Today we feature the three nominees shortlisted for the Arts Award in our countdown to the Examiner Community Awards presentation night which will be held at the John Smith’s Stadium on Thursday, May 24. The winner will be revealed on the night. In tomorrow’s Examiner we will reveal the shortlist for the Courage Award.
Adam Patel was a pharmacist ... but he’d rather have been dispensing magic instead and always wanted to appear on TV.
Through hard work, determination and crafting some stunning skills he’s made it.
Adam, 31, had to move from Dewsbury to London to make the grade and his first television special Adam Patel: Real Magic was released on Amazon Prime Video earlier this year.
The show follows him as he tours the UK doing magic for celebrities and people on the streets of several cities including London, Leeds and Newcastle.
Adam said: “It’s been a very long road. At various times along the way it’s been everything from exciting to soul-destroying.
“Coming from a completely different background and with no formal training in this industry it was a trial by fire. Like jumping out of the plane and hoping I could learn how to fly before I hit the ground.”
He added: “It has been a very exciting ride. I’m very glad I ultimately dared to give this a go three years ago and the show my team and I have produced is something I think we’re all really proud of. It’s a dream come true.”
Adam’s magic combines sleight-of-hand, perceptual manipulation and mind-hacking to produce a highly varied and intriguing form of magical entertainment that is a fascinating fusion of both art and science.
Adam performed live shows in London’s West End at Leicester Square Theatre in March along with Leeds City Varieties Music Hall and The Dancehouse Theatre in Manchester in April.
The show called ‘Adam Patel: Real Magic LIVE’ is a combination of magic and storytelling, seasoned with British Asian references and quirky humour. While showcasing his magic skills, Adam will tell the story of how he became a magician.
“It’s a really original show,” he said. “Yes, it’s a magic show and you should expect to be amazed, but this is not ‘just another magic show’, it’s so much more than that. It’s a show about adversity, about challenge and about dreams.”
Adam, who studied at Heckmondwike Grammar School and Greenhead College, describes his magic as a cross between Dynamo, who uses a lot of visual tricks, and Derren Brown, who often uses mind control.
When probation officer Bill Forde wrote his first book he could never have imagined he would go on to pen a further 67.
The 75-year-old, who has terminal blood cancer, wrote his last one, The Lost Kingdom, to celebrate the birth of his granddaughter Olivia and has made Olivia, her mother, Karen, and father Adam central characters in the story plot.
As a children’s author Bill sold his books to Yorkshire schools and in the process raised more than £200,000 for charities, mainly those involving children.
He also started visiting Yorkshire schools daily to have famous people read his books to assemblies of children and hundreds of national and international stars from stage, screen and film read to 2,000 school assemblies between 1989 and 2002.
The late Sir Norman Wisdom made a journey from his home in the Isle of Man to Mirfield Library at Bill’s request to read one of William’s books to 200 children.
The then Prime Minister’s wife, Norma Major, read one of William’s stories to a school in her husband’s constituency. The late Dame Catherine Cookson liked one of his characters called Action Annie so much that she paid for the first publication of the 12 stories that made up an omnibus.
Princess Diana asked that she be sent two of Bill’s books - Douglas the Dragon and Sleezy the Fox - to read to princes William and Harry when they were aged nine and seven. Of the charity money Bill raised almost £100,000 was raised by the sale of 100,000 copies of these two books alone.
Bill said that the pain of being apart from his own children in the aftermath of a separation inspired him to write.
He added: “During my years of restricted access to my first two children I missed out on so much of their precious childhood that I muscled in on the childhood of almost half a million other children through the 2,000 storytelling assemblies I held in Yorkshire schools.
“That was the reason I read and wrote children’s books with strong moral aspects to their themes. That is why I wasn’t content unless I could read the books to other children and see their little faces as they listened on in breathless anticipation.”
Themes included bereavement, separation, loss, bullying, homelessness and anger.
Bill, who has five children, married Sheila in 2012 and she has encouraged him to write again but this time it is romantic stories and any money he makes from them is also given to charity.
He writes a thought for the day every day on his Facebook page, often urging people to think positively in times of adversity such as facing a terminal illness.
If you want to get creative then go to the Colne Valley.
For Globe Arts Studio has now been running for 18 months and this art hub is creating a real buzz.
It’s an independent art school in the centre of Slaithwaite offering a range of art and craft classes, courses and workshops from babies to grown ups.
A studio was set up 18 months ago in what was the Wharfside pub. The building has been fully renovated over the last year and includes a small art supplies shop and gallery with local art work for sale.
There is also a large Create Space on New Street for larger workshops in the same building. On the top floor an old bed and breakfast has been renovated into nine artist studios and there is also a gallery there. The entrance is on Carr Lane.
Jackie Harrowsmith and Rebecca Sohotha began the business as a community interest company four years ago after they became concerned about the decline in arts provision, especially within education. They were both subject leaders in secondary education and high quality arts education is at the forefront of their provision at the art school.
Both have left full-time teaching to focus on the art studios and fulfilling their goal of creating an accessible, creative, inclusive environment that fosters confidence within those who come along to classes and events. They are building the business and juggling part-time jobs plus busy family lives.
They now have more than 100 people attending classes every week, as well as shop and gallery visitors. Classes range from drawing, painting, life drawing, ceramics, textiles, stained glass, print making and more.
One young woman said: “Brilliant classes and teachers. They helped me so much when putting my portfolio together to get into my dream university. I’m so grateful and recommend these classes to anyone. I wasn’t very confident with art so you can be as experienced or as inexperienced as you like, everyone is made to feel more than welcome. Nice way to spend time with friends or loved ones too.”
A mum added: “My little boy is four years old and a regular member of the junior arts sessions (four to seven-year-olds). He has learned lots of new creative skills as well as developing his independence and self confidence through attending the sessions.”
Jackie is married to Mark and the couple live in Wellhouse with children Jasmine, 15, and 13-year-old Finlay.
Rebecca is married to Suky and they have a 12-year-old daughter, Ruby, and four-year-old son, Gabriel. The family lives in Slaithwaite.