Manly Musical Society's November 2014 production of "Company" has been awarded Best Fringe Musical Production of 2014 in the prestigious Sydney Arts Guide Annual Awards.
The category included every community and independent theatre group in Sydney - making this achievement by the young theatre company a highly satisfying 'gong'.
Company followed the story of single 30-something New Yorker, Robert (played by Ducker), navigating his way through life and its relationships. While his friends are all married or coupled-up, Robert finds it difficult to commit to one of his three ‘girlfriends'.
A fun, contemporary musical featuring the exquisite music and witty lyrics of Stephen Sondheim, the production was praised by Sydney Arts Guide reviewer Lyn Belvedere: "Christie Wykes directs with a fresh new vision that is valid and intriguing..."
"This production features superb lighting design with intriguing use of various colours matching every mood and song. Laura-Beth Wood orchestrates clever, razzle-dazzle choreography, while Christine Kay Bennett's design features a purpose-built set that quickly changed from scene to scene with a particular treat being the five bedroom scene."
MMS president Keith Muir said he was hugely proud of the company's achievement.
"In just five years, we've grown to a major force in Sydney's community theatre scene; we're thrilled Company made such a splash. It's ever onward and upward from here!"
Auditions have been announced for the next MMS production, Chess - to be produced at the Star of the Sea theatre in May. It will be directed by Ryan Fogwell with returning musical director and choreographer from Company, Anthony Cutrupi and Laura-Beth Wood.
Chess is West End and Broadway hit musical, known for its soaring musical themes covering war, love and heartbreak - with music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus (of ABBA fame), with lyrics by Tim Rice (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita).
Chess lays bare the motivations of the opposing powers of the Cold War, and reveals what political manipulation does to individuals caught between two seemingly unstoppable forces on the brink of war. Good guys abandon their lovers, bad guys are redeemed, and the so-called villains are the underdogs. It's impossible to know the right thing to do when political motivations simmer under your feet, and all that's left is to trust the game of chess.
Auditions will be held Sunday 1st February 10am-4pm and Tuesday 3rd February 7pm-10pm.
For full details, to arrange an audition - or early ticket bookings - visit www.manlymusicalsociety.com
Read the full Sydney Arts Guide awards list at http://www.sydneyartsguide.com.au/sydney-arts-guide-festival-awards-2014/