Youth theatre group scoops top awards

The Rising Stars cast and crew with the award shield and certificates.

The Rising Stars cast and crew with the award shield and certificates. - Credit: Archant

A Beccles-based youth musical theatre group is celebrating after collecting two prestigious awards from NODA, the National Operatic and Dramatic Association.

Members of Rising Stars were told in February that their production of Les Misérables - School Edition, had been nominated for Best Youth Production 2014 and Best Technical Award for their innovative use of the barricades in the show.

The team then had an agonising three-month wait until the NODA Gala Awards Ceremony last weekend to find out whether they had been successful.

Helen Steed, stage director for Les Misérables, and Chris Steed, Rising Stars’ chairman, travelled to Huntingdon for the ceremony and were thrilled to be presented with the award for Best Youth Production 2014 in Eastern District 6.

They were also delighted to celebrate with members from their sister group - Waveney Light Opera Group - who won the Best Technical Award for the rain effects in their production of Singin’ in the Rain.

But the night didn’t end there, with Rising Stars announced as the winner of Best Overall Production 2014, picking up a NODA shield.

Mr Steed said: “NODA are such experts in amateur theatrical productions that to be recognised by them in any capacity is a real achievement.

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“Just being nominated was an honour, winning the youth award was brilliant but having it announced that we had performed the best amateur show in the whole of the district was unbelievable.

“Although our members are all of school age, we pride ourselves on the high quality and professionalism of our performances. We always felt that our production of Les Misérables was something special, so to win this award was just brilliant, especially considering the high standard all the plays, dramas, pantomimes and musicals in the area that we were judged against.

“These two awards are a testament to the talent and hard work of all the young cast, the production and technical teams and to everyone involved.”

Members are currently in rehearsal for their next production The Sound of Musicals, which will be performed at Beccles Public Hall on July 16 and 17. The show will celebrate five years of Rising Stars and 50 years of the adult Waveney Light Opera Group with an exciting look into the future.

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