Top prize for acting newcomer

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ALL the world may seem like a stage to Bulwell thespian Matthew Huntbach after a morale-boosting success.

Matthew, a promising newcomer to Nottingham’s Lace Market Theatre Group, scooped one of the top awards at the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Drama Association (NANDA) Festival of One-Act Plays.

The prestigious event, which took place at the Olympia Arts Theatre in Chilwell, featured the talents of performers representing Burton Joyce Players, Lace Market Theatre, West Bridgford Dramatic Society and the Kate Bee Acting School.

Matthew (26), of Cinderhill Road, is a product of the Djanogly College, Nottingham, and it was there that he first became interested in acting. He recently joined the Lace Market group and was invited to take part in the NANDA event.

Teaming up with co-star Gemma Barritt under the direction of Dot Kraay, Matthew impressed adjudicator Diane Richards to win the supporting actor award for his portrayal of a character called Paul Cunningham in a play entitled ‘The Typists’.

Just for good measure, the Lace Market team was awarded the Blaby Group Shield for ‘best use of stage’. In May, Matthew and a small group of thespians will be taking the play to Germany as part of a performing arts exchange initiative.

Clutching the John Barker Trophy he won, Matthew said: “I am both surprised and delighted.

“I have only just renewed my interest in performing arts and I am looking forward to further involvement with what is a special amateur theatre group. It will be exciting to perform in Germany.”

n OUR PHOTO shows Matthew and director Dot with the two awards (PHOTO AND STORY BY: Peter Jordan)