Newcastle's Phantom of the Opera production woos judges at CONDAs

THE Metropolitan Players' staging of the musical The Phantom of the Opera was the big winner at last week's City of Newcastle Drama Awards.

It was awarded seven CONDAs, including Best Non-Professional Musical Production.

The judges said it was a fine production and first-class entertainment, gripping audiences with its story of a scarred and generally hidden composer trying to win the love of a beautiful new singer in a Paris opera house.

Julie Black won the Best Non-Professional Director Award for her portrayal of the performances and other elements, and musical director Greg Paterson collected the Excellence in Non-Professional Achievement in Music and Movement trophy for the quality of the music produced by his 28-piece orchestra.

Daniel Stoddart was named Best Non-Professional Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for the charisma and romanticism he gave to the role of Raoul, a nobleman who woos the troubled heroine.

The Popular Theatre Company's The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) collected CONDAs for Best Professional Production, Best Professional Director (Victor Emeljanow), and Professional Achievement in Set, Costumes and Make-up for Jennifer Ellicott's costume designs.

Two other popular productions were also triple winners, Stooged Theatre's Ruben Guthrie and SNAP Productions' Chicago, which each collected acting awards in three categories.

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