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Good evening everyone and welcome to Two Teeth Tom and Prison Phil's First Annual GOLDEN TENT Awards.

That's right... we are turning the table on the theatre industry in a very small way (it is after all just a tiny camping table in our case) and giving some awards to the people and the Theatres who have shone most brightly during our 2023 National tour.

Before we do, we want to say a massive thank you to all those who helped Past Tents in 2023 - the theatres, the staff, the reviewers and of course the audience as well as all the unsung heroes who helped us on our way this year.


Our first finaliats for the MVP (Most Valuable Person) AWARD at the Two Teeth Tom and Prison Phil's First Annual GOLDEN TENT Awards. This award is dedicated to the person who helped us most with the play during the 2023 tour and we have a few nominations - all of these people have been utterly brilliant and have each had a huge impact.

is important to note whoever wins this award - all of them deserve our huge thanks and love - picking a winner will be near impossible - and we owe all of them a huge thank you.

Let us tell you why: LAURA FAIRCLOTH contacted us about putting on the play in Penshurst Village Hall as we were planning the tour. Unconvinced at first, we were invited to the venue and what a surprise. The venue contained a fantastic theatre, worth of a much larger town. We decided very quickly that Penshurst was for us. Laura co-ordinated everything - managed to help fill the audience whilst at the same time hosting the event and organising the whole evening. Laura also kindly supplied the voice of Ashleigh for us in a brilliant piece of voice acting (despite having never done it before). Laura is incredible. Utterly worthy of a her nomination and someone who gave us one of our tour highlights and favourite audiences.


NADINE SMITH and TASHA CALVERT - the two incredible sisters of Sean Smith, who the play is dedicated to. Tash and Nadine helped publicise the play in Gosport for a sell out night. In many ways the show was for them as well as Sean, a way of honouring Sean for them and they were nothing short of amazing and a huge encouragement to us. To be able to do this play in front of them, with all the help and suppprt they gave us was a gift - a very emotional evening for us and a great start to the tour proper.


DAVID COOPER at the Elgiva theatre in Chesham was so generous to us in allowing us to perform a preview the play in June. Putting on drama is always a difficult thing for council run theatres to do - they often make most of their money from celebrity based evenings, music tribute bands, musicals etc.... drama is a hard sell. But David showed us a lot of faith and belief and his team got fully behind us - it really gave us the confidence to start the tour but also to show we can perform the play in bigger theatres.


ANDREW CHAMBERS is one of the world's kindest people. Without him we would never even have considered Guernsey as a tour destination. He set up our first conversations with the local St James Guernsey and allowed us to stay in his wonderful La Collinette Hotel for free. His immense generosity allowed us to be able to afford to tour the beautiful island to huge success. We will forever be indebted to Andrew for his support.for what was a wonderful leg of the tour.


Whilst these 4 are the finalists, there were of course many, many people who aided and abetted us in 2023 - we could write a list as long as Virgil's... apron. You know who you are - amd we thank you too. Good luck to all the nominated - we will announce the winner in a few weeks. In the meantime, our love and thanks to all.


Our next finalists are for the TECH OF THE YEAR 2023 AWARD (This is the person who makes the show look and sound great) at the Two Teeth Tom and Prison Phil's First Annual GOLDEN TENT Awards.  We decided at the beginning of our tour that we would use only local Techs in each venue - a decision we didn't regret for a single minute. Every tech we used was fantastic - the most under-rated and under-celebrated member of a theatre group's team and here we celebrate our top 4 and oh my... it wasn't easy to choose a top 4... but here we go...


First up is DARWIN HENNESSEY at The Jack Studio Theatre. Darwin was fabulous from the first moment. They gave us some amazing lighting and used the space really well - creative, thoughtful and one of the team from the first minute - no task was a problem and Darwin always had the solution or an idea on how to make it not just work - but be greater. Darwin delivered in spades and even took time to take some amazing pictures for us. Above and beyond in every way.

