Creatives Advisory Group
We are a culture hub for the region where creativity is nurtured and diversity in all its forms is celebrated. Our venues are spaces where audiences and artists from all backgrounds can come together to experiment, create, share, debate, learn, have fun, take artistic risks, and evolve.
Norwich Theatre is committed to developing and sustaining a professionally informed strategy that incorporates artist led decision making. We are passionate about working with local artists to ensure that we can provide relevant, engaging and diverse creative experiences for all.
To support this aim we formed a Creatives Advisory Group in 2021. From September 2021 to March 2022 up a group of live performance artists from across Norfolk and Suffolk have supported us in advising around our new strategy, and advocating for Norwich Theatre. Following the success of this approach, we will be recruiting additional Creatives during 2022.
Together with these Creatives, we will work to ensure that the creative experiences we offer broaden to become more inclusive, and representative of the communities, artists and audiences we work with.
We are excited to be co-creating our future together in this collaborative model of working.
Amanda Harrold is a costume professional with over 25 year’s experience.
She is very pleased to be part of the Creatives Advisory Group and hopes to highlight the importance of theatre technicians. Amanda has worked with a diverse range of local creatives from Crude Apache and The Common Lot, through October Studios and Picture Perfect films to The Voice Project and Klanghaus and many more.
“The common thread is that all these organisations benefit from advice and creative collaboration with a costume professional, so their costumes can hit the same standards as the rest of their practice. They don’t need me often, but for those short periods when I am involved in their projects I believe they find my help invaluable, and my work makes a substantial difference to their creative output. I’d say that this short-term collaboration, this spark, is so useful to them and I’d love to be part of a group that built these kinds of relationships. I think the presence of a wardrobe professional in your group would be useful to the network of performers you work with. I think I’d help you increase your impact in the East.”
Ashton Hall from Dereham, Norfolk is an ambitious dancer whose non-traditional route to the professional stage happened before any training when he was cast in Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures production of ‘Lord of the Flies’ at Norwich Theatre in 2014.
Ashton was subsequently offered a place in the flagship National Youth Dance Company, working with Damien Jalet, touring ‘Tarantiseismic’ nationally including Sadler’s Wells, Latitude Festival ‘17, and the Birmingham Hippodrome.
A few years later, Ashton went on to train at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and graduated with First Class Honours degree. His career has taken him all over the country and he has worked extensively for Sir Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Akram Khan Company, Sadler’s Wells, and most recently, James Cousins Co., and Dame Arlene Phillips.
Facebook: @ashtonhall | Twitter and Instagram: @ashtonbhall
Adina Levay is a theatre director, producer, and the founding Artistic Director of Concentric Circles – a Norwich based, independent theatre company making contemporary European theatre.
Adina originally from Romania, is interested in post-dramatic theatre and socially engaged performance. After training as an actor at the Hangar School of Performing Arts in Budapest, then as a theatre director at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, where she graduated with an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice, she went on to attain a degree in Creative Entrepreneurship from the University of East Anglia.
Adina started her directing career in Budapest. Through regular work she established herself as one of the few women directors creating significant productions that enriched the scene of the contemporary Hungarian theatre. She was Associate Director at the New Theatre in Budapest, the National Theatre in Miskolc, and Artistic Director at the Jókai Theatre in Komárno, Slovakia.
Edalia Day is an actor, theatre maker, producer, animator, projection mapper and poet.
Based in Norwich, Edalia is passionate about supporting marginalised voices and celebrating the wonderful art being created by trans artists worldwide.
Edalia has worked as an actor for 15 years after training first at ALRA, then Lecoq. In 2014 she started producing her own shows and whilst she had always loved creating animation as a hobby, in 2017 she started incorporating it into her theatre using interactive projection mapping. During lockdown Edalia’s focus on animation developed further and she is now working more on motion design and projection mapping projects for a variety of brilliant companies.
Edalia performs at poetry events around the UK and is currently touring her shows Super Hamlet 64, about videogames and Shakespeare, Too Pretty To Punch, about transphobia in the media, and Spectacular Spacebots, a new family show she is developing about an autistic robot who goes on space adventures.
Website: www.edaliaday.co.uk | Facebook: @edaliatheatre
Gillian Dean is a theatre and film performer, best known for playing Isobel Reilly in ITV Drama’s Home Fires. She is also a singer and voiceover artist.
Gillian is a vastly experienced actor, committed to working with local and national theatres companies across the region and London. Although not being apparent, being severely sight impaired means Gillian is able and eligible to play both disabled and non-disabled roles.
