Top awards for young stage stars

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LITTLE Caitlin Bannister is celebrating after winning a top award for amateur stage stars.

The nine-year-old, from Fatfield, was honoured at the National Operatic and Dramatic Association’s (NODA) regional awards.

Held at Rainton Meadows Arena, Houghton, the ceremony celebrated the talent of performers from the Scottish Borders to North Yorkshire.

Caitlin, a member of the Rainbow Youth Theatre, in Washington, won the Youth Award for her performance as Iago in Aladdin Junior.

“I was really pleased to win the award,” said the Fatfield Primary pupil. “It was really exciting. I love being a member of the group.”

Elsewhere, Nick Thompson, 18, from Sulgrave, was singled out for special praise and handed a certificate for his performance as Joe in The Inn Crowd, for Park Productions.

“Although I didn’t win the award in my district category, it was an honour to be nominated and presented with the certificate,” he said. “It was great to be at the ceremony.”

NODA North, which covers the North East, has a team of representatives who travel to review as many performances as possible, nominating those who show ‘excellence in the amateur theatre.’

“It was a really good night and we want to congratulate all of those who were nominated and won awards,” said Gordon Richardson, from NODA North.

The Rainbow Youth Theatre will perform The Wizard of Oz at the Harraton Community Centre next month, with Caitlin playing the Munchkin Mayor and Nick the Cowardly Lion.

One show will be held on Saturday November 9 and two in Sunday on November 10.

Freda Brennan, who helps run the group, said: “We’re all very proud of both of them and are looking forward to our next production.”

For more information, visit www.rainbowyouththeatre.co.uk.