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News: Customs House National Award Nomination

Customs House National Award Nomination
She may have been shortlisted for a prestigious award, but Fiona Martin is swapping her seat at the glittering ceremony for the director’s chair.

The Deputy Director – Learning and Participation at The Customs House in South Shields has been invited to attend the Creative & Cultural Skills Awards 2018.
They take place at the Lowry in Salford on Monday, April 16, which is the opening night of The Customs House Youth Theatre’s latest senior production.

Fiona Martin
So instead of attending the ceremony, Fiona will be guiding the group through a performance of The Ceasefire Babies, which is part of National Theatre Connections.

Fiona is one of three people shortlisted for the Theatre Skills Award - and the only one in England – after being nominated for her work with The Customs House Youth Theatre.

She said: “It was lovely just to be nominated, so when I was told I’d been shortlisted I was stunned. This shines a light on the hard work and dedication of our The Customs House Youth Theatre members. They are exceptional.”

The Creative & Cultural Skills Awards were launched in 2012 to celebrate individuals and organisations who champion excellence in the creative industries.

The Theatre Skills Award celebrates inspirational mentors and managers in the performing arts sector who have shown an outstanding commitment to training the next generation of talent.

Pauline Tambling CBE, chief executive of Creative & Cultural Skills, said: “I am delighted with the nominations for the Creative & Cultural Skills Awards 2018. Each year the awards go from strength to strength.

“The nominees have highlighted true dedication and passion for the creative industries and it makes me confident that the future of the industry is most definitely in safe and talented hands.”
The Customs House Youth Theatre gives young people aged between 10 and 21 the chance to develop their theatre and performance skills and achieve an Explore, Bronze, Silver or Gold Arts Award.

It has a junior and senior section based at The Customs House in Mill Dam, South Shields, and a satellite group working with Year 10 BTEC Performing Arts pupils at Jarrow School in Field Terrace, Jarrow.

The seniors take part in National Theatre Connections every year and this year they chose to perform The Ceasefire Babies, by Fiona Doyle.

Fiona said: “Ceasefire Babies, also known as the Good Friday Agreement generation, are those too young to remember the worst of the terror after the Provisional IRA ceasefire.

“It’s a powerful piece, full of challenges, but I felt this important part of recent British and Irish history could be performed with maturity and sensitivity by the young cast.”

The Ceasefire Babies will be performed at The Customs House on Monday, April 16, and Tuesday, April 17, at 7.30pm, before moving to Northern Stage in Newcastle in May.

Tickets are available from the box office on (0191) 454 1234 or online at on a ‘pay what you decide’ basis.

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