|Born||19 June 1983 .|
Laura Norton (born 19 June 1983) is an English actress from Newcastle upon Tyne best known for her role in ITV's Yorkshire based soap opera, Emmerdale as Kerry Wyatt. Norton has worked extensively in Newcastle and in the North East England region. During her career, Norton has appeared in numerous television series working for ITV and the BBC.
Norton attended Seaton Burn Community High School.
Norton began her acting career at the age of fourteen with a youth theatre project with Live Theatre in Newcastle. Norton auditioned for the opening play of the project called Get Out of That Then. She continued to work with the youth theatre until she was 19. It was there that Paul James, the actor and associate director for education and participation at the Live Theatre in Newcastle, got Norton her first professional audition for a television series called Badger; Norton booked the role.
Television and film
Roles in Angel Cake, The Royal Today and Vera followed. Norton also featured in Hoops, a short feature sitcom as part of collaboration with Newcastle-based comedy improvisational group, The Suggestibles.
In 2012, it was announced that Norton would be joining the Yorkshire-based soap opera Emmerdale as Kerry Wyatt, estranged mother of Amy Wyatt (Chelsea Halfpenny). Emmerdale marked Norton's first regular television role and she made her first appearance on 17 July 2012. Norton has described her character Kerry as "Totally out of control and can be a madwoman, especially when she's drunk. But she is also vulnerable and tries her best to get things right. Some of the scenes I've filmed are so emotional that I was genuinely in tears. The challenge will be to show the audience that there are two sides to her."
Norton has subsequently added that she feels Kerry is vulnerable and complicated, saying: "She's complicated, vulnerable and childlike. You come to see pretty quickly that Amy is the grown-up one and Kerry is complicated and damaged. She's just desperate for some love. She wants a relationship. She felt that she was doing everything she could to keep Amy [when she was young]. Really, she made some terrible decisions that weren't right at all."
On Wednesday 17 October 2012, Norton also took part in the live episode broadcast of Emmerdale, which marked the soap opera's 40th anniversary.
Norton has filmed a number of short films during her career. In 2004 she appeared as Charity Girl, in Paul Gilbert's Would You Like to Meet. She also featured in Dene Film's Apple Crush as Beatrice and in Aggro, a short for Shakabuku Films.
Norton is scheduled to appear as Mellanie in Tested, a film by London-based production company Liquid Noise Films. Currently in post-production, the film's release date is unconfirmed.
Norton returned to the Live Theatre youth project when she was 21 years old, after completing her performing arts courses at North Tyneside College. It would be with the theatre that she would earn her first major stage role. The Royal Shakespeare Company in partnership with the Live Theatre, Newcastle, collaborated on a project called Keepers of the Flame.
Norton booked a role with the production, portraying Lisa in Keepers of the Flame. Before she undertook her role in 2003, Norton discussed booking her first major professional stage role, "I cried when I was told I had got through the audition. I still can't believe it. It really is a dream come true. Lisa's the one who brings lightness to the play. She's quite humorous - the only character who there's a bit of hope for. Am I like her at all? Well, I can be feisty sometimes!"
Building upon her first professional stage role, Norton booked a role in Live Theatre's production Smack Family Robinson. A tale of a family of drug dealers, she played the youngest daughter, Cora. Alfred Hickling of The Guardian commented on Norton's performance: "Laura Norton is quietly outstanding as the younger daughter Cora."
After two years away from the stage, Norton returned, booking a role as Sharon in Writing Wrong at The Customs House, South Shields as part of the theatre's February Drama Festival in 2006. She then appeared in New Writing North's production of Immaculate Deception.
In 2009, Norton appeared in You Couldn't Make It Up, "A fascinating and satirical look at the recent media circus surrounding the trials and tribulations of The Toon Army." In the same year, Norton appeared at the Customs House in Lucky Numbers a comedy by playwright Mike Yeaman. She played the role of a Goth.
In 2010, Norton also booked a role as Carol, a businesswoman, in Canoeing For Beginners. Carol was in a desperate search for her father Frank, who faked his own death and subsequently tracks him down in Cuba to find out the truth. She earned good reviews for her performances with one reviewer calling her performance "superb". The production was performed at the Customs House, South Shields.
Also in 2010, Norton booked a role in A Nightingale Sang portraying the role of Helen. The production toured the North of England and was performed at the Oldham Coliseum Theatre and at the Stephen Joseph Theatre Scarborough in early 2010.
Commenting on A Nightingale Sang, What's on Stage's Malcolm Wallace praised Norton's portrayal of Helen, saying "Norton takes a while to warm up, but as the evening progresses and the character develops, her performance grows and her final scenes with Jack Bennett, who excellently plays Helen's lover Norman, are dignified and poignant."
