Locals’ lifetime of showbiz


Two prominent Queens­town theatre directors and performers have received lifetime achievement awards.

Margaret O’Hanlon and Jo Blick were honoured at last Saturday’s Southern Lakes Performance and Theatre Awards – or SLAPTAs – at the Queens­town Memorial Centre.

O’Hanlon has had 22 years’ involvement in local performing arts, with productions such as Starry Eyed, Songstars and annual rock and roll-based musicals, the latest of which, Twenty Seven, runs next week.

“I was very humbled,” she says. “The most beautiful thing was getting a standing ovation from my peers.”

Blick – prominent in Remarkable Theatre productions in recent years – was recognised on the eve of her departure for Wellington.

“She’s given 13 years of her life to the theatre community here and we felt that was worthy,” organiser Steve Wilde says.

Blick, along with Wilde, resurrected this year’s awards, first held in 2008 then shelved due to the economic climate.

Chicago won ‘best overall show’.

Wilde: “Chicago was the number one. The difficulty for something like this is Chicago’s sort of a $150,000 production and Twisted Tales was prob­­­­ably less than a few thousand.”

The SLAPTAs singled out people in each of this year’s seven shows for commendations.

Other award winners:

Overall achievement (light/sound) – Chicago

Overall achievement (production design) – Dreamgirls

Female (youth) – Ngawai Davis, Dreamgirls

Male (youth) – Sam Maxwell, California Dreaming

Overall (female) – Fiona Stephenson, Chicago

Overall (male) – Sam Farr, Picasso at the Lapin Agile

Director – Victoria Keating-Mackay, Twisted Tales