Next up is ADAM KERR at The Elgiva. Adam was a model professional who's first question was always 'what if I could do this better?' He was constantly looking at how we could make the show work well in this larger theatre and set the tone for the lighting and sound for other venues. Brilliant at his job a great attitude throughout.


Another wonderful tech was MARTA FOSSATI at the OSO Arts Centre at Barnes. Wow. What can I say about Marta? Super professional, incredibly hard working, technically perfect and utterly unflappable. On top of that she was a constant encouragement to us - we could often hear her giggling at us as we were rehearsing/performing. If the tech laughs... we know we are going to be ok. Marta was just perfect and we were very lucky to have her onside for both nights. She was alao creative with the lights and really gave the show an extra depth.


Lastly but in no way least... JORDAN MOGG at the Quay Arts Centre in Newport Isle Of Wight. Jordan was the most technichally perfect tech we had... dilligent, professional and delivered flawlessly. He asked all the right questions and went out of his way to land the show exceptionally. Unflappable, always can-do and a great attitude. A model tech. We really enjoyed working with all our techs - we didn't have a single bad one so thank you all of you. You made Past Tents look and sound better than we could have imagined and did the industry proud. Good luck on your nominations.


Our next Nomination is for UNSUNG HERO 2023 This an award for the person who behind the scenes have been of immeasurable help. They may not have contributed in a direct way - sometimes just giving us emotional support or a boost at the right time. Sometimes it's just because they stepped up at the right time. We don't need a reason - other than to say thank you.


There are LOTS of people on this list but these ones habe shined brighest and we wanted to ensure they get the credit they deserve.

The first nomination is for JACK LEWIS WILLIAMS. He took the original photos for the poster - a poster that is so damn good we keep using his pics. He really caught the essemce of Justin and Alan and because of him, our poster continues to get us sales. His photography is outstanding - if you don't believe us, go to his INSTA @JACKLEWISWILLIAMS - you can see some of his work. A good poster sells a show - a bad one kills it - we cannot say how much we owe him.


ALEX KEOGH - A little bit of nepotism here perhaps but Alex (David's son) provided the voice for Quentin when he was only 8 years old. We've used the same recording because it's perfect. Alex isn't a child actor (albeit he did play the lead Oliver in his last Christmas play so maybe something has rubbed off) - he just helped out and got paid in sweets - but we love it so much we'll keep it.... he's 13 now and cringes at his younger voice but we think it's great he brought Quentin to life for us and about time he was recognised.


Next up is a joint nomination of CORMAC RICHARDS of THEATRE PLAYS UK and HEATHER JEFFERY of LONDON PUB THEATRES. 2 critics - 'stop brown-nosing' we hear you say - but a review can make or break a play when it is starting out. Both of these reviewers are fantastic at writing and veteran show watchers - so we were VERY nervous waiting for the reviews to come in. Both 5 star reviews landed at times when we really needed a boost. Seth and I often beat ourselves up a lot over our play - we worry, we fret and always expect the worst because as writers and performers - the buck stops with us. We aren't afraid to say we both got teary-eyed reading these reviews - they gave us the boost we needed and the confidence we needed to improve the show even more and make it bigger and better. To be nominated by both for awards (2 of which we just won) makes them even more dear to us.

Lastly, but never least is HELEN SHEPPARD. A successful poet and writer in her own right, Helen owned the accommodation we stayed in at Bristol whilst we performed at The Alma Tavern (Helen's Place on Air B&B). The accommodation was perfect but more perfect was the way Helen took care of us. She also came to see the show twice - she loved it and made us feel so welcome. The Bristol leg of the tour would not have been as memorable without her enthusiasm and care. Just one of the world's lovliest people Good luck to all the nominees!


