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Financial support for training for NE performers

Published: 9 May 2019
Reporter: Peter Lathan

The Jackie Fielding Fund is calling for applications from aspiring NE actors for financial support for their training.

Four years ago, actor and director Jackie Fielding, aged just 47, died suddenly while working on her production of The Man and the Donkey at the Customs House in South Shields. Her last performance as an actor in the region was in Get Off At Gateshead at Durham’s Gala Theatre in 2008 but she had a string of critical and popular successes as a director, including Collector of Tears for gobscure on tour and Death at Dawn for Cloud 9 at the Linskill Centre in North Shields.

She was always a great supporter of young people in theatre. In 2008, she took over the running of Bold As Brass young people’s theatre company from its founder, the playwright Alex Fergusson, and ran it until her death. Quite a number of South Tyneside’s up-and-coming young actors began their theatrical life there.

She did a great deal of work at the Customs House which was virtually her theatrical home for a number of years, and, after her death, three of her friends (actor and director Jamie Brown, director and producer Gareth Hunter and actor Viktoria Kay) who had worked with her at the South Shields venue and elsewhere, set up the Jackie Fielding Fund in her memory. Money originally came from donations given at her funeral but every year since then there’s been a fundraising show at the Customs House.

Recent recipients of an award include Louise Gray from South Shields and Lucy Davis from Longbenton. Since graduating from her musical theatre course at The Royal Academy of Music, Louise has gone on to sing with Tim Minchin, in The Lion King in the West End and on Radio 2's Friday Night is Music Night, while Lucy is heading into her third year at Sage Academy of Performing Arts which, she says, “wouldn't have been possible without funding.”

A maximum award of £1,000 is made annually in July. The closing date for applications is Friday 12 July 2019.

Applicants must be:

  • Age 18 or over
  • Available to attend an audition in South Tyneside 25 July 2019
  • Available for full time courses and short courses
  • From the North East of England (candidates from outside the region may be considered if they can demonstrate strong affiliation to it)

Application is open to actors, musical theatre students and directors and funding is paid directly to training provider for tuition fees only.

Applicants should apply online, providing name, DOB, postcode, course title, course provider and an outline of career goals and how the course will support development towards them (500 words maximum).