Guide Awards - have you made the shortlist?

Today we reveal the shortlists of our celebration of local arts, the Guide Awards, with the winners to be announced in a gala event at the end of the month.
Who will be taking home one of these on January 27?Who will be taking home one of these on January 27?
Who will be taking home one of these on January 27?

For the past month we have asked you to vote for your favourites in 13 different categories, to help pick the best in arts and culture from across our region from the past 12 months.And the response has been overwhelming.Now the top six in each category, from music, to theatre, art and film will go forward to our Guide Awards Night, a glittering gala ceremony at the Kings Theatre in Albert Road, Southsea, on Monday, January 27, from 7pm, where we will be announcing the winners.We will also be presenting a Special Achievement Award for someone we feel has played a great role in contributing to the cultural life of the region.

And we are also pleased to announce that Jack Edwards will be returning as our host for the evening, along with the Kings’ chief executive Paul Woolf.

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Jack is just coming to the end of his run in this year’s Kings’ panto, Aladdin, where you can see him stealing the show as the dame.

Jack says: ‘The Guide Awards are a fabulous night, and it’s wonderful to be involved. Now that it’s moved back to the Kings, we want to make a real occasion of it.

‘We’re looking forward to seeing who takes the trophies home this year.’

Editor of The News Mark Waldron adds: ‘We get blown away each year by how many people take part –thousands of votes have been cast – even more than last year.

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‘So please do get your free tickets and join us on the night, it’s going to be a great one.’

And there will also be entertainment from some top performers between the awards.

Tickets for the night are free and available to everyone, not just those connected to the nominees.To get your free tickets, go to and follow the instructions on the event page, or call the box office on (023) 9282 8282.

So here are the shortlists in alphabetical order:

A. BEST COMEDY SPONSORED BY PORTSMOUTH GUILDHALL1. Sunjai Arif: Took a new show, Which Princess Are You? to Edinburgh Fringe2. Hetty Austin: Co-founder of the Boutique Comedy Club.3. Perry Reilly: As co-founder of PM Promotions, Perry MCs at The Dolphin, The Emporium in Southsea and Staggeringly Good bar.

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4. The Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue: The scene veterans continue to entertain across the land with their distinctive double-act.

5. Graham Rice: Co-host of the Emergency Mixtape podcast with former Guide award-winner Joe Wells.6. Jake Young: Runs the Comedy at The Alverbank night in Gosport.

B. BEST DJ1. Banksy: Runs Banksy and Dunn’s Drum and Bass show on The Fort Radio.

2. Will ChuMp: Twenty years of success with alternative night Delight, plus stints at Overboard at Fleet, Thank The Lord It’s Friday at LJR and Waster at Pryzm.

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3. Alex Dutton: Delight and PopWorld resident DJ playing consistently across the city in both pop music and alternative scenes.4. Luke Loud: Supported Wilkinson, Maztek, Noisia, Halogenix, Dillinja, Benny L, Gerra & Stone across the south and is a regular in the city.

5. Drift & Roll 3: The DJ duo have supported Annix, Dillinja, Shimon and Arcane together and hosted regular events across the city.6. Pete Scathe: Long-running indie DJ with Connection at Zanzi, Rock Lobster at The Deco and Wolf Cub Club at The Edge of The Wedge.


1.Colour of The Jungle: A sold out Wedgewood Rooms gig and a Radio Solent takeover demonstrated their continued rise.

2. Emptifish: Released their debut album, Sonic Love, 35 years into their career, and four years into an increasingly lengthy Indian summer.

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3. Fake Empire: The three-piece have impressed wherever they play across the south, with their indie-rock consistently aiming for ‘epic’.

4. Four Folds Law: Released a strong EP in time for one of the sweatiest shows of the summer at The Barn, Milton.

5. The Stone Birds: Formed barely a year ago, they’ve got the swagger of youth backed with a persuasive live show.

6. VCR: Won The Wedge’s Annual Showcase competition and the national Youth Music Original Track award at the Youth Music Awards.

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D. BEST SOLO ACT, SPONSORED BY BH LIVE1. Tom Bryan: The former Shoot The Duke frontman began carving out a solo career, with numerous support and headline gigs.

2. Evangeline: Sharp indie-pop from this teenager who is a graduate from the ranks of the Urban Vocal Group.

3. Fugitive Orchestra: A busy year for the one-man band James Tattington, including gigs in Norway and released the single The Price of Doubt.

4. Lily Garland: Helped establish the two-day Country on The Coast festival while working hard on new music which has been teased live.

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5. Alistair Goodwin: The singer-songwriter has been steadily building a following for his brand of acoustic roots.

6. Megan Linford: The folk singer-songwriter sold out The Square Tower for the launch of her Spring single, and pushed forward with the Future Folk nights.

E. BEST EVENT, SPONSORED BY VICTORIOUS FESTIVAL1. Comic Con: May the Fourth be with the largest event of its kind in the south, drawing thousands of sci-fi and fantasy fans to Portsmouth Guildhall.2. Darkfest: The annual creative and cultural festival exploring all things dark, supernatural, and sinister, including the ambitious transmedia project, Cursed City – Dark Tide.

3. D-Day 75 Commemorations: A weekend on Southsea Common remembering the heroes of D-Day, with period music, especially written music, a revival festival and the Red Arrows.4. Dials Festival: The urban festival presented the best of new and up-and-coming acts, while also supporting mental health charity Solent Mind.

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5. Icebreaker: More than 100 unsigned bands from across the region played on 12 stages in Southsea over two days.

6. Wickham Festival: A strong line-up included Kiefer Sutherland in country-rock mode, as well as legends Graham Nash and Judy Collins.

F. BEST PROFESSIONAL PRODUCTION1. Hair, Kings Theatre: The ‘hippy’ musical took us back to the Age of Aquarius.

2. Les Miserables, Mayflower Theatre: Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed production of Boublil and Schönberg’s blockbuster musical.

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3. Matilda The Musical, Mayflower: Roald Dahl’s story of the little girl with a vivid imagination who dares to take a stand.

4. A Midsummer Nights Dream, New Theatre Royal: The Shit-Faced Shakespeare company’s unusual take on the comedy.

5. The Mousetrap, Kings Theatre: The West End’s longest-running play returned to the provinces on its latest tour.

6. Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Mayflower: The all-male take on the classic continues to have the crowds flocking to it.

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G. BEST AMATEUR PRODUCTION, SPONSORED BY THE GAIETY BAR1. Black Coffee, by Fareham Musical Society at Ferneham Hall, Fareham: A murder mystery written by Agatha Christie for the stage, and starring her Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.

2. The Deep Blue Sea, by Bench at The Spring Arts Centre, Havant: Despite the CFT staging Terence Rattigan’s 1952 masterpiece at the same time, the amateur company acquitted themselves more than admirably.

3. Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of The Baskervilles, by FMS at Ferneham Hall: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s deer-stalker-wearing creation tackles the murder of Sir Charles Baskerville.

4. The King’s Speech, by CCADS at The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth: Telling the true story of King George VI, and how he overcame his stammer with the help of maverick Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue.

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5. The Pride, by Bench at The Spring: A cast of four tell parallel stories occurring in 1958 and 2008 in Alexei Kaye Campbell’s challenging play.

6. Spider’s Web, by HumDrum at The Spring: Our reviewer hailed the ‘uniformly excellent cast’ as they tried to untangle Christie’s web of lies.

H.BEST AMATEUR MUSICAL, SPONSORED BY KINGS THEATRE​​​​​​​1. Big Fish, by CCADS at The Station Theatre, Hayling Island: The heart-wrenching tale of the fraught relationship between Edward Bloom and his son Will.

2. Bugsy Malone, at the Kings Theatre, Southsea: Custard replaces bullets in this child-friendly version of a prohibition-era gangster story.

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3. Cats, by Stage One Youth Theatre at Ferneham Hall, Fareham: Our reviewer said ‘the future of local theatre seems assured in such capable hands.’

