Tamworth shortlisted for two awards in Midlands competition

February 17, 2016

TAMWORTH has been shortlisted for two top awards in a Midlands-wide competition recognising the best of the best in arts and entertainment – and your votes are now needed to bring the titles home.

Both Tamworth Assembly Rooms and last year’s community dance production of Tigress have been shortlisted for honours in the What’s On Readers’ Awards after receiving nominations from readers of the arts and entertainment guide.

The awards have been set up to celebrate the magazine’s 30th anniversary and are designed to reward the Midlands’ stand out venues, events and artists, across a variety of genres and in a range of categories.

More than 8,500 votes were cast from readers in the first stage of the competition which determined the list of county-wide and regional finalists. Voting now continues online until March 10 when the overall winners will be revealed.

Tamworth Assembly Rooms has been shortlisted in the ‘Best Regional Music Venue’ category and is competing against five other Staffordshire venues with a capacity of less than 500. They are The Sugarmill in Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford Gatehouse, Prince of Wales Centre, Cannock, The Madhouse in Burton-upon Trent and Brewhouse Arts Centre, also in Burton-upon-Trent.

Last year’s community production of Tigress, led by the award-winning national Motionhouse dance company, has been shortlisted in the Midlands-wide category of ‘Dance: Best Production’ and is up against competition from the likes of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s The Nutcracker and YAMA from the Scottish Dance Theatre.

Tigress saw schoolchildren, dancers, choirs, arts groups, community groups and knitters from across the town coming together with professional artists from the acclaimed organisation to produce a special outdoor performance based on the story of the Tamworth’s Saxon Queen Aethelfleda.

Both nominations are testament to the hard work that went into the 18-month I Am Tamworth project which aimed to encourage more people to get creative and take part in the arts.

Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Economy, Cllr Steve Claymore, said: “Last year there was a real push on the arts as part of I Am Tamworth and the fact we have been nominated by members of the public in these awards shows that the hard work has paid off. Whether we win or not, we have succeeded in putting Tamworth on the creative map and my congratulations go to all involved.

“Winning would be the icing on the cake though and I encourage everyone to get online and vote. Tamworth Assembly Rooms is a superb venue and winning this award would be a perfect sign off before it is modernised for the future.

“Tigress was an amazing spectacle and a real stand out element of I Am Tamworth. It would be great for all those involved, especially the children, to have their achievements celebrated on a regional level.”

Kevin Finnan, Artistic Director of Motionhouse who created and choreographed Tigress, said: “When we made Tigress we wanted to create a show that touched our audiences and made them proud of Tamworth’s history and excited about its future. Our audiences are at the heart of everything we do, so to be nominated for this award gives us enormous satisfaction. We were delighted to be part of this unique and inspiring project.

“At Motionhouse we think that everyone should be given the opportunity to experience and participate in dance and the arts in general. I feel that the I Am Tamworth project offered a unique opportunity for local people to get involved and enjoy a creative experience together.”

Votes can be cast at http://whatsonlive.co.uk/whats-on-readers-awards. Tigress can be found under category number 6, for Dance: Best Production, while the Assembly Rooms can be found at category number 33, after selecting ‘Staffordshire’ in the regional awards section at number 31.