Don’t forget to get your free tickets to The Guide Awards

Amba Tremain and Charlie Fletcher of Urban Vocal Group are surprised to win the Special Achievement Award at last year's Guide Awards. Picture: Duncan Shepherd
Amba Tremain and Charlie Fletcher of Urban Vocal Group are surprised to win the Special Achievement Award at last year's Guide Awards. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

Requests for free tickets to our Guide Awards Night have come pouring in, so don’t delay if you have yet to ask for yours.

Throughout December we asked you to vote for your favourites in 13 different categories, to help pick the best in arts and culture from across our region for the past 12 months.

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 New Theatre Royal in Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth, on Monday, January 28, 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 as well as that there will 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, e-mail us with how many you would like, your name, address and a contact number to features@thenews.co.uk or call (023) 9262 2136.

THE SHORTLISTS IN FULL

A. BEST COMEDY sponsored by Portsmouth Cultural Trust

1. Sunjai Arif:  Took a well-reviewed show Stranger Things to the Edinburgh Fringe with Nathan Eagle

2. Hetty Austin: Part of the Boutique Comedy Club team along with Sunjai Arif and Joe Wells, and also building a good reputation on the gigging circuit

3. Mike Cox: Packs in the gigs nationwide, and also hosts the Funny People Comedy Club nights

4. Nathan Eagle: The other half of the Stranger Things popular Edinburgh Fringe pairing

5. The Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue: Scene veterans and one of the highlights of the new Big Mouth Comedy Festival

6. Joe Wells: Took his I Hope I Die Before I Start Voting Conservative to Brighton Fringe, and is already previewing his 2019 show, Marilyn and Me

B. BEST DJ sponsored by The Astoria Night Club

1. Le Fish (Lee Fisher): One quarter of Monkey Love Stunt Team, he performed on Victorious’s main stage, and completed a marathon 50 -hour DJ  set for mental health charities

2. DJ Banksy: Supported Goldie, LTJ  Bukem and Shy FX, runs Banksy and Dunn’s Radio show, the largest drum and bass show in the region  

3. Soul  Divide: Hosted  Mutiny, supported Solardo and  Camelphat at their own Love Amplified raves, and also played Ministry of Sound London this year

4. Will Chump: Played at Victorious, and has guided the alternative club night, Delight, to 18 successful years

5. RJM: Supported Goldie, Roni Size, supported on Goat Shed  (Southampton) and runs OHM Drum and Bass

6. DJ  MB: This newcomer is only 18 and supported Goldie and Roni Size for Beats and  Swing

C. BEST BAND sponsored by The Wedgewood Rooms

1. Arcade Hearts: Demonstrated true DIY spirit as they released their debut EP and sold out The Wedge

2. Dutch Criminal Record: Released the strong Waiting For The Weekend with a packed show at The Wedge

3. Fake Empire: The trio have been making an impression everywhere they play since forming just over a year ago

4. Omar Baba: The Asian hip-hop act bring some welcome diversity in more ways than one and a dose of humour to the scene

5. Seething Akira: The electro-metallers put out critically acclaimed debut album Sleepy Skeletor and toured widely

6. Shoot the Duke: Built on their reputation as a live act with their busiest festival season so far, and put out the single Cash

D. BEST SOLO ACT sponsored by BH Live

1. Bella Estelle: New single Crazy in Love showcases her songwriting talents with support from BBC Introducing and Express FM

2. Fugitive Orchestra: This captivating performer played his first US shows this year, and put out the Rules of the Riddle EP late last year

3. DevinJade: Gigged loads - scored a support with Luke ‘Nizlopi’ Concannon - and a local favourite

4. Megan Linford: Hard at work in the studio on new material she has also co-launched the Future Folk acoustic and spoken word nights

5. El Morgan: As well as a solo act and with her own band The Divers, El is also part of several other projects and an active booster of the scene

6. Parv: The hip-hop act helped spread the word Squinny to the masses with his single of the same name, and has gained support from BBC Introducing and 1Xtra

E. BEST FESTIVAL sponsored by Victorious Festival

1. Cheese Fest: Switching from a paid indoor event to a free weekend on Castle Field, Southsea, meant a bonanza for cheese-lovers

2. Icebreaker: Staged more than 100 acts across a dozen stages in Southsea as it expanded to two days for the first time

3. Journeys Festival International: Celebrating the refugee and immigrant communities, this was its third year in the city

4. Oktoberfest: Moving down to Castle Field from the city centre for the first time didn’t deter those hankering for a drop of Bavarian fun

5. Portsmouth Festivities: Taking ‘freedom’ as its theme, there were dozens of events, concerts, talks, screenings and more in the annual arts bonanza

