy Award went to Simon and Michele Charles for their performance of Mr and Mrs McGarrigle. In a break with previous productions, sound effects were provided live by Ann Atkins and Ceri Williams who were also recognised. Two comedy awards were presented, one to Martin Parham for the Best Live Statue Award while Steve Atkins won the Best Corpse Award.



Two actors dressed for pantomime as the Little Mermaid and Sea Witch Ursula
Julie Nye (left) won the most glamorous mermaid award.

The Players put on a pantomime on alternate years and many awards were presented to the team of The Little Mermaid: Anne Bassi won the Eileen Newson Director’s Chair Award while Amanda Perry was presented with the Picasso Award having designed and painted an ambitious set and decorated the hall to look like an under-sea world. Cast members were also recognised: Colin Sexton, who played the King Triton, for having the best six-pack; Julie Nye for being the most glamorous mermaid while Bradley Welch won the Best Comic Barman Award.


One of the most challenging recent productions was The Father and Director Sammi

Canning and lead actor Steve Canning were presented with the Tear Jerker Award.


Two men hold award certificates at the dinner and awards evening.
Steve 'Hutch' Nicholson and Matteo Garaventa

Any production requires a team of talented people behind stage. Lighting and Sound Team Steve 'Hutch' Nicholson and Matteo Garaventa were recognised as was Simon Charles and Georgina Williams who were presented with the Pete McAuliffe Set Building Award, and Monica Bayley for the Best Prompt Award.


The Players raise money for charities from the sales of homemade cakes at their

performances so Emma Payne was presented with the Cupcake Champion Award.


The Players’ Committee also wanted to use the ceremony to mark the great contribution

Chairman and former Lighting Manager John Cooke has given to the group, presenting him

with the Lifetime Award (again!).


A Superstar Award was presented to two of the Players who do a lot of work behind the

scenes: Secretary Michele Charles for all the organising she does to ensure each production

goes ahead smoothly, and Lis Parham was thanked for all her ongoing work with publicity.


The Players celebrated their 90th anniversary in 2021 and Terry Fuller and Simon Peyton

were presented with the Best Short Film Award for their film celebrating the history of the

group.


Elaine said: “It was a really fun night and it’s only when you start working out who is going to

get which award that you realise what a talented bunch of friends we are.”


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