Nominees announced for Norfolk Arts Awards 2019

PUBLISHED: 08:00 11 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:03 12 July 2019

Norfolk Arts Awards 2018 at The Hostry at Norwich Cathedral. Photo: Simon Finlay Photography.

Norfolk Arts Awards 2018 at The Hostry at Norwich Cathedral. Photo: Simon Finlay Photography.

Copyright Simon Finlay 2018

The nominees for this year’s Norfolk Arts Awards have been revealed which celebrates the county’s cultural champions with categories ranging from diversity to dance. By Louisa Baldwin

Debbie Thompson and Stash Kirkbride at St George's Theatre, Gt Yarmouth where this year's Norfolk Arts Awards will be staged. Photo: Simon Finlay PhotographyDebbie Thompson and Stash Kirkbride at St George's Theatre, Gt Yarmouth where this year's Norfolk Arts Awards will be staged. Photo: Simon Finlay Photography

The event, organised by Stash Kirkbride and Peter Beck, will take place at St George's Theatre in Great Yarmouth on Friday, October 18 and is part of the Hostry Festival which is an autumn festival of arts.

The full programme for the festival, which is now in its ninth year, is set to be released on July 18 and details of how to vote in the People's Choice Awards, which includes large organisation, small organisation and individual, will be released in August.

On the awards move from Norwich Cathedral to St George's Theatre, Stash Kirkbride said: "There will be more seats available to the general public, more live entertainment and importantly engagement with people and projects from Great Yarmouth and the surrounding area.

Marion Catlin Credit: Andi SapeyMarion Catlin Credit: Andi Sapey

"The Hostry Festival's inclusive project, Total Ensemble Theatre Company will be delivering workshops at St George's over the summer and autumn, culminating in a specially devised movement theatre piece at the awards."

These are the nominees for the Norfolk Arts Awards 2019:

StartEast Credit: Gus FarnesStartEast Credit: Gus Farnes

Business and Arts

Marion Catlin - The Shift Norwich

A designer, artist and creative producer, Marion Catlin is a passionate advocate of the value of arts and culture to a healthy society. A natural networker with mission to connect all kinds of creative activity, she works to convince politicians and the public that investment in creativity is vital to our future.

Molly Naylor and Karen Hill from Lights! Planets! People! Credit: Dave Guttridge The PhotographicMolly Naylor and Karen Hill from Lights! Planets! People! Credit: Dave Guttridge The Photographic


StartEast is a regional economic development initiative, tasked with boosting the creative industries in Norfolk and Suffolk. The project has supported over 350 sole traders, small businesses and recent start-ups working in various art forms. They provide free training,mentoring opportunities, networking events and project grants.

fEAST Theatre presents SALT Credit: David GreevesfEAST Theatre presents SALT Credit: David Greeves


Molly Naylor and Karen Hill - Lights! Planets! People!

Open Studios Credit: Jemma MickleboroughOpen Studios Credit: Jemma Mickleborough

Heartbreak, high-tech and a botched Powerpoint presentation. LIGHTS! PLANETS! PEOPLE! is a one-woman play about space science, mental health, and communication - both interpersonal and intergalactic. It was written and directed by Molly Naylor and stars Karen Hill. Created in Norfolk, this acclaimed show has been touring the UK throughout 2019.

fEast Theatre

Since its creation in 2010, fEAST Theatre has performed across the East in venues large and small, showcasing the work of theatre-makers with Norfolk connections. Telling captivating stories about memorable characters, fEAST has gained a loyal following with a deft mix of humour, pathos and genuine Norfolk voices.


Visual Arts

Norfolk Open Studios

TOAST Credit: SuppliedTOAST Credit: Supplied

Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios is a free annual event where artists and makers across the county open their studio doors for 16 days in May and June and invite the public to come inside. Artists exhibit, sell and talk about their work, and visitors will often find artists demonstrating their techniques.


A charity run by artists, for artists, OUTPOST has established itself as a leading centre for visual arts activity in the east of England. Managing an art gallery and affordable studio complex, OUTPOST also produces a core programme of seven exhibitions a year, alongside offsite projects, artist residencies and many more events.

James McDermott Credit: SuppliedJames McDermott Credit: Supplied

New Writing


Jonathan Wyatt
 Credit: Simon FinlayJonathan Wyatt Credit: Simon Finlay

TOAST is a new, welcoming and exciting project: workshops and live evenings of poetry and spoken word from the country's best writers. As well as staging performances, TOAST is an organisation dedicated to supporting poets in the mid stage of their career, creating a space for poets to develop their work and hone their craft.

James McDermott

James McDermott is a Norfolk based scriptwriter and creative writing teacher. "Rubber Ring", his solo play about growing up gay in Norfolk, was published early in 2019 by Samuel French. James is currently working on new plays with several East Anglian arts companies, while also developing a TV comedy drama set in Norfolk.

