Actors honoured with Kennys

THE CREAM of the Ilford theatre world was honoured on Sunday at the annual Kennys awards. The 30th year of the Kenneth More Theatre Oscars saw a flashback to the inaugural awards, with one of the actors who triumphed in 1979 coming up trumps this year.

THE CREAM of the Ilford theatre world was honoured on Sunday at the annual Kennys awards.

The 30th year of the Kenneth More Theatre "Oscars" saw a flashback to the inaugural awards, with one of the actors who triumphed in 1979 coming up trumps this year.

Liz Calnan won Best Female Supporting Performance in a Play for her role in Glorious. Reg Wheeler, while not emulating his first Kenny, was given a special award, along with the whole cast and backroom staff for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

Laura Nayman was pipped for Best Female Supporting Performance in a Musical by Georgia Permutt (Little Women) and although Christine Keates was beaten for Best Director by Owen Smith (South Pacific) she was named Ilford Recorder Theatre Personality of the Year.


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In presenting the award, editor Chris Carter said Christine's former work as a drama teacher had "inspired generations of performers".

Chris added: "Her enormous talent as a performer has delighted and thrilled thousands of local theatre-goers."

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The much-prized Fred Mountier award for best show was presented by Redbridge Mayor Cllr Loraine Sladden to Redbridge Musical Guild's The Magic of the Musicals.

Much was made of the young, up-and-coming actors and Harry Condon was named Judy Walker Young Person of the Year, while Melanie Bright was awarded the Kenny for Best Female Performance in a Musical for Little Women. Melanie's performance on the night, of Astonishing from the show, was just that, and fully justified her award. She also won praise from returning KMT star Nic Greenshields, taking a break from playing the Phantom on the West End stage to present the award.

Best Actor went to Paul Sparrowham (Lion in Winter) and Best Actress was shared by Lesley Curtis (Lion in Winter) and Brenda Brackley, who brought the house down with her performance of Queen of the Night Aria from Glorious.

The other awards winners were: Dave Bennett (Seasons Greetings) Best Male Supporting Performance in a Play; Simon Ward (South Pacific) Best Male Performance in a Musical; John Utting (Oliver) Best Male Supporting Performance in a Musical. Other performance highlights on the night were College Operatic Society's reprise of Oliver!, with Gemma Cooper superb as Nancy, Sideshow's Copacabana, and a barnstorming finale of Hairspray by Redbridge Musical Guild.

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