Eyemouth Youth Community Theatre group received a fantastic Christmas present last month and Santa Claus can’t take any of the credit!
Known for putting on some spectacular pantomimes, the bunch of talented youngsters have been nominated for two top arts accolades.
They have made the shortlist in two categories for the Epic Awards - designed to celebrate the achievements of voluntary arts groups across the UK and Republic of Ireland, by recognising the skill, innovation and hard work that goes into their activities.
The group have made the final shortlist for the Scotland award and are also up for the people’s choice prize.
It’s been another great year for its youngsters, who most recently dazzled in ‘Dick Whittington’ and it was one of the group’s adult committee members, Joan Blatchley who thought they deserved some recognition.
But even she was shocked to find they had received the nods.
“I was astounded to find we were shortlisted as one of seven in the whole of Scotland!
“To be fair though I think the group really deserves it as it encourages participation from the whole community and encourages children to enjoy drama in what I feel are great shows with proper scenery and so on.
“It would be brilliant for our little bit of the Borders to be seen to win a national award.”
Unlike other amateur drama groups, who cast both adults and children in their annual pantomimes, this year youth theatre producer Pauline Grieve made the bold decision to hand all of the roles, bar the dame, to youngsters.
But Pauline told ‘WOW’ that with some much talent in her ranks it was with little hesitation that she gave the youngsters top billing.
“Prior to setting up the youth theatre group I’d staged a number of successful pantos with the town’s Guides so I knew the young talent was there,” she explained.
“But this year I’d say the talent has really reached a peak. The faith I’ve put in the children has most definitely paid off. I couldn’t be prouder of them.
“We haven’t actually had a meeting since we received the email about the nominations so I don’t know what their reactions have been though I’m sure they’re all pretty pleased!”
As well as starring in hit pantomimes in the past few years including ‘Peter Pan’ and ‘Robinson Crusoe’ as well as ‘Dick Whittington’, a number of Pauline’s youngsters have made the step up to variety group musicals and she said they’ve more than held their own.
“We’ve got some really, really good singers and if they don’t all go away to university, which a lot may well do, there’s no reason why the standard can’t get even better in the coming years.
“And those that do go off to college and university to study drama I’d like to think we’ve given them a good grounding here.”
Eyemouth Community Youth Theatre will find out if they have won the Epic prize for Scotland at an awards night in February but you could help them snatch victory in the People’s Choice category.
Just log on to http://blog.epicawards.co.uk/category/epic-awards-2014/shortlisted-2014/ andmake sure you cast your vote their way,
“We have such wonderful support from the town and it would be great if anyone who’d ever come along to one of our pantos and enjoyed themselves could log on and give us a vote.”