Oscars & Surprises

Last night was the Leicester University Theatre Society Awards, which we call the Oscars. It’s always a good night where everyone has the chance to dress up in their finest and shimmy on down to a top class locale for champagne and the awards ceremony. It’s always a good night and this year promised to be no different.

It was an exceptional night, and very emotional all round. But I won’t tell you the ups and downs of who won what and so on, because there are a few things that I want to say that I couldn’t quite get out on the night, or forgot, or generally want to reiterate. First of all, thanks to Ben and Keith for involving me (and my poetry) in the show, via the medium of the genius that is Fry & Laurie!

Best Directors

I’m not quite sure how Kate, my co-director, and I ended up winning the award for Best Directors, though I am enormously grateful for it. Lost & Found was such an amazing production to work on. From start to finish there were no real hitches, and those that came we managed to get sorted out fairly quickly. I’d heard a lot about what directing a play would be like – stressful, worrying, and generally enough to stop you eating, sleeping, and occasionally, breathing. I didn’t find that at all; I managed to get food, I got plenty of restful sleep, and the only times I stopped breathing was from laughing, rather conceitedly, at my own words – but I swear it was because the people involved had made it so damn hilarious. But I was never particularly stressed about the play, and that seemed to shock people, but the reason was that I had such a great team working on the project. Kate was invaluable to the production; I’m so glad that she shares this award with me, because she definitely deserves it! My wonderful cast – Ben, Sarah, Stephen, Nicci, James, Brona, Michael, Eloise, Alex, Steph and not forgetting Keith (who managed to secure Best Cameo for stripping off entirely in Lost & Found) – they were all of them, every one of them, bang on the money. I couldn’t have asked for a better group to work with, who always took what they were told and ran with it, made it that extra bit special. There’s also a few other people to thank – the technical crew – Assad for agreeing to come back once more to be our Lighting Designer and for putting in so much hard work, Rob for leading the technical team, Tamsen, Neil, Darren, and Hazel for all their hard work in running the show on the nights. Of course, who could forget the wonderful Holly, who stepped in as Stage Manager because our resident one was on the stage! She was absolutely amazing and nothing would have been half as smooth without her. Then there’s Toby, of course, who consented to busk happily and merrily and keep the audience in good humour before the performance and at the interval; what a legend!

Lifetime Achievement Award

Okay, so I won’t lie, but I’ve had my eye on this one for a while now, but I can’t express how much it means to have one won. I’m afraid the emotional nature of the event – that long video clip extolling all the things I’ve done – got to me and my speech was a bit pathetic. However, what I would have wanted to say is that, I’ve been with the society since 2005 and I think I’ve managed to involve myself (or been unable to extricate myself from involvement with) 49 productions. I won’t list them all here – it’d be exhaustative. Suffice it to say, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of those productions and am very thankful and honoured to have worked with so many talented and wonderful people over my time in LUTheatre. But not just working with them, because that’s only half of what the company is about – I’ve made so many excellent and wonderful friends with this company and I don’t ever want to have to leave! But seriously, thank you to everyone I’ve worked with on those 49 productions, on Proteus, on the Muses, on three years of committee, and on the numerous other projects we’ve had going on; this award means so very much to me, but it isn’t just for me – every lifetime achievement award is another affirmation that LUTheatre is the best society in the university and the best group of people you could ever hope to meet. Every time I look up at that award I shall remember each and every one of you and shed a manly tear. Thank you all so very much.

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