And now nominations for THE BUMS ON SEATS AWARD 2023. This award goes to the theatre that was the most successful getting bums on seats. It's not an award for the biggest audiences but the efforts that went in to getting them in. We have to add a caveat that of all the theatres we used, some did very little - we won't call those out because these are awards for the best - but they can learn from these guys - and here they are:


ST. JAMES GUERNSEY. 2 fantastic nights - 2 great crowds. Not normally a venue that does drama - St James had seats booked in very early - they marketed the show well from day one and gave us brilliant audiences for a venue that is normally music focused. Excellent at keeping us up to date, excellent at pushing out social media - for a travelling theatre company - JON BISSON and his team were a dream to deal with from the first minute.


Next up is ALMA TAVERN THEATRE in Bristol. OLLIE DE ROHAN kept us updated from when we booked the theatre - including every day of our residency there! All over social media, constantly pushing sales - and competing with the hottest heatwave in years and The Rugby World Cup, we were up against it from day one. We had good audiences most nights (considering the challenges) amd Ollie made sure we were looked after from the ticketing income received. A true gent and a great theatre.

PENSHURST VILLAGE HALL worried us a lot - doing a show in a small village in Kent was always a risk - would people come and see a play? Would they enjoy it? Penshurst did not disappoint. We had a superb audience, thanks mainly to the amazing LAURA FAIRCLOTH who did everything she could to round up the village to come and see us for what turned out to be a very special night. And as far as we know, locals haven't forced her into hiding - always a bonus!


Lastly, THE JACK STUDIO THEATRE at the Brockley Jack. KATE BANNISTER and KARL SWINYARD run a fantastic ship. The way they market the plays, do a press release, contact reviewers, deliver leaflets etc. is role-model. Other theatres have a tough act to follow - they care as much about audience numbers as the theatre companies and their work to get bums on seats is exemplary. There are certainly one or two theatres that could learn from this theatre in how they handle PR and marketing. Best in class. P.S. they also came to see the show - it's a small touch but a few others didn't.. a nice touch we.won't forget. Good luck to all the nominees.


Last award nomination.... Lastly, we wanted to nominate the theatres that really stood out to us on the tour. It turns out that some theatres ar great at telling you they are good - but then do very little to live and breathe it once you arrive. We had a few disappointments and learned a lot about who is best in class. We only have 3 nominations for this - but we should say a special mention to the ST. JAMES in Guernsey,


PENSHURST VILLAGE HALL & ST. VINCENT COLLEGE THEATRE in Gosport - all.of which were fantastic to work with - but these 3 nominees stand out for us. We considered marketing, how we were treated, as a theatre company, the theatre staff, techical capability the working environment and flexibility to accomodate us. The nominations are: THE ELGIVA in Chesham. Our first venue. Putting on a play in your home town is scary (David lives there) but the management and staff at The Elgiva bent over backwards to make our debut night of the 2023 tour go. Nothing was too much trouble for them. Being able to perform on that lovely stage was a dream. A good audience, well teched, supportive team around us - we could not have asked for more. Thank you to DAVID COOPER AND TEAM.

THE JACK STUDIO THEATRE are a stand out theatre. From our first interactions with Kate and Karl, we were made to feel welcomed and loved. Kate helped us update the play with some excellent advice at the beginning, amd Karl really helped us every day to make.aure the play landed as best as it could each night. They made us feel like we were the only play they had that year - they got reviewers in to see us, got us good audiences, and helped us make the play the best it could be. They have managed to get everything right. They care, they dare and they always support their acts. Thank you so much.


Last nominee is the ALMA TAVERN THEATRE in Bristol. Going to Bristol, to an area where we were completely unknown, could not rely on mates and family to fill seats, was terrifying. Ollie was on hand to make sure we didn't have to worry about most things - he had it in hand from day one. He treated us so well - really looked after our needs and was flexible and supportive all the way! Performing in The Alma was a complete joy and some of our favourite memories from our 2023 tour thank you Ollie. Good luck to the 3 nominees.

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