Mulbarton Community Choir Credit: SuppliedMulbarton Community Choir Credit: Supplied


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Jonathan Wyatt Big Band

Founded in the 1980s by a then-teenage bandleader, the Jonathan Wyatt Big Band has been delighting audiences across the country for over 30 years with a wide variety of exquisitely performed music, from up-tempo funk to pre-war big band favourites and from Latin tunes to Rat Pack classics.

Chris Goreham Credit: James Hazell/Imajim PhtgyChris Goreham Credit: James Hazell/Imajim Phtgy

Mulbarton Community Choir

Originally founded in 2016 to provide music for a village carol service, Mulbarton Community Choir has flourished since its low-key beginnings and now boasts over 60 active members. Now performing a varied selection of songs in Norfolk venues, the choir is a fantastic example of how the arts can bring a community together.

Sarah Lewis and Laura McGill - Glass House Dance Credit: SuppliedSarah Lewis and Laura McGill - Glass House Dance Credit: Supplied

Broadcast and Media

Donovan Blake - ITV Anglia

The Sports Correspondent for ITV News Anglia Tonight, Donovan Blake has been working with the broadcaster for the last eighteen years. Originally from Manchester, Donovan started his journalism career at Jarrold's News Agency in Ipswich. He also worked as Sports Editor for the Ipswich radio station SGR FM prior to joining ITV.

Fabian Jackson Credit: CandocoFabian Jackson Credit: Candoco

Chris Goreham - BBC Norfolk

BBC Radio Norfolk's sports editor and football commentator Chris Goreham has been describing the highs and lows of Norwich City to a yellow and green audience for over ten years. Since joining the station, he has presented several different programmes including the flagship Breakfast Show for four and half years.

Katy Jon Went Credit: Rachel WrightKaty Jon Went Credit: Rachel Wright

Musical Theatre and Dance

Glass House Dance

Glass House Dance was set up in Norwich by Sarah Lewis and Laura McGill to take contemporary dance into the heart of the community. They create essentially human, visceral dance pieces, accessible to audiences who may not have watched dance before, creating thought provoking and uplifting performances.

Creative Matters presents Shem & Adam Credit: SuppliedCreative Matters presents Shem & Adam Credit: Supplied

Fabian Jackson

After growing up in north Norfolk, dancer Fabian Jackson graduated from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance with a first-class degree. He has worked with artists such as Hetain Patel, Punchdrunk's Maxine Doyle, and accessible integrated dance company Candoco. In 2019 he will appear in productions at Sadler's Wells and the Royal Opera House.

Into Opera Credit: Peter MarshInto Opera Credit: Peter Marsh


Katy Jon Went

Norwich-based Katy Jon Went is a writer, public speaker, activist and educator on gender, identity, sexuality, mental health, disability, human rights, diversity and inclusion. They are the coordinator of the UK Human Library project and are frequently invited to appear as a speaker on panels, at festivals and at TEDx events.

Sarah Witcomb Credit: SuppliedSarah Witcomb Credit: Supplied

Creative Matters - Norwich Theatre Royal

Created and run by Norwich Theatre Royal, Creative Matters are a series of month-long, issue-focused arts activities. Each Creative Matters season features a mix of performance, film, exhibitions, workshops and events, which aim to stimulate discussion and make connections through creativity. Season themes have previously included LGBTQ, Men's Mental Health and Homelessness.

Total Ensemble present 'The Boy in the Lighthouse' at the 2018 Hostry Festival starring Hugh Darrah. Photo credit Simon Finlay Photography.Total Ensemble present 'The Boy in the Lighthouse' at the 2018 Hostry Festival starring Hugh Darrah. Photo credit Simon Finlay Photography.

Education and Community

Into Opera

Since launching in 2017, Into Opera has introduced over 1,700 children to opera - and that's just the start.

By creating unique and engaging opera experiences, the company has started a creative revolution to get more people 'into' opera. Into Opera develops educational projects, produces professional opera productions and commissions new work.

Sarah Witcomb - NNF

Sarah leads Norfolk & Norwich Festival's creative learning programmes. Through a trio of participation strands entitled 'Take Part' and the Meet Me at The Spiegeltent initiative, her work at the Festival brings diverse creative activities to thousands of young people, school children and hard to reach communities across the county each year.

Peter Barrow Bursary - Hugh Darrah

Hugh Darrah is a performer, aspiring playwright and Shakespeare fan. He has been involved with Total Ensemble Theatre Company for five years, appearing as the lead character in 2018's "The Boy in the Lighthouse"; a role he described as "intense" and which he loved taking on.

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