Also in 2010, Norton portrayed the role of lap dancer Carla in Faith & Cold Reading opposite Stephen Tompkinson. She earned positive reviews for her role in Faith & Cold Reading. Chris Collett of The Stage magazine commented, she was "restrained yet, heart-rending performance as Carla, Sammy's world weary girlfriend."
Over the course of rehearsing Faith & Cold Reading, Norton also kept a blog on Live Theatre's website. She spoke of the privilege she felt working on the production and the "surreal" nature of working with Stephen Tompkinson. Reviewers commented that she and Tompkinson shared a good on stage rapport and her performance was compelling.
Norton also appeared as Chelle a young woman in her 20s, in Nativities. She again earned critical acclaim for her role as Chelle, with Paul Clifford of the Shields Gazette giving her a positive review. "Laura Norton did a fine job as Chelle, a young mum who would rather go out and get drunk than look after her child."
Speaking about the production with co-star Melanie Hill, Norton stated that the characters in the play were "extreme" and all "interweaved into each others lives". Delving into her character, she explained Chelle's journey, "She has had a baby really young, has got trapped in this life she does not want to be in. She's really bitter and regretful, mourning for the life she has lost. She feels her life has been taken away from her and that's why she gets her claws into this young lass, whose life she wants. She is vile."
Early in 2012, Norton also appeared in I'm Sorry – Present:Tense with Nabakov, a play based around a specific topic effecting the local area of Newcastle. After development of the idea a theme was selected after it featured heavily in the Evening Chronicle. It was announced that the series of plays would focus on "How Government cuts are disproportionally affecting women."
On 23 February 2013, Norton returned to the Live Theatre in Newcastle in White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, a play written by Iranian Nassim Soleimanpour. She performed the production alone, without even seeing the script beforehand, on a simplified set and without direction.
Radio and comedy work
In 2011 at the Live Theatre, Norton appeared alongside actor Mark Benton and Joe Caffrey in Jesting About. "A collaborative project between the BBC and Northern Film and Media (NFM), aimed at unearthing new laugh-making talent" within the North East. The 30-minute comedy sketch show was also broadcast on BBC Radio Newcastle on 2 May 2011.
In 2012 Norton appeared alongside Bev Fox (co-founder), Paula Penman and Jayne Humphreys in partnership with Newcastle-based improvisational group The Suggestibles, at the Newcastle Pride Festival 2012. She performed comedy sketches in the Women's tent as part of the Pride festival.
On 9 February 2013, Norton also showed her support for a campaign to prevent the closure of libraries in the Newcastle area. Norton read scenes from We love you, Arthur and also a monologue about dementia. Norton was joined by Emmerdale colleagues, Chelsea Halfpenny and Charlie Hardwick.
Norton on 16 February 2013, also joined forces with a number of local campaigners opposing cuts to front-line services as a consequence of the funding cuts made by the coalition government. She was again joined by Chelsea Halfpenny, Charlie Hardwick and North East playwright Fiona Evans.
In August 2014, Norton helped to raise awareness of the disease ALS by participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge.
Norton has been nominated in the best newcomer category at the 2013 British Soap Awards.
|2013||White Rabbit, Red Rabbit||Unknown||solo play at the Live Theater|
|2012||Tested||Melanie||Film currently in post-production|
|2012 – present||Emmerdale||Kerry Wyatt||First regular Television role|
Pending – British Soap Award for Best Newcomer
|2012||Wolfblood||Sergeant Ashford||Appeared in episode entitled A Quiet Night In|
|2012||Natives||Chelle||Theatre Role, at Live Theatre Newcastle|
|2012||Nabakov Present: Tense||?||Theatre Role, at Live Theatre Newcastle|
|2011||Vera||Margaret Wilde||Played a murder victim|
|2011||Jesting About||Various||BBC & Northern Film Media Radio Comedy show broadcast on BBC Radio Newcastle|
|2011||Faith and Cold Reading||Carla||Theatre Role, at Live Theatre Newcastle|
|2010||A Nightingale Sang||Helen||Touring theatre Role, at the Oldham Coliseum Theatre and Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre|
|2010||Canoeing For Beginners||Carol||Theatre Role at The Customs House, South Shields|
|2009||Jump||Dara||Theatre Role, at Live Theatre Newcastle|
|2009||You Couldn't Make It Up||>?||Theatre Role, at Live Theatre Newcastle|
|2009||Hoops||Julie||Short sitcom, entitled "Come Dine with Me"|
|2008||Hansel and Gretel||Blackie The Cat||Theatre Role, at The Northern Stage (formerly Newcastle Playhouse)|
|2008||Lucky Numbers||?||Theatre role at the Customs House South Shields|
|2008||The Royal Today||Ella||played Ella a young woman whose breast surgery has gone wrong|
|2007–2008||Jack and the Beanstalk||Princess Jill||Pantomime role|
|2004||Steel River Blues||Susie||Played a woman rescued by local firefighters|
|2004||Byker Grove||Sam||Played Sam a local journalist covering a teenage pregnancy at the grove.|
|2004||55 Degrees North||Geordie Girl||Appeared in one scene only|
|2004||A city on The Tyne||Herself||Read extracts of Sid Chaplin story Grace Before Meat|
|2003||Smack Family Robinson||Cora|
|2003||Keepers of the Flame||Lisa||Part of Royal Shakespeare Company touring production and first professional Theatre Role, at Live Theatre Newcastle|
|1999–2000||Badger||?||first Television role|
|?||'Get Out of That Then||?||Youth Theatre Project|
- "'Emmerdale' star Laura Norton "so chuffed" to renew contract". Digital Spy. 11 June 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- As mentioned in interview on Lorraine, ITV, 17 June 2013
- Barr, Gordon (24 October 2003). "Prestige role found". Evening Chronicle (IcNewcastle).
