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Renowned fashion, costume and set designer Paul Shriek has been announced as the winner for Best Costume Design in The Great British Pantomime Awards 2018 in a star studded event in London yesterday evening hosted by Christopher Biggins.

Paul, who has been the creative force behind the costume and stage designs for South Shields’ Customs House pantomime for nine seasons, faced tough competition from four other nominees in his category, including the mighty force of The London Palladium.

Shriek works with long-time collaborator Matt Fox; their company Fox and Shriek is committed to creating visually stunning, unique and exciting theatrical productions.

Paul said last night after finding out he was the unanimous judges’ choice:

 “I feel like Jack who has climbed a very tall beanstalk and won the goose who has laid the golden egg. To represent The Customs House, the little Panto with the big heart and bring home this award is both very humbling and extremely gratifying for a lad from Ashington who makes frocks for a living!

Thank you to my mam and dad Trudi and George for giving me a real grounding in Panto illusion – and for their love and support.”

Paul has also enjoyed success as a designer with a variety of theatre companies including the National Dance Company of Wales. Co-founding Artistic Director Ann Sholem described Paul’s work:

 “Magnificent, ingenious and original’ are the words I choose when talking about Paul Shriek’s costumes. Shriek designed and made wonderful costumes for National Dance Company Wales, including thecelebrated Seven Deadly Sins with Welsh National Opera. Shriek is an artist who creates a unique world with couture clothes for a theatrical setting.”

The Great British Pantomime Awards recognise and celebrate the great effort that goes into the yearly pantomime season throughout the UK. There are over 20 awards in total, including: Best Comic, Best Male and Female Baddie, Best Ensemble as well as awards for Lighting, Design and Direction.

Co-founder Daniel Dawson added:

 ‘Judges saw well in excess of 200 shows with up to 6 judges seeing each show. The variety of talent that we have seen has made it clear that pantomime is as alive as ever. With so many talentedactors so well supported by back of house teams it has made the judging very difficult, but that can only be good for audiences and the future of pantomime.’

‘Those who came away with awards last night have every reason to be immensely proud and can rest assured that we and the judges consider them to be the crème de la crème and at the top of their game. ”

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