Ellie-Marie Hares, who’s from Kingswinford, is just 15 and has been a member of the group for two years now. She recently won the Tony Vincent Award for her role as Hickory Dickory in the group’s pantomime, Beauty and the Beast.
Tony Vincent was a member of Startime Variety for more than 20 years before he sadly died in 2000. Each year the group honour his name by presenting his award.
Not content with one award, Ellie also went on to win the Mike Clifford Award this time for her hard work and dedication.
Mike Clifford was another long-standing member who directed, produced and wrote many of Startime’s pantomimes and summer shows. He died in July 2017 and is fondly remembered.
I asked Ellie about the awards and why she loves theatre.
“The two awards I’ve won are the Tony Vincent award where the audience vote for someone in the cast who they think gave the best performance,” says Ellie.
“I also won the Mike Clifford award which is the cast vote for who they believe were most dedicated and hardworking.
“I played the role of Hickory Dickory in the pantomime Beauty and the Beast produced by Holly Mills. My part included a lot of audience participation so therefore I had to win the audience over and charm them with my awful jokes,” laughs Ellie!
“I put everything into my performance and tried to be as dedicated as possible to the show. It is a massive honour to win these awards and to have worked and be part of such a talented cast.”
So why does Ellie love to perform?
“It’s a passion of mine and every time I go on stage I get the same rush of adrenaline,” she says. “Every moment is enjoyable and when the audience also enjoys it, it makes it even better. It also gives me confidence and allows me to do what I love whilst allowing me to interact with people of all different ages who share the same passion.”
Ellie must have a dream role, but what would it be?
“My dream roles are always someone who is bubbly and funny as you can put your own twist and fun to it but I would love to play roles from both Annie and Hairspray which are my two favourite musicals,” she says.
All the best for the future, Ellie