A RUNCORN musical society has scooped a top prize at the Oscars of amateur dramatics.

The Zodiac was honoured with the ‘services to inspiring musical theatre’ prize at this year’s National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) District 8 Awards, which took place on Saturday, January 26, at the Mere Golf Resort & Spa in Knutsford.

With half a century in ‘the biz’ and a raft of memorable shows, the society was honoured to receive the surprise award – given for their hard work and dedication to inspiring local amateur theatre.

They were nominated in six other categories, of which they won Best Musical Direction for their 2019 production of Monty Python’s SPAMalot.

Craig Price, resident Musical Director for the society, was delighted to win the award. He will now be entered into the NODA Regional Awards in May.

Joe Clarke, NODA District 8 Representative, said: “In times of change and uncertainty, this society continue to produce excellent productions.

“Their productions are professional in approach and executed in a way that is beyond financial reason. In 2019 they produced a wonderful musical and revue show that brilliantly showcased the talent of their members.”

Chairman of The Zodiac, Jude Kenyon, said: “We are absolutely over the moon to be recognised again by NODA for our efforts to bringing local audiences top-quality musical theatre.

“We celebrated our 50th birthday last year and this year we are returning to Frodsham to perform two more shows. As with many things today, cost rises mean it’s always a challenge to fund our productions, but we are committed to providing a great night out at a price people can afford to keep musical theatre accessible for everyone.”

The Zodiac will be performing the comedy ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’, a musical based on the popular 1988 film, from April 22 to 25, followed by the comedy horror ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ November 11 to 14, both at Frodsham Community Centre. For more information about The Zodiac and to purchase tickets visit from thezodiac.org.