Solihull theatre company scoops a brace of awards

Part of the cast of Stepping Out include, from left, Rachel Pattinson, Liane Hughes, Stephen Powell (holding the NODA Award), Veronica Walsh (holding her Civic Honours Award), Jackie- Lee Lilwall and Gemma Smyth.

Part of the cast of Stepping Out include, from left, Rachel Pattinson, Liane Hughes, Stephen Powell (holding the NODA Award), Veronica Walsh (holding her Civic Honours Award), Jackie- Lee Lilwall and Gemma Smyth.

Acclaimed Solihull theatre company St Augustine’s MTC, enjoyed a double celebration recently when it won a brace of awards.

Veteran of the Solihull stage, Veronica Walsh, was honoured with a Solihull Civic Honours Award for her ‘outstanding contribution to the creative arts’ while one of her most recent shows West Side Story picked up the regional NODA prize for Best Musical Production 2013.

“It was a total and utter surprise,” said Veronica who is directing St Augustine’s current production Stepping Out. “I felt quite humbled.

“These awards are a great encouragement to these societies. It makes a big difference to the way people view the company.”

Veronica first joined St Augustine’s in 1982, where she helped out backstage with make up and costumes before her first foray into acting during the eighties.

But it was in 1994, in her first role as assistant producer on musical Barnum, she knew she’d found her calling.

“I found my niche when I went backstage,” she said. “It was like someone put on a light in a dark room.

“I wasn’t comfortable on stage.”

St Augustine’s Stepping Out, a heart-warming comedy set in a tap dancing class and made famous by the film starring Julie Walters and Liza Minelli, ran at Solihull Arts Complex recently until Saturday June 28.