The best in Portsmouth’s arts scene is celebrated at The Guide Awards gala night
In a rare turn of events, one of the leading lights of Portsmouth’s amateur dramatics scene was left lost for words when he was presented with the Special Achievement trophy at The Guide Awards.
John-Paul McCrohon was given the special gong – usually the final presentation of the night – as a surprise when he thought he had come along to the awards’ venue, the New Theatre Royal, earlier in the day to help some of his company rehearse for part of the awards show.
To see our full picture gallery from the evening click on the link at the top of the article.
The founder of Corpus Christi Amateur Dramatics Society (CCADS) was unable to stay for the main show because he was in dress rehearsal for his own next performance, The King’s Speech, which opens today at The Square Tower in Old Portsmouth.
Since the 37-year-old started CCADS in 1992 while still a youngster it has become an am-dram powerhouse. He has also been an enthusiastic supporter of community events across the region, and also helped The Kings and the New Theatre Royal when both of those institutions were in financial trouble.
As his wife Kerry McCrohon said: ‘Probably 99 per cent of everything he does revolves around the theatre in one way or another. It’s what makes him tick.
‘He eats, sleeps and drinks theatre.’
John-Paul received his award from Cllr Steve Pitt, Portsmouth City Council cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport.
After overcoming being tongue-tied, John-Paul said: ‘I normally have a lot of things to say but I had no idea this was going to happen.
‘It's a genuine honour for doing what I am truly passionate about, in a city and area where the local theatre scene and indeed the whole entertainment scene is so thriving.
‘All of the companies that are here in the area, the depth in the field we have here is so tremendous.’
Estate agents Fry & Kent were headline sponsor for the night, which saw 13 other awards handed out throughout the course of evening, honouring outstanding efforts from 2018 in the fields of music, art, film-making and acting. Readers voted in their thousands for their favourites during December.
In his closing comments, compere Jack Edwards jokingly told the audience they had witnessed a new show: ‘The Awards Show That Goes Wrong,’ following a series of technical problems and a few unplanned changes to the script.
Don’t miss The Guide in Friday’s News for extensive coverage of the big awards night
THE WINNERS IN FULL
WINNER: Joe Wells
RUNNER-UP: Sunjai Arif
WINNER: Delicacy, directed by Michael Middleton-Downer
RUNNER-UP: Love in First Sight, directed by Billy Stevenson
Best Professional Production
WINNER: The Play That Goes Wrong at The Kings
RUNNER-UP: War Horse at Mayflower Theatre
Best Amateur Production
WINNER: Dracula by HumDrum at The Spring
RUNNER-UP: The Tempest by Southsea Shakespeare Actors at The Square Tower
WINNER: Wickham Festival
RUNNER-UP: Icebreaker Festival
Best Solo Act
WINNER: Megan Linford
RUNNER-UP: Bella Estelle
Best Amateur Actor
WINNER: Andrew Warner in Priscilla Queen of The Desert by Portsmouth Players
RUNNER-UP: Tony Johnson as The Childcatcher in Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang by CCADS
Best Amateur Musical
WINNER: Chitty, Chitty, Bang by CCADS at The Kings
RUNNER-UP: Hairspray by Titchfield Festival Theatre
WINNER: Portsmouth Grammar School Chamber Choir
RUNNER-UP: Portsmouth Choral Union
Best Visual Artist
WINNER: Samo White
RUNNER-UP: Svetlana Ochkovskaya
WINNER: Will Chump
RUNNER-UP: DJ Banksy
Best Amateur Actress
WINNER: Clare Plumridge in Grease by FMS
RUNNER-UP: Rhian Gardner in Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang by CCADS
WINNER: Seething Akira
RUNNER-UP: Fake Empire