Sharnbrook Mill Theatre team take a bow after bagging four national awards

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Take a bow: Lauren Chacon, Emily Dignan, Condoleezza Hankins, Miles Dolby (slightly behind), Leila Hoch, Jon Coop, Douglas Pope, Virginia Pope, Barry Thompson, Tracey Powell, Nicole MacDonald. Image: Sharnbrook Mill Theatre
Take a bow: Lauren Chacon, Emily Dignan, Condoleezza Hankins, Miles Dolby (slightly behind), Leila Hoch, Jon Coop, Douglas Pope, Virginia Pope, Barry Thompson, Tracey Powell, Nicole MacDonald. Image: Sharnbrook Mill Theatre

Members of Sharnbrook Mill Theatre are celebrating after winning four awards at the regional NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association) Awards Gala on Sunday (7 April), including recognition for former chair, Doug Pope.

The community theatre group took home three District 2 awards for two of its sold-out 2023 productions, Little Women and Evita.

Little Women – the directorial debut of 20-year-old Condoleezza Hankins – was awarded Best Drama, and the hit show Evita won Best Musical and the Production Shield for Best Production in the area.

The team described it as “the icing on the cake” when former chairman, Douglas Pope, took centre stage to collect The Councillor’s Cup in recognition of his leadership of the theatre over the past 43 years.

Doug stood down as chairman at the end of 2022 but remains an active Trustee and supporter.

Barry Thompson, the director of Evita, said: “It has been my privilege to be part of Sharnbrook Mill Theatre over the years and see and experience the work and creativity that maintains this gem of a theatre on the banks of the River Great Ouse.

“Much of this emanates from Doug, whose passion for theatre was rightly recognised with this top accolade.

“The common denominator in any Mill show is the amazing back up and teamwork across the whole production.

“The engraving on The Councillor’s Cup, says it all: ‘Doug Pope – for being the driving force to turn the Sharnbrook Mill into a thriving theatre.”

Award winners Condoleezza Hankins and Barry Thompson. Image: Sharnbrook Mill Theatre
Award winners Condoleezza Hankins and Barry Thompson. Image: Sharnbrook Mill Theatre

Condoleezza Hankins, recognised in her directorial debut of Little Women, said: “I am beyond proud of this achievement, but this wouldn’t have been possible without my amazing cast, production team and all at Sharnbrook Mill Theatre, so thank you to all.”

A spokesperson for NODA said: “Huge congratulations to all involved and to Douglas, he truly is the epitome of what NODA stands for.”

You can see the award-winning theatre in action when it presents Bad Girls (the Musical) from 14 – 18 May, and join them for auditions for its September play, The Girl On The Train, on 23 and 28 April.

 
 
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