Harleston Players October 2015 production of Dracula has received the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) Best Drama Award for our part of the Eastern Region (an area, called District 6, spanning the towns between Lowestoft and Diss). Bazil Leith, who directed the play, accepted the award from NODA President Chris Ingram on behalf of Harleston Players at a gala awards ceremony in Cambridgeshire on Sunday 3rd April.
Success for the production did not stop there, however. Dracula also won the prize – as nominated by our district representative, Terry Rymer – as Best Production for 2015, winning out against the prize winners in other categories, such as musicals and pantomimes. This is a fantastic achievement for all involved with the production. However, Mr Rymer also was keen to point out that the award – which took the form of the impressive Best Production Shield – was also given in recognition of our longstanding success in achieving high standards of performance and production, and of our outgoing Chairman, David Cumming’s role in this success.
At a surprise party for David on Friday 8th April at the Apollo Rooms, Harleston – attended by over a hundred Players, past and present – a tribute from Terry Rymer was read on his behalf by Harleston Players’ Treasurer, Mike Davison. Here are some excerpts:
“It is not often I get the opportunity to congratulate a Chairman of a society who has served with such enthusiasm and expertise for 25 years. It is therefore more of a privilege to do so for a man who has, during my time as NODA Rep been a particularly ‘hands on’ chairman with a seemingly bottomless appetite to organise and lead Harleston Players to a situation where on Sunday I was delighted to award them the Dist 6 Best Production Shield (I had no knowledge of his retirement when nominating Harleston!). The Award is a fitting tribute to his leadership and indeed acting prowess over the years…most recently and fittingly as Van Helsing in the Award winning drama Bram Stokers ‘Dracula’.
David has shown me true friendship during my time as NODA Rep and my reception at Harleston is always one to look forward to. I wish him a very happy ‘retirement’ from this sometimes all consuming role and hope that we will not have seen the last of him on stage.”