SHE has been involved in showbusiness for nearly eight decades, and last night Audrey Pring was given the Special Achievement Award at The WOW247 Awards for her outstanding contribution to the local arts scene.
Fifteen awards were given out during the ceremony last night at The Kings Theatre in Southsea, celebrating the best in arts and entertainment from across our region, ranging from music to film, amateur dramatics, eating out and more.
Among the worthy winners were Kassassin Street, who took the Best Band title for a second time, Victorious Festival swept away all-comers in Best Event and Fareham Musical Society won Best Amateur Musical for their production of Jekyll and Hyde, as well as having two runners-up for the same show in Best Actor and Best Actress.
But 86-year-old Audrey was the star of the show.
As life president of South Downe Musical Society and founder of the South Downe School of Dance, she has worked with generations of actors and dancers.
She said: ‘It’s lovely to get an award for something you enjoy doing.
‘When the chairman at SDMS told me last week, I thought he was pulling my leg. It’s wonderful.
‘I like to think that some of those I’ve taught have learned something from me.’
There was entertainment from rock band Hollowed Hour, which is made up of students from the awards’ sponsor Portsmouth College, The News Instant Star talent competition winner Mollie Jay and the Portsmouth Players, who treated the packed-out theatre to an excerpt from their upcoming production of Spamalot.
Simon Barrable, deputy principal of the college, said: ‘It was a real honour and a pleasure for Portsmouth College to be the lead sponsor at such a prestigious event, and our congratulations go out to all the nominees and award winners.
‘Performing arts in all its forms is a real strength of the college and we are very proud of all the staff and students who are involved in it.
‘Hollowed Hour did a great job up on the stage – I know they were nervous about playing on such a large stage, but they acquitted themselves well.
‘I hope the college will keep its association with the WOW247 Awards.’