The Henley Players ‘A Casket of Jewels’, their entry into the Oxfordshire Drama Network (ODN) online Winter Festival has won favourite female performer and runner up in favourite male performer and production hero categories.
The entries were submitted over various categories to be viewed and voted on by ODN members and the awards were announced recently at an online ceremony.
The Henley Players entered a collection of Shakespeare’s monologues and duologues on aspects of love and laughter “A Casket of Jewels” directed by Jill Richardson. At the awards ceremony, Chair of the ODN, Karen Carey, described the Players’ entry as “a beautiful collection with a very thoughtful arrangement and presentation which was a feast for the eye”.
Gráinne Harling won Favourite Female Performer for her performance as Titania from A Midsummer Nights Dream with a performance described as “spirited and seductive”. The Players were runners up in the Production Hero category with Stephen Taylor Brown and Peter O’Sullivan for their Film Production, and the filming, design and execution were described by the judges as, “top notch green screen work.” Peter O’Sullivan was also runner-up as Shylock from The Merchant of Venice in the Favourite Male Performer category. Special mentions were given to Jill Richardson for her direction and to Jenny Haywood for costume design plus further mention of a most imaginative presentation with ” brilliant backgrounds.” The HAMs drama group with “Luncheon.” was the Overall Festival Favourite.
Tim Harling from Henley Players said, “Given the ongoing situation with the theatres being closed due to the pandemic we had been trying to think of ways to engage the membership. Our Spring 2020 production of Saturday, Sunday, Monday has had to be postponed three times and so when we received the invitation to enter the ODN online winter festival it seemed like an ideal opportunity to get some of our members performing again and Jill Richardson came up with the idea of “Casket of Jewels” and offered to pick and direct the cast.”
Members Peter O’Sullivan and Stephen Taylor-Brown suggested filming the entry to make it look more professional. Tim added, “We were in Tier 2 at the time and were able to film our pieces at a safe COVID secure distance, and then Peters son Matt could edit it all together as this is what he does professionally. We were delighted with the quality of the performances and the production values and it was great to get some members involved who hadn’t performed for us in some time. The fact that we got recognition for our efforts and people voted for us is the icing on the cake.”
For more details about the Henley Players go to https://henleyplayers.com/