Today the company of which I am the producer and the company in which I am part of the acting ensemble won ‘Best Ensemble’ at The Peter Brook Awards. I am beyond delighted and utterly flabbergasted.
I arrived at the venue to discover I wasn’t on 'the list’ “Unsurprising” I thought “there is no-chance we are going to win”. So, I had my name scribbled in Sharpie on a sticky label that didn’t even have my title or the company I was representing on it. I tried to hide it behind my cardigan, but the people I was 'networking’ with kept staring trying to get a look (I’m fairly sure that the majority weren’t coping an eye-full) so I disrobed and wore my badge of shame with pride. “Hell” I thought "there will be free wine in an hour or so".
After approximately 40 minutes of torturous chatting to people from the industry who didn’t know who I was and weren’t really interested to find out the proceedings began.
The awards are run and presented by people with such a fierce passion for theatre that I found just being in their presence inspirational. Whenever someone gave a dig at arts funding cuts or praised the work of theatre makers I wanted to whoop and say 'I know, right?!’ like an American teen. Thankfully I managed to restrain myself.
The third award category for the Equity Best Ensemble was the category in which we were nominated. As such a young company (three years old a week ago- I know- Happy Birthday us) even the nomination was a surprise. We had some stiff competition too, big guns in the off-WestEnd world, I didn’t think we stood a chance. Especially as when he began to outline our plans the audience took to rather giggling at our audacity to have such huge plans. Turns out though it is good to be audacious; we won!
When he read out our name I couldn’t believe it. I did that stupid wanker thing you see all the actors do at the Oscars when they clasp their hand to their chest as voicelessly say 'Oh wow!’ in slow motion. Then I walked Bambi legged up to the stage to collect the award and shook hands with people and shrugged quite a bit then bent down to the microphone (which I didn’t need to do, why do we do that?) to say the immortal word 'Er, thanks, thanks for your support, come to the shows’.
I think we can agree that my first acceptance speech was a success.
The rest of the afternoon was a delight. The networking session afterwards rendered my hand-written name badge useless, everyone knew who I was now! And they wanted to talk to me. Plus there was free wine and we got a cheque and I stole the poster.
The poster is already framed and installed on my toilet wall waiting for future awards to join it. Though when I start getting statues I’ll need to get one of those bracket-free shelves from IKEA but there is time for that yet.
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