FOLLOWING the success of their recent production of The Boys in the Photograph, in both Lisburn, and at the Waterford International Festival, local theatre group, Fusion Theatre, recently returned from Killarney clutching an armful of nominations and awards.
Having earlier come third in the Waterford Festival, the local youth group had been nominated for no fewer than four different awards by the Association of Irish Musical Societies.
At the glittering awards ceremony in Killarney, accompanied by much glitz glamour and cheering, David McCrossan was a runner up in the “Best Supporting Actor” category, and Fusion was also runner up for “Best House Management”. Also on the podium was Orla McCormick who won the coveted “Best Female Voice” award for her performance as Florence in another Fusion production, Chess. However, Ian Milford, Fusion’s resident Director and Musical Director, was particularly gratified when his production of The Boys in the Photograph came third, in the “Best Overall Show” category.
He told the Star: “I was so proud to represent Fusion as I stood on that podium. We only formed Fusion about 10 years ago, and now we have become a real force to be reckoned with. That award recognises the commitment and hard work of not just the talented cast, but also the army of volunteers, mainly parents, who do all the work behind the scenes.
“For The Boys in the Photograph the entire team played an active and visible role on stage and off. If I started to list each person who had contributed, it would turn into an Oscar speech, but their combined contribution made for a truly unforgettable production. However, none of this would be possible without the support of the Arts Council (lottery funding), the Lisburn Arts Advisory Committee, and the Lisburn Enterprise Organisation.”
The awards cabinet for Fusion also has been boosted by recent awards from the National Operatic and Dramatic Association, which awarded the production of Chess the awards for Best Youth Show, and Best Stage Management. While representatives from Fusion could not attend the ceremony in Hereford, local NODA representative Sheelagh Hobart travelled to Fusion to personally present the talented youngsters with their well-deserved awards.
However, Ian Milford and his talented cast don’t rest on their laurels, and are currently rehearsing at their premises at the Lisburn Enterprise Park for a forthcoming visit to Harrogate in Yorkshire, as they take part in Musicfest, an international festival of musical theatre. This is the inaugural year of Musicfest, so Fusion is particularly delighted ti have been invited to take part. The performance in Harrogate will be on Wednesday August 22, with a pre-run at Belvoir drama Studio on Saturday August 18 (Tickets £10 available at the door).
No sooner will they have returned form Harrogate, than the group launch into intensive rehearsals for its main Autumn production, Chess, by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, to be staged at the Island Hall, Lagan Valley Island from 5 to 8 September. Tickets (costing £10 to £14 available from the box office and on-line) are already selling fast, for what Ian Milford and team hope will be another Fusion spectacular. As Ian says, “Watch this space!”