Dynamic duo shine at Lyrebird Awards

Lily with her Mum Kate in 'Much Ado'. Picture: SUPPLIED

By Tanya Steele

A young talented comedy performer and director/actor turned choreographer have both won in their respective categories at the Lyrebird Awards in March.

Representing the Gemco Community Theatre in Emerald, the theatre did well – walking away several nominations along with the two awards for the 2020 -2022 season.

Young Lily Calder won in the category for ‘Best Youth Comedy Performer,’ for her role in ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ and Jasmine O’Shea was awarded a judges award for her choreography in ‘Stepping Out.”

Both seasoned Gemco Players said they were “shocked” but overall very happy to receive their awards and Ms O’Shea said she felt humbled by the judge’s decision.

“It’s a great feeling to even be nominated,” Ms Calder said

“It was initially a bit of a shock, but very grateful to be recognized for the work that went into creating those numbers,” Ms O’Shea said.

Gemco players were nominated across several categories.

Luca Froelich and Matilda Barrot were nominated for ‘Best Youth Performer in a Comedy’.

Maxine Neville for the ‘Best Performer in a Male Role in Comedy’.

Elise D’Amico and Caine Aylen received nominations for the ‘Highly Commended performance in a comedy’.

Diane Jenkins and Ruth Gilmour nominated for ‘Best performer in a Supporting Female Role’.

The Gemco theatre’s social media wished everyone ‘Lots of fun to everyone getting their glam on for the Lyrebird Awards’ on 2 March.

“Looking forward to hearing if you walk away with a shiny award – but most of all looking forward to hearing you had a great time!” the post said.

Ms O’Shea came on board to choreograph for the production ‘Stepping Out’ and said she was a little hesitant at first.

“I hadn’t danced, or in particular tapped for many years – But I was very surprised how quickly things started to come to me once I got the music going and put my shoes on,” she said.

The dynamic tap routines featured in several points in the show and Ms O’Shea said she worked with her mother Annette O’Shea who was director for the production.

“It was a very, very easy, natural process and the cast made it very easy to choreograph – we had Margie Gemmell playing the piano live,” she said.

Ms Calder said she thoroughly enjoyed the process of performing ‘Much Ado’ especially since she also got to act alongside her mother – making both award winners theatre experiences a family affair.

“It is pretty fun performing with adults and I get along really well with my mum,” she said.

The young actor would like to stretch beyond comedy and take on more dramatic roles and said she would like to “give them a go”.

Both award winners are now busy with new projects and encouraged people of any age to try theatre, Ms Calder is working on something special with her youth drama group and Ms O’Shea is currently directing a youth musical in Morwell.