4. Grease, by Portsmouth Players at The Kings: A trip back to Rydell High in the American 1950s with Danny and Sandy.5. Jesus Christ Superstar, by Portsmouth Players at the Kings: The company gave the show contemporary spin to bring it up to date.6. My Fair Lady, by CCADS at the Kings: Packed with classic songs and based on George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion.

I. BEST AMATEUR ACTRESS1. Leigh Cunningham as Hester in Deep Blue Sea by Bench.

2. Sally Hartley as Mrs Bennett in Pride and Prejudice by Bench.

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3. Lauren Kempton as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady by CCADS.

4. Kerry McCrohon as Sandra Bloom in Big Fish by CCADS.

5. Elena Reynolds as Maria in The Sound of Music SDMS.

6. Claire Stevens as Inspector Lord in Spider’s Web by HumDrum.


1. Charlie Frame as Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar by Portsmouth Players.

2. Jonathan Fost as King George VI in The King’s Speech by CCADS.

3. Craig Parker as Oliver in The Pride by Bench.

4. Matt Sackman as Jud in Oklahoma! by SDMS.

5. Nick Scovell as Hercule Poirot in Black Coffee by FMS.

6. Ben Tanner as Freddie in Deep Blue Sea by Bench.


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1. The Petersfield Orchestra: For their Russian Night concert as part of the Petersfield Music Festival.

2. Portsmouth Baroque Choir: For their performance of Bach’s B minor mass. One of the most difficult works in the repertoire was performed to a very high standard.

3. Portsmouth Choral Union: For introducing rarely-heard repertoire including Hummel’s The Crossing of the Red Sea.

4. Portsmouth Light Orchestra’s Autumn Concert: Bugler’s Holiday was brilliantly played by the orchestra’s three trumpeters.

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5. The Renaissance Choir: For their latest CD, Stream of Life, featuring a commission from local composer, Ian Schofield.

6. Valentina Seferinova: For the pianist’s performance of Ravel’s piano concerto with the Solent Symphony Orchestra.

L. BEST ARTIST, SPONSORED BY ASPEX GALLERY 1.Bennett & McDermott: The duo produced an engaging participatory installation Twenty Years to mark Portsmouth Festivities’ anniversary.2. Peter Codling: He had a solo exhibition at Jack House Gallery and undertook a residency in the hermitage of Portsmouth Cathedral, producing the installation Soup of Souls.3. Sasha Damjanovic: Emerging artist and recent graduate of BA Illustration at the University of Portsmouth, Sasha is currently showing her work in the Platform Graduate Award 2019 at Aspex.4. Kevin Dean: Another central figure in the cultural life of the region, Kevin produced a beautiful body of work as Victorious Artist in Residence. 5. Foursandeights: Print collective Marie and Darren work out of Hotwalls Studios and are developing quite a reputation for their work, celebrating all things Pompey.

6. Clarke Reynolds: Clarke has used the traumatic experience of losing his sight to reach a wider audience, His project Eye Sea Squares for Portsmouth Festivities reached hundreds.

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M. BEST FILM, WITH PORTSMOUTH FILM SOCIETY AND MAKING WAVES1. Delivery, dir Jon Small and Maxine Mason: A delivery driver attempts to post a parcel. The door is left wide open. Anybody could just walk in.2. Family Night, dir Caleb Johnston: A struggling couple, intent on saving their marriage, set aside one Saturday evening to reconnect as a family.3. Guilt, dir Annabel Bryant and Shenali Karunatilake: Asiri is weighed down with guilt after the loss of his wife, struggling to accept his current situation.4. Spit of a Common Man, dir Tim Faraday: Following a trench explosion, a mortally wounded young private talks about the futility of war with his veteran sergeant, who assures him that he will not die in vain.5. Stripped Bare, dir Harvey Coombes: A drama-packed short film about a young woman who is stripping behind her mum and abusive stepdad’s back to try to escape from them.6. The Loft, dir Dominic Grose: A woman eagerly awaits someone in her house. Yet her hopeful expectations are met by an horrific reality.