‘Mandy was centre stage – she loved it’

10 August 2017 4:49PM

A popular thespian who loved being centre stage has died at the age of 48.

Tributes have been paid to Mandy Norman, of Bransty Road, in Whitehaven, who died suddenly at home.

Younger sister Victoria, 40, said the family had been overwhelmed by the messages of condolences, cards and flowers they had received.

She added: "She touched a lot of people's lives. She will be a big miss."

Mandy was known across West Cumbria for her love of singing, drama and performing in countless productions.

Victoria said: "She had her hand in everything to do with performing arts.

"Mandy was centre stage - she loved it."

She performed in theatre productions, street theatre and held drama workshops for young people.

Friend Lisa Branney paid tribute to her saying: "Mandy was one of the quirkiest, individual, charismatic people I have ever had the pleasure to know. She was one of a kind."

From a young age Mandy, a former pupil at Bransty School, enjoyed music and theatre.

Victoria described her sister as "very creative".

She said Mandy's love of theatre and performance was passed down from her grandmother, who played the accordion. Mandy also learned to play the instrument and showcased her talents.

Her first experience of treading the boards was at Richmond School, where she performed in Billy Liar, before going on to perform in productions such as Oklahoma! and Christmas pantomimes.

She studied theatre in Newcastle before going on to study performing arts at Lancaster University. While in Newcastle she became involved in punk bands.

Returning to Whitehaven about 17 years ago, Mandy began working at Whitehaven School as a learning mentor.

Victoria said: "They loved her. She was really good with them."

She added that Mandy "was always there to help people".

Performing in Whitehaven's first Maritime Festival was a highlight for Mandy who, along with others, dressed up and performed miners-themed street theatre near The Beacon museum.

She was also involved with Keswick's Theatre by the Lake and Workington's Curwen Players, as well as performing in numerous bands.

She had a love of the works of Shakespeare and held workshops to help youngsters develop their own love of the arts.

In recent years she had been looking into various holistic therapies.

Mandy died on July 30. She leaves parents Barbara and Victor, and sisters Victoria and Caron.

Her funeral takes place at 11am tomorrow (Friday) at St Bridget's Church, Moresby, followed by cremation at Distington Hall Crematorium.

A large turnout is expected, and Eaves Funeral Service advises people to arrive early and car share where possible.

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