Craven theatre company triumphs at Wharfedale Festival

Craven theatre company triumphs at Wharfedale Festival

WINNERS: David Nicholson as Siegfried Sassoon and, in uniform, Matthew Gardner as Wilfred Owen

Not About Heroes: David Nicholson as Siegfried Sassoon and, in uniform, Matthew Gardner as Wilfred Owen

First published in News Craven Herald: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Editor

CRAVEN-based touring theatre group, The Jaywalkers,walked off with five awards from the Wharfedale Festival of Theatre.

After finishing with runner-up award for the past two years, the group triumphed this year with its production, Not About Heroes.

Performed to commemorate the First World War, it portrayed a wartime meeting between Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen while they were both in hospital suffering from shell shock.

The group won the William Whiteley Trophy for best adult drama, David Nicholson (as Sassoon) was named best actor, Jamesine Cundell Walker won the trophy for best director and Matt Gardner (who played Owen) was given a special award for an outstanding performance by a young actor.

David also collected the best programme design award.

Jaywalker’s production manager Pat Charlton said: “We are very proud of the praise and recognition we have received for our production of this very moving play, based around the relationship between World War One poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen.

"This play, and the audience reaction, was very different from the comedies usually associated with the Jaywalkers. Not since we toured with Blue Remembered Hills in 2010 have we seen our audiences in floods of tears – it is usually laughter.”

Jaywalkers will return to the stage in the autumn, performing a programme of two one-act comedies at local venues. Full details can be found at.thejaywalkers.co.uk

lA special award was also given to primary school pupil Isabella Chandler, of Gargrave Village Pantomime, one the smallest pantomime dames ever to grace the stage at the Wharfedale Festival.

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