6. Wickham Festival: Steve Harley, Squeeze, Kate Rusby and Richard Thompson were among the stars of this year’s festival

F. BEST PROFESSIONAL PRODUCTION sponsored by The New Theatre Royal

1. Cock at Chichester Festival Theatre: A gay man is torn when he falls for a woman

2. Mamma Mia at The Kings Theatre, Southsea: The unstoppable musical based on the music of Abba

3. Me and My Girl at CFT: A cheeky Cockney, played here by Matt Lucas is lifted to aristocracy

4. The Play That Goes Wrong at The Kings: The farce that opened the doors for the Mischief Theatre Company

5. Titanic at Mayflower: Not an adaptation of the film of the fateful journey – this musical is a hit in its own right

6. War Horse at Mayflower: Michael Morpurgo’s First World War-set modern classic, featuring life-sized horse puppets

G. BEST AMATEUR PRODUCTION sponsored by The Gaiety Bar

1. Constellations by Bench at The Spring Arts Theatre, Havant: Bees, cosmology and quantum mechanics in this tricky two-hander

2. Dracula by HumDrum at The Spring: Breathing new life into the Bram Stoker horror classic

3. One Man, Two Guvnors by HumDrum at The Spring: Knockabout farce in the show that slayed the West End

4. Rabbit Hole by CCADS at The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth: The Pulitzer-prize winning drama about surviving loss.

5. The Tempest by SSA, Station Theatre, Hayling Island: Shakespeare’s final play is given a gender-twist

6. Waiting For Godot, by DeltaHead, at the Square Tower: A novel take on Beckett’s masterpiece that made good use of its venue

H. BEST AMATEUR MUSICAL sponsored by The Kings Theatre

1. Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang, by CCADS at The Kings Theatre, Southsea: An ambitious take on the musical based on the film of the lovable car in its 50th anniversary year

2. The Full Monty, by Portsmouth Players at The Kings: The show that asks its male leads if they’ll dare to bare

3. Grease, by Fareham Musical Society at Ferneham Hall: The evergreen story of love across the divide at a 1950s’ American high school

4. Hairspray at Titchfield Festival Theatre: Following Tracy Turnblad’s bid for fame against a backdrop of Civil Rights-era America

5. 9 to 5, by Portsmouth Grammar School at The Kings: The Dolly Parton vehicle becomes a story of female empowerment

6. Priscilla Queen of The Desert, by Portsmouth Players at The Kings: The musical that brought LGBT issues to The Outback

I. BEST AMATEUR ACTOR

1. Vincent Adams as Lucky in Waiting for Godot by DeltaHead

2. Ben Counter as Elwood in Harvey and Renfield in Dracula by HumDrum

3. Stuart Frank as Danny Zuko in Grease, by FMS

4. Jonathan Grant as The Count in Dracula by HumDrum

5. Tony Johnson as the Child Catcher in Chitty, Chitty, Bang Bang by CCADS

6. Andrew Warner as Bernadette in Priscilla Queen of The Desert by Portsmouth Players

J. BEST AMATEUR ACTRESS

1. Sarah Ash as Prospera in The Tempest by SSA

2. Rhian Gardner in Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang, by CCADS

3. Clare Plumridge as Rizzo, in Grease by FMS

4. Leila Millson as Lucy in Dracula and Ruth Kelly in One Man, Two Guvnors by HumDrum

5. Becky Musgrave as Julie in Carousel by SDMS

6. Faye Williams as Marianne in Constellations, by Bench

K. BEST CLASSICAL

1. Beechwood Opera for the Marriage of Figaro at the New Theatre Royal. A young, entrepreneurial, ambitious, local, opera company producing exciting performances

2. Colin Jagger of University of Portsmouth for his 15 years of bringing class acts to the Portsmouth Chamber Music series

3. Meon Valley Orchestra, the area’s newest large ensemble which has grown to a full-blown orchestra of 45 players. Their charity concerts have raised nearly £8,000

4. Portsmouth Choral Union for their performance of Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony in a memorable concert from ‘a well-schooled group of talented singers’

5. Portsmouth Grammar School’s Chamber Choir which performed with the internationally famous Tallis Scholars. They sang with accuracy and panache, unawed by their professional neighbours

6. The Renaissance Choir for their imaginative programming and their vocal blend. ‘Their excellent sound seems as if it comes from a single person’

L. BEST VISUAL ARTIST Sponsored by Aspex Gallery

1 Caravan Gallery: A Portsmouth institution since 2000,  this last year they worked in Texas, Latvia, Northern Ireland, Scotland and locally at the National Trust site Mottisfont in Hampshire

2.Jeannie Driver: Recent work plays with the boundaries between drawing and sculpture. She’s produced ambitious wall drawings and received an award from Arts Council England to develop her practice

3. Jacqui Mair: A well-established Portsmouth-based illustrator, her new body of work was recently shown in Drawing With Scissors at Jack House Gallery in Old Portmsouth


4. Svetlana Ochkovskaya: Awarded the Journeys Festival International LOOK UP commission in October 2018


5. Josephine Rock: Winner of the Platform Graduate Award 2018 for a recent graduate from a university in the south-east

6. Samo: An artist, tattooist and owner of independent Play Dead Studio in Southsea. A trans activist and tireless advocate for inclusion and creativity

M. BEST FILM WITH PORTSMOUTH FILM SOCIETY

1. Bed Time Bear, director: Mark Oakley & Gavin Damerell


2. Brexistance, dir: Carol & Edward Lyon


3: The Brother, dir: Russel Simpson

4. Delicacy, dir: Michael Middleton-Downer


5. Forever, dir: Marica Jagger



6. Love in First Sight, dir: Billy Stevenson