Duo collects major industry awards
Horsham Arts Council’s critically acclaimed portrayal of rock musical RENT has garnered two major industry awards.
Drummer Josh Young collected a Music Theatre Guild of Victoria award for best cameo performance, while Erin Boutcher was one of two winners in a set-design category.
RENT was nominated for 12 Bruce Awards, from production of the year to wardrobe to design.
Horsham Arts Council president Simon Dandy said he was incredibly proud of the response RENT had received from both audiences and industry peers.
“To have the most nominated show was amazing,” he said.
“Winning was irrelevant, we felt we had already won. When you see the other shows that won awards you can’t begrudge them anything.
“We know we did a great job and we’re really happy with the outcome.
“Everyone in Horsham should be really proud of what the arts council is achieving.”
Mr Dandy described the guild awards as ‘amateur theatre’s equivalent of the Academy Awards’.
He said the Wimmera contingent was up against stiff competition from across the state, predominantly metropolitan performing arts companies.
Mr Dandy praised Boutcher and Young for their contributions to RENT, presented in Horsham Town Hall from October 27 to November 4.
“Erin is a seasoned performer and she knows a lot about stage craft,” he said.
“I thought her sets were amazing. They were relatively simple, with scaffolding and the like, but the way it was set up for people to get on and off the stage was terrific.
“There were more elaborate sets up for awards but Erin would have won because of her designs and the way they were used.”
Boutcher shared her award with CLOC Musical Theatre’s Richard Perdriau for A Chorus Line.
Mr Dandy said Young was a newcomer to the arts council.
“Josh had never even seen a musical before RENT,” he said.
“He might have done some theatre stuff but I doubt it. Our music director Mark Block asked him to come along and he was sensational.”
Mr Dandy said for a musician to win the best cameo performance role was unprecedented.
“It usually goes to a cast member,” he said.
“I’ve never seen it go to a drummer, ever.”
The RENT cast was also invited to perform a number on the night, alongside a few other companies.
Brian Harrison, Brady King and Stacey Brennan took to the stage to perform ‘I’ll Cover You’.
“When Brian got to the part where he goes off on his own a bit, people started cheering,” Mr Dandy said. “At the end, a lot of people stood up. “To get that response from a room full of peers, many of whom are ego-driven, and to see the recognition they were giving our guys was wonderful.”
Mr Dandy said the standard of performances on the night was incredible.
“To think they’re all amateur performers is amazing,” he said.
“It was quite an amazing night.”
Horsham Arts Council has announced the cast of its next production, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
Mr Dandy said he was pleased to assemble such a great cast, led by narrator Jessica Durant and Beau Ladlow as Joseph.
“More than 100 people auditioned to be part of the show,” he said.
“It’s always hard because you can’t have everyone on stage and some people have to miss out.
“Hopefully those people keep coming back.”
Mr Dandy said the cast and crew would have an initial meet and greet on Sunday.
The arts council will present Joseph in Horsham Town Hall in May.
Cast Narrator, Jessica Durant; Joseph, Beau Ladlow; Jacob, Jack Janetzki; Reuben, James Henwood; Simeon, Tim O’donnell; Levi, Caleb Eioloa; Naphtali, Noel Whiteside; Issachar, Carlos Lopez; Asher, Will Marks; Dan, Jayden Robertson; Zebulon, Josiah Mock; Gad, Oscar O’brien; Benjamin, Liam Robertson; Potiphar, Ken Warrick; Mrs Potiphar, Sophie Koschmann; Butler, Oscar O’brien; Baker, Josiah Mock; Pharaoh, Mark Deckert; Judah, Saxon Hobbs. Children’s ensemble: Katelyn Busbridge, Liberty Hobbs, Yasinta Grosser, Tiani Grosser, Bonnie Mellor, Hallie Burgess, Adriene Dawson, Sienna Walsgott, Lara Bowman, Marni Saunders, Claudia Lopez O’donnell, Penelope Lopez O’donnell, Ebony Hart, Amy Schmidt, Neeve Kelly, Ulani Hobbs, Marli Pymer, Ruby Risson, Harriet Overman, Katianna Grosser, Orlan Hart, Thomas Naylor, Malachy O’brien, Ryder Cerny, Hugo Hopper, Abbey Morrow, Kathleen Johns, Lily O’brien, Luca Lopez O’donnell, Faith Eilola, Rebekah Wundke, Leah Eilola. Adult ensemble: Jan Dunlop, Malory Ryan, Pam Deckert, Emily Mcdiarmid, Ella Ballinger, Baylee Mclean, Belinda Elliott, Emma Naylor, Alayna Toporzisek, Stacey Brennan, Brittany Bates, Venetia Elbourne-hobbs, Josie Thomas, Kira Guest, Jemima Olston, Jessica Wilson, Natasha Eilola, Neve Lawson.
SUCCESS: Horsham Arts Council’s Josh Young and Erin Boutcher celebrate success at Music Theatre Guild of Victoria awards.