2019: SUP wins again at Totton drama festival!

And Tell Sad Stories of the Deaths of Queens by Tennessee Williams – directed by Paul Cresser – won Best Technical Achievement (Duncan Lang/Paul Cresser) and received nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.

Ghost Story by Mark Ravenhill – directed by Troy Chessman – won Best Supporting Player for Jess Capes, with nominations for Best Director and Best Technical Achievement.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL CAST AND CREW for maintaining such a consistently high standard.

SUP wins Special Award at All England Theatre Festival national semi finals

SUP member Duncan Lang received the Adjudicator’s Special Award at the 2018 All England Theatre Festival (AETF) Western Area finals on Saturday 5th May for BULLY BEEF AND WHIZZBANGS.

Freelance sound designer Duncan was acknowledged for his amazing work on the ‘Soundscape’ for Whizzbangs, which was written and directed by Chris Hawley, who also provided the original sound design for the production.

At Dawlish, SUP came within one point of reaching the All England Finals, losing out to Sodbury Players Youth Section. This completed an amazing run for the show, which has seen SUP collect more silverware in 2018 than ever before in its 53-year history.

Congratulations to everyone involved. 


SUP wins All England Theatre Festival Southern & Mercia Division Quarter Finals

SUP won Best Play at the Southern Region of the 2018 All England Theatre Festival (AETF) on Saturday 7th April with BULLY BEEF AND WHIZZBANGS, written and directed by our own Chris Hawley. SUP co chair Stephen Fenerty was nominated as Best Actor for his role as Harry.

“We are thrilled and delighted this brilliant production and cast have again been acknowledged,” says Alison Wells, co chair of SUP.


We believe this is the first time in 53 years that SUP, formed as Southampton University Players in 1965, has progressed to the semi-finals of this prestigious national competition. An unrelated group called ‘Southampton Student Players’ reached the AETF finals in 1963.

BULLY BEEF AND WHIZZBANGS, a darkly comic World War I tale set in the trenches of France, was written by SUP member Chris Hawley to commemorate the centenary of the 1918 Armistice. The one-act play – which features authentic costumes, props and a 12-foot section of trench – received its World Premiere at the 40th Totton Festival of Drama last month, where it won Best Play, Best Actor, Best Original Script and the Technical Achievement award.

SUP wins Totton Drama Festival 2018

“Bully Beef and Whizzbangs”, written and directed by Chris Hawley, beat off stiff competition from 13 other plays to be named Best Production at the 40th Totton Festival of Drama. The play also won Best Original Script for Chris, Best Technical Achievement for the set, lighting and sound – Chris Hawley, Steve Town, Oliver Trojak, Duncan Lang, Clayton Peters and John Peters – along with Best Actor for Stephen Fenerty.

This was SUP’s most successful night ever at the popular annual festival, and the first time in it’s history that the group has won best play. SUP (Southampton University Players Theatre Group) is a community group, open to all, based at the Highfield Campus in Southampton.

SUP would like to thank Chris Hawley for all his hard work and commitment to this production.


Whizzbangs’ actor Paul Jones was also nominated for Best Actor, and Chris Hawley for Best Director.

Longstanding SUP member Bridget Wilkinson was also nominated for Best Actress for her role in the other SUP entry at the festival, “Darlings, You Were Wonderful!”, directed by SUP secretary Paul Cresser.

The second placed play at the festival, “Housebound”, was directed by SUP committee member Lorraine Biddlecombe for the Chameleon Theatre Company of Chandlers Ford, and featured two SUP alumni in the leading roles.

SUP Co Chair Alison Wells said “We couldn’t be more delighted to win at Totton this year and in so many categories too. Our team has worked really hard on this production – everything was done in-house. We hope we do our region proud at the quarter finals!”


2016 – Quarter Finals of the All England Theatre Festival – Pewsey
Win – Best DirectorBridget Wilkinson
2016 – Best Director
The Mechanicals – Chris Hawley – nominated
2016 – Best Actress
Fumed Oak – Gina Hodsman – WON
The Mechanicals – Jane Beesley – nominated
2016 – Best Actor
It’s a Bobby’s Job – Stephen Fenerty – nominated
2016 – Best Supporting Actress
Fumed Oak – Allegra Carlton – nominated
The Mechanicals – Imogen Higgs – nominated
2016 – Adjudicators’ Cup
The Mechanicals – costume concept – nominated


Previous wins

Best Technical Achievement – Motherhood Out Loud

Best Supporting Player: Michelle Heffer – Semblance of Madness

Best Adult Actress: Bridget Wilkinson – Semblance of Madness


Best Technical Achievement

Motherhood Out Loud

Semblance of Madness

Best Director

Alison Wells (Semblance of Madness)

Jane Beesley (Motherhood Out Loud)

Adjudicators Award

Semblance of Madness

Motherhood Out Loud

Best Supporting Player

Michelle Heffer (Semblance of Madness)

Alison Wells (Semblance of Madness)

The Entire Cast of Motherhood Out Loud

Best Adult Actor

Jonathan Shepherd

Best Adult Actress

Hazel Burrows (Motherhood Out Loud)

Sally Scott (Motherhood Out Loud)

Imogen Higgs (Motherhood Out Loud)

Bridget Wilkinson (Semblance of Madness)