“Betty Blue Eyes”, a musical comedy featuring post-war food rationing, a chiropodist and a life-sized model pig picked up most of the key awards when the Cotswold Players staged their annual theatre awards ceremony this month.
The musical, based on Alan Bennett’s film “A Private Function”, was named as the year’s best production as well as earning Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress awards for Richard Murray, who took the lead role as Gilbert Chivers, and Claire Greenwood who won the show’s biggest laughs in the part of Mother Dear.
It was also marked out for Champagne Moment of the Year for Judy Free’s puppeteering, which drew wild applause every time the model of Betty the pig came on stage.
Another 1940’s play, Noel Coward’s tense thriller “Peace in Our Time”, earned Helen Voyce Best Actress for her role as Nora Shattock, a pub landlady involved with the resistance in an imagined wartime occupation of Britain by the German army.
Other awards included John Salter as Best Supporting Actor for “Peace in our Time” while the moving drama “Charlie” achieved recognition for its fine script, written by Cotswold Players member Philip Douch, and the Creativity and Design award for the back-projections used during the performance.
Other awards went to Leah and Jess Smith, and to Janet Biard for their contribution off-stage.
The Cotswold Players Chair, Judy Free, told members that the awards celebrated an amazing first season back performing live theatre after the frustrations of the Covid pandemic and looked forward to some terrific productions in the year ahead.
The Cotswold Players have also been nominated for six of the prestigious regional amateur theatre “Rose Bowl Awards”. The nominations include Best Actress for both Christina Heward-Mills as Janet Braid in “Peace in Our Time” and Linny Gray as Jennifer in “Charlie”. “Peace in Our Time” has also been nominated for Best Dramatic Production. The awards ceremony will be held on 27th November in Bristol.