Best Amateur Musical Production 2010

Milton Jones Is Out There

Milton Jones walks the fine line between clever and stupid at Portsmouth Guildhall

Back trouble prevented Audrey Pring going to the Kings to receive the trophy for the Best Amateur Musical Production – but we caught up with her at her Cosham home the next day.

The award was particularly fitting because the production marked Audrey's 80th birthday and 42nd Street is tailor-made for her.

'I'm very pleased to have won the award because I did think it was one of my best shows,' she said.

'It's the type of thing someone of my age would want to do – I can still tap-dance, you know!

'I love its fantastic opening and it was lovely to see all those girls dancing beautifully well. I would estimate that 80 per cent of them were my ex-pupils.'

The trophy was collected on the night by Helen Stoddart, who played Peggy Sawyer, and South Downe secretary Tom Hudson who played Mac the stage manager.

Audrey remembers when her dance school's 'baby' class included Helen, and was therefore particularly pleased to hear she had won the Best Amateur Actress award for her performances in 42nd Street and two contrasting productions with CCADS and HumDrum.'

42nd Street is the story of a wannabe star who steps into the breach when the leading lady is injured.

Audrey said: 'Every number was one I could get my teeth into but I particularly love the montage ones where Peggy has to learn all those dances in one.

'I love anything with a bit of go in it to bring it alive. I think there are too many shows now that are so drab, and I don't think they will last as long.'

Runners-up in this category were Portsmouth-based youth group Stage One for their production of Les Miserables at Ferneham Hall, Fareham. One of the star performers in that show, Natasha Brown, sang I Dreamed A Dream at the awards ceremony.

BEST AMATEUR MUSICAL PRODUCTION

WINNER: 42nd Street (South Downe Musical Society)

RUNNER-UP: Les Miserables (Stage One Youth Theatre)