Weston's Winter Gardens host the Rose Bowl awards
Almost 500 people packed into Weston-super-Mare's Winter Gardens for the ceremony they call the Oscars of the South West.
The annual Bristol Evening Post Rose Bowl awards, which celebrates the best in amateur dramatics from all over the South West, from Exeter and Taunton to Stroud and Devizes, was hosted by Mamma Mia! writer Catherine Johnson.
The atmosphere was electric when the Bristol-based dramatist took to the stage along with Rose Bowl chairman and Bristol Evening Post drama critic Gerry Parker to present the awards.
They covered everything from the best actor and best Shakespeare production to best youth show and awards for the best dramatic production.
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The Rose Bowl awards have a long and prestigious standing in the South West's amateur theatre world, with over 100 productions vying for the 18 trophies.
The coveted Bristol Evening Post Award for best musical production went to Bristol Amateur Operatic Society for their July show, A Chorus Line.
As she stepped on to the stage, choreographer Lizzy Wesney received one of the night's biggest cheers.
After accepting the Rose Bowl on behalf of the company, Miss Wesney said: "I am over the moon to win the Rose Bowl. I really didn't expect it, because it was a relatively small cast of just 13. I am really pleased for BAOS as they are the oldest amateur dramatic company in Bristol.
"We have struggled with the popularity of some of our shows recently, but things are definitely on the up, and we are delighted to pick up the award for best musical production."
Julia Fantini, who designed the costumes for Alice, also accepted the Walter Hawkins Award for creativity and design on behalf of the St Ursula's-based Minis Theatre Club.
The production was put on at Filton College's WISE Campus theatre in July last year.
Ms Fantini said: "It feels fabulous to win, and it is great for the Minis. It is the first time I have been involved in costume design, so I am thrilled for them all.
"I designed the costumes, but the parents made them, so I really must thank them. It is some time since we have won anything, so it makes all the hard work worthwhile."
Julian O'Sullivan, who played Anthony Blunt in St Ursula Players' spring production of Alan Bennett's Single Spies, won the John Lewis Award for best actor in a drama.
The award was particularly poignant for him because the 50-year-old company was formed by his mother, Marie, and the set for Single Spies was designed by his father, Hedley, who died recently.
Mr O'Sullivan, whose wife, Charlotte, is also in the company, said: "It means an awful lot to me. The set was the last one designed by my father before he died, and he would have been proud to see me win here"."
Speaking after the ceremony, Catherine Johnson said: "It has been a lovely occasion and everyone has been warm and friendly.
"It is so easy to forget the commitment involved with amateur theatre – who fancies going out on a wet Wednesday for rehearsals?
"It is such enthusiasm that draws people into the theatre, and it is great to see so many young people involved with it – they are the ones who will continue the great tradition of amateur theatre in this country.
"I am really proud of the strength of theatre in the South West, and it keeps confirming to me that I am in the right place and I should stay in Bristol."