Delight at starring roles in stage ‘Oscars’

Amy and Joe Appleton with their NODA awards
Amy and Joe Appleton with their NODA awards

Move over Moonlight and La-La Land – a Fylde couple are celebrating ‘Oscars’ of their own.

While Joe Appleton has been named best director of a youth production in the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) awards for the second year running, wife Amy was named best choreographer in the awards’ musicals section for her work with the Blackpool and Fylde Light Opera Company on Grease.

The cast of Clifton Academy's production of Little Woman, with Erin Bannister and Erin James at the centre of the back row

The cast of Clifton Academy's production of Little Woman, with Erin Bannister and Erin James at the centre of the back row

Joe’s latest prize came for his efforts at the helm of the production of Little Women staged by St Annes’ Clifton Academy at Lowther Pavilion last summer and to add to his delight, it also picked up three other NODA awards – best youth production and best actress and best supporting actress respectively for teenage cast members Erin Bannister and Erin James.

All the award winners now go through to the NODA regional awards to be held in Manchester next month.

Joe, 29, and Amy, 28, were married 18 months ago after first meeting as teenage dance partners at the premises in St Albans Road, St Annes, which have been home to Clifton Academy for the last year after a move from Clifton Drive South.

Amy’s success with Grease at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre came on her debut as choreographer with the Blackpool and Fylde company, although she has worked on many previous productions at Clifton Academy, where she is a director, and other companies around Fylde.

She is now working on the choreography for Joe’s next Clifton Academy production, the musical Urinetown, which will be staged at Lowther Pavilion in June. The award-winning Erins both have lead roles.

To add to the family delight, Joe’s sister Sarah Cosgrove. also a Clifton Academy director, was nominated for the choreography award for Little Women, while cast member Millie Jurin also earned a nomination for best supporting actress.

Joe, who was previously named best director by NODA for his 2015 Clifton Academy production of Little Shop of Horrors, said: “We are all delighted and really proud to have won these awards and really looking forward to the regionals.”