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By Gainsborough Target  |  Posted: June 15, 2012

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BACKSTAGE volunteers, actors and the crew of a Gainsborough amateur dramatics troupe have returned from the seaside with medals.

And the appearance at the Skegness Playgoers' Festival was a personal triumph for Gainsborough Theatre Company's Kim Newby.

Her play Our Promise – which she wrote and directed – impressed the adjudicator so much that its stage crew won a gold medal.

And, in addition to silver and bronze medals for other cast members, Kim Newby pipped GTC colleague Caroline Hewis to the best supporting actress gold award.

"The Olympics came early for Gainsborough Theatre Company when our team of actors, technicians and stage crew took a production to the Skegness Playgoers' annual festival at Butlin's Crazy Horse Saloon theatre," said spokesman Graham Nixon.

"Our Promise is a touching tale of friendship and devotion, with humour and emotion in harmonic proportions.

"Our main contingent had arrived with minibus and laden trailer at 9.30am – and amazingly the large and complex set was in place in an hour – with lights and sound ready to go by 1.30pm.

"Nerves were by this time also highly focussed. Final rehearsal and last-minute adjustments were completed by 5pm, ready for curtain up at 7.30pm.

"The adjudication was in the capable hands of Marie O'Sullivan, a lady with a lifetime's experience of theatre and an eye for detail that could spot a speck of dramatic dust at 100 yards. She was surprisingly gentle with us, all criticisms being both constructive and helpful, and centring on stage positioning and movement.

"Her praises were, therefore, all the better received, when she firstly commented on the backstage organisation.

"Some will be aware that we have recently made arrangements with the employment agencies to provide opportunities for long-term unemployed people to regain confidence and skills for work-finding.

"Our volunteers under this scheme had taken a major role in the building, painting and transport of the set, so we can be justifiably proud that she gave us the award for best stage crew – our first gold medal.

"Very favourable comments were made about our actors, with special commendations going to Kelly Kraske (as Shaz), Mo Smith (as Ron), Ellie Bowker (as Annie) and Sue Hill (Maggie). – bronze and silvers. The crowning glory of the evening, however, came with the nomination of both Caroline Hewis and Kim Newby as best supporting actress, the award going to Kim."

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