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Gorleston woman wins theatre award for play about penguins

PUBLISHED: 14:14 06 February 2019

Victoria Dyson, 32, from Gorleston, played the baby penguin in 'Huddle', a play which won Filskit theatre company an Offie, or Off the West End Award.

Victoria Dyson, 32, from Gorleston, played the baby penguin in 'Huddle', a play which won Filskit theatre company an Offie, or Off the West End Award.

Alicia Clarke

A Norfolk woman has won a prestigious award for theatre in London.

A Gorleston woman has won an award for theatre in London.A Gorleston woman has won an award for theatre in London.

Victoria Dyson, 32, from Gorleston, is one of the three founding members of Filskit, an all female theatre company which puts on plays for younger audiences.

Last week the company won an Offie, or Off West End Theatre Award, which recognises and celebrates independent theatres across the capital.

Their play, Huddle, won the best production for young people aged 0-7.

The play follows a penguin father looking after his newly born chick, played by Ms Dyson.

It was performed 72 times at the Unicorn, a theatre for young audiences in southeast London, from November to January.

Ms Dyson, born in Gorleston, said she is “still knackered”.

Her first experience on stage was on Brittania Pier in Great Yarmouth when she was three-years-old and part of a dance group.

About 40 of the children were to dance to the William Tell overture on hobby-horses.

But she was so excited, as soon as the music started and before her cue, she rushed out onto the stage.

“I got so excited I just went on, I just ran on,” Ms Dyson said. “They were trying to hold me back.”

Her early enthusiasm for the stage did not fade and she later studied theatre at Rose Bruford College, a drama school in south London.

There, she met Katy Costigan and Sarah Shephard.

After graduating in 2009, the three of them started Filskit.

Ms Dyson said the name comes from a Shetland Islands dialect word meaning ‘lively’ or ‘high energy’.

The three members do all the work - writing, directing and performing.

Ms Dyson also looks after the marketing.

She said that if the company gets more funding they plan to open a hub in Norfolk.

A review in The Stage, a weekly newspaper covering theatre, said that Huddle was a “beautifully crafted wordless drama about a penguin family for very young children”.

In previous plays, Ms Dyson has played the right-hand side of the brain in a play called Bright Sparks.

She said the company often stages plays without words and is interested in a blend of science and art.

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