Culdrose theatre club scoops five awards
The cast and crew of Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose Theatre Club have been celebrating after winning five awards at the annual Royal Navy Theatre Association Festival with their play ‘Sherlock Holmes & the Mystery at Mallen Hall’. The play, staged at the base’s theatre last month, was a huge success after five years absence from the competition.
In all, Culdrose Theatre Club bagged five awards plus two nominations presented at the festival award ceremony held at HMS Collingwood in Portsmouth
The five awards were for:
• Best Make-up, hair and Wigs – Laura Harris & Dannyi Berry
• Best Costume – Gillian Wilton
• Best Lighting – Pete Armstrong
• Best Set – Annette Shaw
• Best Supporting Actress – Kathryn Cartlidge
• Rachel Gilbert – Best Newcomer
• Mike Smith – Best Actor
Whilst presenting the award for Best Set, the RNTA Festival’s Adjudicator, Chris Jaeger, said “I can safely say that the Sherlock Holmes set at Culdrose is the best amateur set I have seen in 30 years.”
Annette Shaw the play’s Director, joined the Culdrose Theatre Club in 2011, initially for a part in the annual pantomime, but shortly after discovered the script for the Sherlock Holmes play and decided to take on a more challenging role. “I offered to direct the play and entered it into the Royal Navy Theatre Association Festival for 2013. I held auditions in May last year and worked with the cast on characterisation workshops and improvisation sessions before rehearsals began in January of this year.”
Lieutenant Rachel Gilbert, a Royal Naval Lynx helicopter Observer, had no acting experience before the offer of a part in the play came along, so for her to be nominated for 'Best Female Newcomer' at the awards was an outstanding achievement. Treading the boards in the Navy’s theatre is a huge contrast to her day-job as an Aviator with the Fleet Air Arm. The other cast members came from squadrons and units across the Cornish air base, combining their thespian talents with the business of running a busy Royal Navy Air Station.
Annette Shaw continues, “I am so proud of all the cast and crew. It was a lot of hard work but we had so much fun along the way. There was some great feedback from our audiences and so to win these awards is the icing on the cake for us.”
The members of Culdrose Theatre Club are a mixture of past and current serving Navy personnel as well as their family and friends. Their next production will be a pantomime for which there will be auditions in June, with performances in November/December.