Supported by Teesside University, this award recognises large and small scale events, festivals and exhibitions in Teesside. The winners of each category qualify for the shortlist in the Overall North East Event of the Year award.
Since its launch in October 2013, Jabberwocky Market has captivated visitors with its unique offerings.
A unique festival, created especially for the people of Darlington, Jabberwocky is designed and run by theatre producers from the town, in partnership with internationally acclaimed partners and performances. It’s a market– but not as you know it.
Using small scale venues, including Voodoo Cafe, the Cattle Market and Crown Street Library as stages for top quality theatre, the festival featured events for people of all ages as well as professional workshops.
Taking place over two Jabberwocky Markets in May and again in October, Darlington once again welcomed the team from Battersea Arts Centre.
David Jubb, artistic director at Battersea Arts Centre, said: “We are proud to tour such exciting productions and strengthen the partnership between London and these regional partners, playing a part in their visionary initiatives and building on our mission to invent the future of theatre.”
Producer Caroline Pearce of Darlington’s Luxi theatre company says: “We are thrilled to be shortlisted for the award, which feels like a recognition of the hard work of a community of people across a number of years that culminates in an event that celebrates the very best contemporary story telling, in places that are accessible and that we love.
“The volunteers, audiences and team that have been part of our highs and lows for four successful festivals so far are the who, how and why we do it. Darlington is a great place to grow up and to grow old and we love to be able to bring amazing theatre and a fun atmosphere into town.”
Chance Finds Us at MIMA
An artist led project focusing on the random nature of the world around us, Chance Finds Us saw mima playing host to the work from eight artists from the North East, with a focus on coincidence and the opposition of order.
The artists: Anne Vibeke Mou, James Hugonin, Alex Charrington, Richard Rigg, Rachael Clewlow, Sarah Bray, Peter J. Evans and Nick Kennedy, were each known - to some degree - for their systematic and occasionally ritualistic approach to their work.
The work on display included pieces focusing on journeys, with one asking any visitors who boarded a plane after visiting, to contribute their own drawings on the theme, and a new piece from Rachael Clewlow chronicling a series of walks she took around the local landscape.
As well as the artworks themselves, the exhibition also played host to a series of other events including talks and the launch of a companion book.
Homecoming (Periplum Theatre)
Commissioned as one of the many events throughout 2014 commemorating the 100th Anniversary of World War I, Homecoming was a unique piece of outdoor theatre created by the Periplum Theatre Company in collaboration with the five boroughs of the Tees Valley (Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton).
The production explored the impact of war on communities – the changing roles of women, the heartbreak and loss to families, and the unique stories of individuals – from acts of bravery and kindness to the tragedy of teenagers shot at dawn.
The performance was developed by engaging schools and young people through the letter writing project and each performance also linked into other local community groups engaging volunteers and local performers to make the story relevant to local happenings.
David Worthington, head of culture and information at Hartlepool Borough Council, says: “It is a great honour to be nominated for Tees Valley Event of the Year in the Journal North East Culture Awards. 2014 saw the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, this was a particularly poignant time for the people of Hartlepool as it also saw the 100th anniversary of the Bombardment of the Hartlepools on December 16.
“Our event commemorated this unique moment in the town’s history. This nomination is recognition for all the hard work put in by the staff, Periplum Theatre Company and the community of Hartlepool who ensured that the town remembered the 130 people who died as a result of enemy action 100 years before.
“The performance drew a fine line between being a piece of exciting and vibrant theatre but one that always had in mind the delicate nature of the subject matter we were dealing with . The public reaction gave us the feeling that this balance was achieved.”