- LiveTheatreVideos (11 March 2011). "Faith & Cold Reading – Interview with Laura Norton". YouTube.
- "Laura Norton – 23 February". Live Theatre. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
- Whetstone, David (17 May 2003). "Big break smacks of success for Laura". Sunday Sun.
- Hoops Suggestibles YouTube Channel
- "Amy's Mum". itv.com. 31 May 2012.
- Armstrong, Laura (25 July 2012). "Kerry's totally out of control ...and I love it!". The Sun. London.
- Jon, Horsley. "Interview – Emmerdale's Laura Norton". yahoo.co.uk. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
- "Would Like To Meet". BBC. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
- "Tested". Liquid Noise Films. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
- Hickling, Alfred (29 May 2003). "Smack Family Robinson". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 29 May 2003.
- "Remembering Sid Chaplin". The British Theatre Guide. 25 November 2004.
- Shearman, Colin. "The Weather Kitchen". The Stage. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
- "Writing Wrong". British Theatre Guide. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- Emily, Taylor. "Veteran on a high for the Beanstalk". The Journal. Retrieved 13 December 2007.
- "Hansel & Gretel, Northern Stage". Northern Echo. Retrieved 4 December 2008.
- "You Couldn't Make It Up". uk theater network. Retrieved 26 February 2009.
- "Lucky Numbers Newcastle Productions". mikeyeaman.com.
- Lathan, Peter. "Lucky Numbers". British Theatre Guide.
- "Jump! Live Theatre, Newcastle Quayside, until December 5". The Journal. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
- Live Theater Official Press Release Video
- "Canoeing For Beginners at The Customs House, South Shields". The Journal. Retrieved 7 August 2010.
- "Canoeing For Beginners, Customs House, South Shields". The Shields Gazette. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
- Shaw, Kevin (10 February 2010). "Wartime comedy is a future hit". Oldham Advertiser.
- "Charles Hutchinson reviews and a Nightingale Sang". The York Press. Retrieved 27 February 2010.
- Malcolm, Wallace. "And A Nightingale Sang (Tour – Oldham)". whatsonstage.com. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
- "Review: Faith And Cold Reading, Live Theatre". The Chronicle. 11 February 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
- Chris, Collett. "Faith and Cold Reading". The Stage. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
- Norton, Laura. "Faith & Cold Reading – Cast member Laura Norton". Live Theatre Newcastle. Archived from the original on 23 February 2013.
- Jameson, Linda. "Faith and Cold Reading". Exeunt Magazine. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
- "Theatre Review: Nativities, Live Theatre, Newcastle". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- Paul, Clifford. "Review: Nativities, Live Theatre, Newcastle". The Shields Gazette. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- "Nativities". Live Theatre.
- "Present: Tense kicks off in Newcastle's Live Theatre". nabokov-online.com.
- "I'm Sorry – Present:Tense with Nabakov". Roz wyllie. 20 April 2012.
- "Phil Ormrod takes his turn at the keyboard to document working with Roz Wyllie on "Sorry"". nabokov-online.com.
- "White Rabbit, Red Rabbit". Live Theatre. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- "Plenty of fizz from North East comedy talent". The Journal. 4 April 2011.
- Northern Media Film Official Press Release video
- Northern Media Film Official Press Release video
- "Jesting About BBC Newcastle". BBC Radio Newcastle. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
- "Women's Tent Acts Newcastle Pride Festival 2012". northern-pride.com.
- Swan, Kim (11 February 2013). "Famous faces join the fight to save Newcastle's libraries". The Chronicle. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- "Brirish Soap Awards Best Newcomer". British Soap Awards. Retrieved 15 May 2013.