Boss toasts success

Proud company founder Dot Clarke has praised her group for its unbroken run of success in amateur theatre’s equivalent of the Oscars.

For the fifth year in a row, Chesterfield-based Young Inspirations has scooped the region’s best youth musical award, presented by the National Operatic and Dramatic Association.

The company’s 2010 production of Beauty and the Beast was voted into top spot in its category, East Midlands District 2.

This follows similar success for Sweeney Todd in 2009, Les Miserables in 2008, We Will Rock You in 2007 and Robin Prince of Sherwood in 2006.

In 2004, the adult members of the group scooped a special award for their production of Les Miserables and in 2008 the company’s production of The Full Monty was nominated for the senior award.

Dot said: “From formation of the company 13 years ago, I have always been extremely proud of the results we seem to achieve. We have won awards every year with the exception of one, in 2005.

“It is also more gratifying to receive acknowledgement of these results by the winning of awards given by critics not close to the company.

“I have directed all the award-winning shows with the help of my trusty musical director Melanie Gilbert (for The Full Monty) and Jonathan Francis and choreographers Laura Coe and Rachel Crick (for Beauty and the Beast).

“Producing a good show has become more and more difficult with the recession and falling attendances at the theatre, but we seem to survive. May I offer my thanks to all those who come to see our shows and support us, not only by being there but without ticket sales, future shows would probably end.”

The company’s next production is a double bill of The Jungle Book and Guys and Dolls. The Jungle Book, a short adaptation of the Disney classic, stars seven-year-old Jack Cashmore as Mowgli, while Guys and Dolls stars Stuart Found as Sky Masterson and Josh Mason as Nathan Detroit. This production will be staged at the Pomegranate on July 15 and 16.

A musical comedy entitled Stand By our Beds will be performed at the Palace Theatre, Mansfield, in aid of The John Eastwood Hospice, later in the year. Anyone who wants to be part of this show should contact the website