After completing her degree in Contemporary Theatre, Gill worked in arts administration for 8 years, as well as leading workshops for The Garage in theatre techniques and voice. Gill began acting professionally in 2009 and since then has worked in a diverse range of productions including open air touring theatre, stage, television and film work. Later in 2021 she will be fulfilling the role of understudy in the National Theatre’s production of Manor.
Nelson Gombakomba is a raw stand-up comedian based in Norwich. He is a purist who wishes to be seen as a philosopher one day. One day, not now!
Nelson, originally from Mutare, Zimbabwe, has performed across the country and also hosts a monthly comedy night at Gonzo’s Tea Room in Norwich. His comedy awards include winning two of London’s best known gong shows at the Comedy Store and at Up The Creek. He was also a finalist in the 2020 Amused Moose ‘New Act’ competition and he was recently selected to represent Norfolk at the BBC Upload festival in 2021.
Although Nelson is dedicated to not just putting Norwich on the comedy map of the UK, but also to make it the premier city where comedians choose to perform and audiences flock to get their laughter kicks. He is also curious about the journey of live performance artists and the psychology of performance the make change. This fascination makes him enthusiastic to share his insights on stage and with other performers.
Facebook: @NelsonTGombakombaJr | YouTube: Nelson Gombakomba
Shannon Clinton-Copeland is a writer, performance poet, creative freelancer and early modern researcher based in Norwich. She is also Managing Editor of independent publisher Leapfrog Press.
Her work has been published in Leslie Magazine, the Rialto and Bandit Fiction, and been performed on BBC Radio, the Norwich Theatre Royal stage, and at various events in and around Norwich. She works mostly on the page and stage, bringing poetry to audiences of all ages, from primary school workshops to performance evenings, but also experiments with aural experiences of poetry and spoken word. In 2020, she was shortlisted for the Penguin Random House ‘WriteNow’ mentorship.
Creatively, Shannon’s work deals largely with myth, lived experience and the surreal, and is heavily influenced by her upbringing in rural Ireland and her Jamaican heritage. Academically, her study of the writing of early modern women informs much of her poetry and fiction. Currently she is working on a number of projects, ranging from a poetry workshop series for schools to a novel and an aural storytelling trail. She is reading for an MA in Medieval and Early Modern Textual Cultures at UEA.
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/shannon-clinton-copeland-a9b6a7185 | Instagram: @shannon.mariec
Simon Floyd is a self-employed theatre-maker, workshop leader and performer, and director of The Common Lot.
Based in Norwich, Simon makes original theatre that supports well-being and social cohesion. He is driven to create theatre which challenges conventional routes of access for both performers and audiences, by actively seeking out new spaces, telling stories that resonate with common humanity and adopting a style that is immediate, positive and empowering.
Although Simon has always loved making theatre he has had a meandering career. After 14 years working in substance misuse as an outreach worker and training manager; designing and delivering training across the charitable, commercial and public sectors he moved into museum development becoming the architect and coordinator of SHARE Museums East, a ground-breaking regional development programme helping museums to share their skills, resources and experience to mutual and lasting benefit.
Born and bred in East Anglia, Tom Appleton is a passionate supporter and champion of the creative workforce and organisations in this area. Tom has held similar roles at Britten Pears Arts and the Theatre Royal – Bury St. Edmunds. As such, he is well used to asking probing questions of organisations and helping to shine a light on good practice.
Tom founded the Suffolk Freelance Musicians Network, co-founded the Come and Sing Company and is the Music Director of Aldeburgh Music Club. He is the newly appointed CEO and Artistic Director of Jubilee Opera and works as a consultant for Britten Sinfonia – as they try to improve their reach in rural and coastal communities in the East.
Steph Townsend grew up in Newbury, Berkshire before relocating to Norwich in 2016.
Steph is a professionally trained Dancer, Yoga Instructor and Aerialist who gained a First Class Honours degree at Coventry University, studying a BA (Hons) Dance Making and Performance in 2012. Since graduating, she has consistently worked as a freelance facilitator, performer, creator, project manager and social media manager for a multitude of companies and organisations across the UK.
Steph is an advocate for freelancers working within the Arts sector and runs a network for East Anglian movement artists with colleague Emma Zangs, named the Dancers Connect Network. At the core of all of her physical work, Steph is keen to create opportunities for others to slow down and reconnect their mind and body as well as spaces for professionals to be students and continue learning.