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Village company nominated for top award

PUBLISHED: 01:01 01 September 2008 | UPDATED: 11:00 08 July 2010

Ian Clarke

It's an international art and cultural achievement gong which has previously been won by the likes of Al Gore, Leonardo di Caprio, the National Theatre and the Royal Opera House.

It's an international art and cultural achievement gong which has previously been won by the likes of Al Gore, Leonardo di Caprio, the National Theatre and the Royal Opera House.

And a theatre company based in a tiny Norfolk village is today named as one of the nominations for the prestigious Clarion Awards.

For the past 20 years Westacre Arts Foundation has produced highly acclaimed plays, musical events, educational courses and exhibitions at its popular River Studios and Summer Theatre, at West Acre near Swaffham run by Issy Huckle and Andy Naylor.

Issy, the administrative director, said: “We are all delighted and surprised to receive a Clarion nomination. We have been aware of the Clarions for some years and to be included in such a prestigious group of nominees is a true tribute to the work of our wonderful colleagues at West Acre.

“River Studios and our summer theatre have a history of sell-out performances and we have received tremendous support from our local community over many years - but to have now received international recognition for our work is the true icing on the cake.”

Founder of the awards Wayne Drew said: “Westacre Arts Foundantion, under the inspiring leadership of Issy Huckle and Andy Naylor, has been nominated for work which typifies the creative brilliance and cultural worth of many small arts organisations, existing on very limited resources, across the country, which make the arts available to all.

“The Foundation's ambitious programming ranges from classical drama to the latest in experimental theatre, as well as exhibitions and musical events for all sections of the community.

“Such ongoing developments are too often taken for granted and I really hope that this achievement will be recognised and supported by both the people of Norfolk and the local authority, so that the future of Westacre Arts Foundation will be secure and its major contribution to the cultural life of the community can develop even further.”

The 2008 Clarion Awards will be announced at a gala awards ceremony at the National Film Theatre (BFI Southbank, London) on September 26.

*To see more on the awards go to www.ivca.org.

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