Jeannette Baxter’s research helps play win Norfolk Arts Award

Published: 7 November 2017 at 13:33

Norfolk Awards prize winners holding their awards

Research by Dr Jeannette Baxter, Senior Lecturer in English and Writing, has been used in a show celebrating Norwich’s history and diversity that went on to win a Norfolk Arts Award.

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Jeannette’s academic research on W G Sebald, shaped the format of the play, giving it the form of a ‘Sebaldian’ historical collage. Sebald was a surrealist historiographer who moved to Norfolk in the 1970s. His work aimed to disrupt chronological historical narratives allowing alternative historical voices to emerge.

Ten performances of the play took place across a number of city centre and local community venues to a total audience of over 3,000, also raising £6,000 for the charity New Routes. More than 750 people were directly involved in the play, including members of local schools and community groups who participated in the project’s extensive outreach programme.

The project was awarded the Eastern Daily Press People’s Choice Awards winner after achieving the most votes in an online poll to find the EDP readers’ cultural champions.

Jeannette said of the play: “Come Yew In! started life as a beautiful idea, and it developed into a beautiful and important piece of community activism. It means a huge amount to the Come Yew In! team to win a Norfolk Arts Award, and it is particularly pleasing to have been the People’s Choice - that just goes to show the range and reach of Come Yew In’s impact.

"The creation and production schedules were hard graft, from the research and creative-practice phases, through to the many, many rehearsals and performances. Every single member of the Come Yew In! team brought endless amounts of energy and commitment to the project, and this award is for each and every one of them. We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved, and we’re very excited about the next ‘legacy’ phases of the project, which we’re developing in collaboration with Norwich Schools of Sanctuary.”

You can read more about Norfolk’s many cultural champions on the Eastern Daily Press website.

New Routes, Old Roots is an arts-based research network located within the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences.