AN AMATEUR dramatic group was in both joyous and a remembrance mood after notching awards for a production of one of the West End’s most-loved shows.

Last year Basingstoke Amateur Theatrical Society (BATS) Next Gen showcased its schools edition of Les Misérables.

At the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) awards, the youth musical theatre society was praised for its depiction of the tale centred around the French Revolution, winning the award for Best Youth Show 2018 for the west region of the south east of England.

The group also received an Accolade of Musical Excellence.

BATS Next Gen bosses said the awards were testament to the talent of the young actors and also to the hard work and vision of the creative team of Les Misérables, under the guidance of director Gary J Myers and musical director Simon Eastwood.

BATS Next Gen decided to dedicate the awards to Gary, who died suddenly and unexpectedly in June last year, so the awards were received by the society with a mixture of happiness and sadness.

NODA supports and inspire amateur theatre with a vision to ensure that amateur theatre is successful and sustainable

Set up in 2002, BATS Next Gen’s aim is to provide affordable musical theatre experience and the society is run by volunteers who pass on their expertise and experience in theatre to the next generation.

Members rehearse during term time in Market Chambers, Church Street, which some of the committee also help manage.

Currently BATS Nex Gen is in rehearsal for its next production, titled Our House, which features the music of Madness.

This will be performed at The Haymarket from Thursday, 25 July to Saturday, 27 July.